May 18, 2016
Common Application Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
This is the sixth in a series of blog articles leading up to the next Artists in the Classroom (AIC) grant application deadline. This series is intended to help raise awareness about AIC grants, spark exciting project ideas and help translate those ideas onto paper. Visit artstarts.com/aic to find the Eligibility Quiz, Grant Guidelines and Application Form, Frequently Asked Questions and more.
Artists in the Classroom grant deadline is fast approaching! When ArtStarts receives your grant application the first thing we do is check to make sure it's eligible. Applications that are ineligible will NOT be considered for funding. We always let the applicant know when there is a mistake, but there are some easy things you can do before you submit to save everyone time and ensure your application makes it to the jury.
- Attach the Artist CV: AIC projects must engage BC-based professional artists, preferably local to your community. If the artists you are working with are listed in the Artists in the Classroom Directory (AICD), they have already been screened and you don't need to do anything further. For artists who are not on the AICD, you must attach their CV when you submit the grant application. Make sure both are in the same email. AND have a look over the CV to make sure they meet the definition of professional artist.
- Get Your Timing Right: Artists in the Classroom accepts applications twice per year. There is usually one intake at the end of May and the other in the middle of October. Projects must be planned for the future and cannot have been completed prior to application. The May intake supports projects that happen in the following school year. For example, applications submitted for a May 2016 deadline support projects planned to take place during the 2016-17 school year. The October intake support projects happening in the second half of the school year (January to June).
- Find the Right Scale: AIC awards two scales of grants: 1) up to $3,500 for small to medium scale projects and 2) up to $10,000 for large scale projects. Large scale projects are projects that may unfold over an extended period of time, involve multiple artists or engage the entire school. A limited number of large scale grants are awarded per intake. The jury is looking for broader and/or deeper impact from these projects. Large scale grant recipients will be required to document their project, write a blog post and provide regular updates throughout the process of their project.
- Balance the Budget: Budgets can be intimidating, but it's important to get the details right. The grant guidelines break down eligible expenses (that can be included in the AIC grant) and ineligible expenses (that must be covered by the school contribution). In the application form, you are asked to list expenses in these two categories and total up the expenses. Then, under revenues, enter the grant being requested (70% of total expenses, not to exceed total eligible expenses) and the school contribution. The total expenses must equal the total revenues to show that you can cover all expected costs.
And here are some other things to remember...
- Check Check: There are 21 checkboxes in the AIC Application Form for you to consider. It's important for us that you check all that are applicable. Unfortunately, we've heard from a number of people having trouble checking these boxes. If they are not working for you, please replace the box with YES and highlight the option. Your answers will determine what kind of feedback you get on your application, what scale of grant you're applying for and help us categorize your project for our website.
- Not too Short, Not too Long: Getting the length of your application right can be tricky business. We do not use word counts to restrict your answers as we believe every project is unique and applicants express themselves differently. However, there are applications that are too short to fully understand the proposal and ones that are too long for the jury to digest. Each question in Section C: Project Information corresponds to one of the four assessment criteria that the jury uses to score projects. Make sure to address each of these criteria fully. This usually requires more than one paragraph and not more than a page.
Now you know what to do before you hit send on your Artists in the Classroom grant application!
Questions? Contact Laura Aliaga, Grants Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-336-0626 ext 110.
Read other posts in this series:
- Grant-Writing Tips and Tricks
- AIC Project Inspiration
- Why Bring Artists into Your Classroom?
- From the Jury Box
- The Creative Process
- Common Application Mistakes and How to Avoid Them