Artadia Awards: Generous, Unrestricted, City Based Grants

Artadia Awards holds a unique position among granting agencies. In addition to generous award amounts, they work on a model which limits applications to a select number of major US cities. According to their website

Artadia is a national non-profit organization that supports visual artists with unrestricted, merit-based awards and fosters connections to a network of opportunities. In the past 18 years, Artadia has awarded over $3 million to more than 300 artists throughout its participating award cities of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

Lynne McCabe, one of many Artadia Award winners
© Lynne McCabe

While Artadia’s program cities comprises an unsurprising list of major arts hubs, if you are fortunate enough to reside in one of their grant cities, Artadia is a great opportunity, especially for emerging artists or artists seeking their first grants. Given the limited scope of applications, the chances of receiving an Artadia Award is higher than institutions like the Pollock-Krasner Foundation for example, where applications are drawn from a national/international pool.

Notable Artadia Awards Winners

Unlike some of the stodgier institutions (re: Guggenheim Fellowship), Artadia Awards genuinely follows through on its mission to “identify innovative visual artists and support them with unrestricted, merit-based financial awards.” Some notable recipients over the years include:

For a complete list of past winners and visit their comprehensive database of past awardees to get some ideas for how to put together a strong portfolio.

How Much are Artadia Awards?

Artadia Grants are $10,000, a generous amount! On top of that, the cash awards are unrestricted, meaning you can spend them in any way that will be most beneficial to you. Additionally, their grants are a great way for artists to make robust, meaningful connections with curators and arts administrators due to the two-tier application review procedure.

What is the Application Process to win Artadia Awards?

To win an Artadia Grant, you first submit images via an online portal. The online applications are then reviewed by a panel which makes a preliminary shortlist of 5 artists (check their database for an idea of the types of administrators that make up their initial review panels).

If you are fortunate enough to make the shortlist, you will have the opportunity to conduct in person studio visit with final review panel which is made up of local artists and curators. This one on one presentation is a fantastic, unique element of the Artadia process and should really be embraced by more organizations as it elevates the potential exposure for all artists involved.

On the flip side, the only 5 artists are chosen for the shortlist and then, from that 5, only 2 artists receive awards in each city. So, this application process, while potential beneficial to a a select few, does require quite a bit of time to complete, without the promise of any actual support. Potential applicants should bear in mind the cost of time committed to these complicated applications and weigh that against the list of past recipients to determine if this is a potential path for them to receive a grant.

Pros

  • Generous $10,000 Grants
  • City based grants for artists in major metro areas ideally lowers overall competition as it limits the size of the applicant pool
  • 2 tiered application review increases opportunity for exposure through in person studio visits
  • Truly diverse group of past winners bodes well for unique artists who do not conform to trends

Cons

  • 2 tiered application requires a long time commitment

Connect with Artadia

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