Grants for Individual Artists

Typically grants are given to nonprofit foundations, but a few are available for individual artists. These grants for individual artists are generally to cover education or for a specific type of project. Most grants are specific to a type of artist.

  • Photography. There are a number of foundations whose goal is to advance photography. For example:

    • Aaron Siskind Foundation. Provides several grants each year to photographers using still-photography based media.

    • Alexia Foundation. World Peace Annual Photography Contest. Their mission is to use photojournalism to promote world peace and cultural understanding.

    • Magnum Foundation.

      • Emerging Photographer Fund grant initiated by David Alan Harvey in 2008, provides $15,000 to support a photographer’s personal project.

      • Inge Morath Award provides $5,000 each year to a female documentary photographer.

    • More grants in photography can be found on the Internationl Center of Photography’s website:

  • Poetry. Grants exist to perpetuate the art of poetry. Various foundations assist the poet with articles, books, events and awards.

Their Poetry magazine was founded in Chicago in 1912 by Harriet Monroe. The foundation was established in 2003 thanks to a large donation from philanthropist Ruth Lilly. Evolving from the Modern Poetry Association founded in 1941, it has grown to be one of the largest literary foundations in existence. A list of their awards, prizes and fellowships is found at

    • Witter Brynner Foundation for Poetry

Besides grants for non-profit, tax exempt organizations, there is an annual grant to the Library of Congress for Witter Bynner Fellowships selected by the Poet Laureate.

  • Area or other specific. Some grants are available for artists who live in certain areas, certain types of people or age groups. For example:

    • East Bay Community Foundation Fund for Artists supports art teachers in the Bay Area of Northern California.

    • Dancer’s Group’s Parachute Fund supports members of the San Francisco Bay Area dance community that are facing life-threatening illnesses.

    • Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation works with young artists.

    • Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation supports disabled artists.

    • Kentucky Foundation for Women for women artists that live in Kentucky.

    • Leeway Foundation gives grants to women artists in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

There are obviously many sources for artists to turn to these days. While they may never completely eliminate the “starving artist” issue, art continues to be very important in our society.

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