What kind of grant can I apply for through the AFA?

Find out about the kinds of grants that are available for individuals, and learn more about artistic disciplines, including multi- or interdisciplinary projects.

Project grants

Project grants can support a variety of activities – from research to art creation and production. Project grants are all defined by these common elements:

  • projects have a clear start date and a clear end date
  • activities are well defined, with clear objectives and measurable outcomes
  • expenses are directly related to the activities being proposed

The AFA recognizes the challenges artists face throughout their careers. Project grants can reduce some financial challenges faced by many artists, and are meant to help you in achieve your artistic goals. With that said, project grants are not intended to fund long-term or ongoing activities.

For example, you can apply for subsistence funding to help offset your living expenses during the life of your project. However, it is important to remember grant funding is not a replacement for employment income and all expenses must be directly related to achieving your project outcomes.

What kind of projects can I apply for through the AFA?

You can apply for funding to support any or all of the following:

  • art production (artistic and cultural creation)
  • research
  • marketing
  • training and career development

You will be asked to define your project activities as part of your application, but it is not unusual for a project to have multiple components to it.

  • pick the category that is most relevant for your activities

Projects can also vary widely in scale. You may have long-term objectives for your artistic development, but a project may be a subset or “phase” of your overall goals.

  • for example, your project could be a series of paintings, the workshopping of a new play, or composing a new album

In many cases, a project can also be defined by the distinct type of work involved.

  • for example, pre-production, production, and post-production in film are often distinct phases or separate projects

It is also not unusual for a project’s budget to be larger than the AFA’s maximum grant amount ($15,000). When this happens, you can still apply for AFA funding, but you will need to describe your other revenue sources – whether they are personal contributions or from other public funders.

You can find examples of projects in the “What does this grant support” section of the guidelines for each program.

  • if you need further help in defining the scope of your project, grant consultants can provide feedback before you submit your application

Can I apply for interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary art projects?

Yes. Although the AFA’s programs are defined by common art discipline categories, the AFA recognizes artists often practice across multiple disciplines. Artists may also wish to experiment with blending or combining different art forms into a single project. The AFA wants to support you and the growth of your practice.

Applying for an AFA grant under one discipline does not limit your ability to experiment with artistic forms. When choosing which grant program is best for your project, consider two questions:

1. What kind of expert panelists should review and score your application?

  • AFA project grants are evaluated by knowledgeable peers from the community, not by staff, and these peers practice, or are experienced in, the artistic discipline of the grant.
  • Like you, expert panelists are creative and can have experience and an appreciation for experimentation with artistic form, and often have experience across a range of disciplines.
  • AFA staff assemble panels that reflect the expertise required for each set of applications that we receive, and we aim to include representation of diverse perspectives.

2. Are the activities of my project eligible for funding in the grant program guidelines?

  • Eligible expenses are listed in the grant guidelines, under the section “What does this grant support” for each program.
  • For projects with a large scope, do you want to consider applying for a distinct phase of funding that focuses more specifically on one component of the project than others?

If you are having difficulty deciding which grant is most appropriate for your project, please contact us. AFA grant consultants can provide helpful information and tips to support your decision, and help you prepare an application with the best chance of success.

Learn more

After you have reviewed general information about project funding opportunities for individuals, you may be ready to start preparing a grant applicantion. If so, check out our application writing tips for individual artists