If you are thinking about becoming an independent curator, you might be wondering what grants are available to support the kind of work that you want to do. Not all curators work for an institution, and it is just as important for those with independent practices to find resources so that they can afford to put time into their practice. There are a few specific grants that are designed to support a curatorial practice. Here are a few upcoming deadlines.
If you are looking to give yourself time to work on a project you could apply for the Canada Council for the Arts Project Grants for Curators and Critics. This grant is meant to support curators and critics by providing funding so that they can devote a sustained period of time to documentation, study and writing and to the development of approaches to supporting their practice. You can get a maximum of $25000 with this grant, and the grant can be used to cover subsistence (up to $2000 a month), workplace rental, material costs (to a maximum of $2000), professional fees and services (like a research assistant, editor, or proofreader), subscriptions, registrations and admissions and travel costs related to the project. The deadline to apply is February 1 2015.
Another option is to apply for the Ontario Arts Council’s Visual Arts Projects Grants. This grant can be used to either fund presentation projects like an exhibition, festival, lecture series, publication, workshop etc, or to fund an individual’s curatorial research and development. So as an independent curator you could get up to $10000 to support your living expenses, travel and materials. It is important to note that the grant can only be used for one or the other of these options, so if you want to fund the research stage of the project, you won’t be able to write a second grant to the OAC asking for support for the production of the project. The next deadline to apply for is December 15, 2014. The OAC has a specific focus on projects that have an Ontario focus, so if your research is focused on artists in Ontario then this is a great opportunity.
As always, if you are a first time grant writer, it is always a good idea to contact the grants officer to make sure that you are eligible to apply. The job of the grants officer is to help you to find the right grant for the project that you are developing. They have a lot of experience with what kind of projects receive funding, so they can help guide you as you go through the process.