In The Artist’s Guide to Grant Writing: How to Find Funds and Write Foolproof Proposals for the Visual, Literary, and Performing Artist, Gigi Rosenberg tutors artists in all fields through the complete process of writing applications for professional development and project grants, awards and fellowships, and residencies. In the preface, Rosenberg, a writer and theater artist with experience writing grants to support her work, describes the insight that followed her stint on a grant-making panel. She saw the differences between the powerful, vivid proposals that would be funded and the wan, timid ones that wouldn’t. “It transformed me as an artist seeking funding,” she writes.
She began to look at grant-making organizations from the perspective of a funder, as she wisely advises artists to do. Many artists are reticent about explaining their work, but “the process of articulation can be useful,” and Rosenberg interviews artists whose successful grant proposals came from clear visions of the work they wanted to create. The book includes tips on beginning to write artist statements, resource lists to target appropriate donors, and practical advice on topics from budgeting correctly to ensuring high-quality work documentation.
Rosenberg writes with the pep of a motivational speaker, walking the line between can-do cheering and practical, thorough advice. The structure of the book can be a bit cumbersome—chapters like “Decipher the Applications,” “Stand Out From the Crowd,” and “Fundraise Strategically” contain great advice embedded in descriptive paragraphs, though each chapter ends with a helpful section called “Gigi’s Cheat Sheet” that succinctly captures its main points and hints. Artists who are only looking for a few pop-in—pop-out suggestions or bullet points to polish their grant writing might be frustrated, but the strength of The Artist’s Guide to Grant Writing lies in Rosenberg’s booster-y, in-depth narrative. In these difficult economic times, no one understands better than artists that funding is vital and scarce. Rosenberg’s book will reward artists who take the time to follow its advice with a stronger, more confident position from which to request that funding.
The Artist’s Guide to Grant Writing:
How to Find Funds and Write Foolproof Proposals for the Visual, Literary, and Performing Artist
By Gigi Rosenberg
Paperback, 224 pages, $16.99
Published by Watson Guptill
For additional information, visit www.gigirosenberg.com