Guidelines for Applying for Inspiration Grant Funding

Inspiration Grants from the ArtsKC Fund are an investment in human capital, providing direct support to individual artists and arts professionals for projects and activities that have the potential to advance their careers and build their capacity for future work.

Applications for Inspiration Grants from the 2016 ArtsKC Fund will be reviewed and approved three times over the course of the year, so there are opportunities to apply every four months.  Applications should be for activities occurring between the dates of June 15, 2016 and July 1, 2017, although the project can extend before and after that period of time.

The highest priorities for funding are projects or activities with the potential to have substantial impact on the career development and working capacity or efficiency of the artists involved. Applications for assistance with normal, ‘business as usual’ expenses involved with the applicant’s customary art practice or professional activities are not a high priority for funding and are generally not funded.

If you have a question about the suitability of your idea for an Inspiration Grant, it’s best to ask the ArtsKC Grant Staff by email well in advance of the deadline.

Applying for an Inspiration Grant is a two step process:

1. Submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) online using the ArtsKC Grant System.  Letters of Inquiry may be submitted at any time but will be reviewed only at each deadline.  You can preview a sample of the online application form for the Inspiration LOI here: Inspiration LOI Preview Sample for 2016-17

2. A response to the LOI will notify the applicant if the request has been approved to proceed to the second step of the application process.

3. If approved to continue, the applicant submits a full proposal with additional details and documentation about the request as directed by ArtsKC staff. Full proposals are considered by the review committee, and the recommendations of the review committee are subject to final approval by the Arts Council Board of Directors.

Funded applications receive 75% of the award up front and the remaining 25% upon submission and approval of a final report, to be submitted when the funded portion of the project is sufficiently complete.

The total amount of Inspiration Grant funding will be balanced among the three different deadline periods so that funding will be available for projects occurring throughout the year. If submitted several months in advance of the actual dates for a proposed project, an application may be deferred to the next award cycle at the discretion of the review panel.

Deadlines for 2016-17

The dates for application deadlines and funding decisions for the 2016-17 Inspiration Grants are as follows, all deadlines are midnight for the dates below:

  ROUND 1: 

Letters of Inquiry due by April 15, 2016
Full proposals due by May 19, 2016
Funding decisions by June 22, 2016

   ROUND 2: 

Letters of Inquiry received by August 15, 2016
Full proposals due by September 21, 2016
Funding decisions by October 18, 2016

   ROUND 3:

Letters of Inquiry received by December 15, 2016
Full proposals due by January 26, 2017
Funding decisions by February 22, 2017

How to Apply

The application process is entirely online, via our ArtsKC Grant System.

Letter of Inquiry: 

Letters of Inquiry may be submitted at any time but will be reviewed only at each deadline. Preview a sample of the online application form for the Inspiration LOI here: Inspiration LOI Preview Sample for 2016-17

1. Access the ArtsKC Grant System, a website separate from ArtsKC.
2. If you are applying for the first time, create a profile by clicking on “Create New Account” and follow the instructions closely. There are specific directions when creating a profile for individuals who are applying for an Inspiration Grant. Returning applicants should use the same email that they used previously to log on to the system again.
3. Once your profile is created, you will be taken to the “Application Page” and you will be able to access the current Inspiration Grant application.

The Inspiration LOI form contains several questions regarding the artist applying and the project itself. In addition to the questions, you will be asked to submit the following:

1. Professional resume or curriculum vitae in PDF
2. Samples of your recent work, if possible (no more than 6 samples)

Work samples may be submitted as attachments in the system, or as hyperlinks. Note that there can only be one work sample via hyperlink and that submitting your general website is not considered a work sample.

Application: 

A response to the LOI will notify you if you are approved to proceed to the second step of the application process, which is to submit a full proposal with additional details and documentation about the request as directed by ArtsKC.  If selected to move onto the application stage, applications will be submitted again via the ArtsKC Grant System.  Full proposals are considered by the review committee, and the recommendations of the review committee are subject to final approval by the Board of Directors of ArtsKC.

Priorities for Funding

The highest priorities for funding are projects or activities with the potential to have substantial impact on the career development and working capacity or efficiency of the individuals involved.    Applications for assistance with normal, “business as usual” expenses involved with the applicant’s customary art practice or professional activities are not a high priority for funding and are generally not funded.

Range of Awards

Inspiration Grants range from a minimum of $250 to a maximum of $2,500.

Most grant awards are for LESS than the maximum.  The majority of Inspiration grants awarded range from $500 to $1,500; please plan your request accordingly.

Matching Funds May Be Required

Depending on the amount of the request and the total size of the expense budget, matching funds may be required.  Requests from individuals for $1,000 or less do not require any matching funds; however, having some matching funds can be considered a plus for a request even below $1,000.  Requests for more than $1,000 require matching funds for the amount of the request that is more than $1,000; that is, one dollar of additional revenue should match every dollar in excess of $1,000.  For example, a project with an expense budget of $2,000 is eligible for a grant request of $1,500 and should show $500 in matching revenue from other sources.

Personal funds can be used for matching revenue if necessary.

Review Process

LOIs are reviewed by a panel of ArtsKC staff members.  Full proposals for Inspiration Grants are reviewed by a committee chaired by an ArtsKC board member that includes community volunteers and arts professionals.  Funding recommendations for proposals by the full panel are subject to approval by the ArtsKC Board of Directors.

Eligibility

To be eligible, an applicant must be an adult resident of the Kansas City metropolitan area with an established record of professional achievement in the arts.  Artists should be able to demonstrate a history of or the potential for deriving income from the sale, exhibition or presentation of their work or art practice.  Arts professionals should be currently employed either on a full or part time basis in an arts-related position.  An applicant may receive only one Inspiration award during the one year period from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

Payment of Awards and Reporting

Awards are paid in two installments, with 75% paid at the beginning of a project and 25% due upon completion once an acceptable final report has been received.

Tax Liability

For purposes of the Internal Revenue Service, Inspiration Grants to individuals must be treated as personal income and will be reported as revenue at calendar year-end on a Form 1099 to the applicant.  Please consult with your tax adviser on the consequences of such income, which may be defrayed by the cost of expenses depending on your individual situation and circumstances.  It is the award recipient’s responsibility to plan for and deal with any resulting tax liability.

Inspiration Grant Final Reports for 2015-16

If you received an Inspiration Grant in 2015, the Final Report is due by June 15th, 2016. After submitting an acceptable Final Report, the remaining 25% of your grant will be sent to you.

To submit your Final Report, please log into the ArtsKC Grant System and complete the Inspiration Final Report that has been assigned to you.

If you have questions about submitting your final report, please contact Paul Tyler at tyler@artskc.org.