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Artist Calls and Opportunities: Creative Work Fund Invites Letters of Inquiry for Northern California-Based Art Collaboration Grants


The Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, is inviting artists and nonprofit organizations to apply for grants in support of collaborative projects featuring media or traditional artists.

Launched in 1994, the Creative Work Fund is designed to help address the decline in support for artists and new works. Grants are awarded to genuine creative partnerships between artists and nonprofit organizations. Each year, CWF focuses on projects from different disciplines; the 2015 program will fund collaborative projects that feature media or traditional artists.

The CWF grant program emphasizes the creation of new work — not distribution or productions of work already developed. Projects may culminate in any form, but they must feature a lead artist with a strong track record as a literary artist or performing artist and collaboration between that artist and a nonprofit organization.

According to CWF guidelines, media artists create narrative, documentary, animated, or experimental time-based works using audio, digital, film, and/or video media. Computer arts also are included in this category. (Please note that the fund classifies still photography as a visual art, a separate funding category.)

Traditional artists create in art forms learned as part of the cultural life of a group whose members have a common ethnic heritage, language, religion, occupation, or region. These expressions are deeply rooted in and reflect a community’s shared standards of beauty, values, or life experiences. Often they are learned orally or by emulation. Traditional artists may excel as individual artists, work as part of a group, or work collectively. They may produce works in a variety of forms — oral traditions, performances, crafts, multidisciplinary works, and others.

CWF awards grants of up to $40,000 per collaboration. Artists and organizations should plan projects and prepare their Letters of Inquiry together.

Any kind of 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization may apply except for private foundations. Recognized religious organizations, even if they do not have 501(c)(3) status, may apply, as may public agencies (such as parks departments, health departments, or public schools). A nonprofit organization that clearly fills a charitable or educational purpose but does not have nonprofit status may apply through a nonprofit fiscal sponsor.

Principal collaborating artists and organizations must live or be located in the northern or central California counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, or Stanislaus; and have been there for at least two years.

To assist individuals and organizations interested in applying, CWF will co-host a series of seminars and webinars from September through November 2014.

Visit the CWF Web site for complete program guidelines, application materials, and examples of funded projects, as well as the seminar and webinar schedules and sign-up forms.

Link to Complete Request for Proposals

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