Grant Writing Clinic

Grant Writing Clinic, Ece Pazarbasi

Understanding Funding Bodies




You look at the three above and use some of their own words in the application. You can also look at the annual reports to find out where they have spent their money.

European Cultural Foundation


STEP travel grant


Berlin Senate, Work Stipend

Decision Making Process:                                                                                                          -Reviewer profile, composition of juries: Often you can see who is on the jury and it is good to make a background research on them.

-Fitting to mission:

-Funding is being provided as an investment toward the public good.                          -Funding agencies, if they fund you, there is an expectation of results- “Outcomes” or “Impacts” as a result of the funding.                                                                                 -Visibility

Many funding bodies have money that they must spend per year and so it is a business arangement.

What do funders want to know?

-Why should we give you the money?                                                                                              -What do you want to do with the money?                                                                              -Who will control the money once we give it to you?                                                           -How will we know whether you did what you said you would do with the money?       -Will we be glad that we gave you the money?

Reviewers are looking for:

-Significance                                                                                                                                          -Creativity                                                                                                                                 -Clearly defined project: 90% of applications are not clearly described/clearly defined project because they are lost in the concepts of the work                                             -Research plan: methodologies                                                                                           -Outcomes                                                                                                                                  -Clear, concise writing

Elevator pitch:

My 1st response to the in person question: What are you working right now?

I am working on a project for Akademie der Künste related to my PhD work where I used 16mm to re-tace the driving scenes in a 1972 film shot in Rome by J.M.S and D.H. as a process of learning 16mm by doing, to explore what traces of history have been erased and what remain.

Depends on who the audience is- non-art, academic, art etc.

This line will end up the first line in the grant app.

My 2nd response: medium, title, and short desciption:

In my 16mm film project for Akademie der Künste, called History Lessons By Comparison, I retace the driving scenes in a 1972 film shot in Rome by J.M.S and D.H. to expose traces of history have been erased and those that remain.

Searching For and Locating Grants

-Plan to spend at least one day in a month for searching grants                                      -Search who funded your peers’ projects

When you find a potential funding body:                                                                                 -investigate previous projects that the agency has funded (Annual report)                           -learn about the grant proposal requirements

You can also look at other artists with similar interests and see who has funded their projects then research those organizations. And you can look into their annual reports and see how much they funded a particular project (if they do not post the amount.)

Hunting for and Locating Grants

-Look for funding agencies, investigate what they fund, and apply for something from the agency. Your goals are broad enough to be modified to fit their goals.

-Look for funding agencies that fund only what you want. Search for an exact match to fund your project using your specifically stated goals.

Grant Funding Resources

Touring Artists

On The Move

Res Arts

Lab for Culture

Residency Unlimited

Berliner Pool


-focused learning

-diffused learning

Pomodoro Technique: (Be Focused app) You put your timer to 25 min. and in this time you organize and only work. After 25 min. you leave the room/environment. Then you do something else (rewarding) for 5-7 min. no more than 10 min. time the break time. Then go back to the desk and do another 25 min. and so on. The brain is still working on the breaks in another mode and you come back to the next 25 min. fresh.

On Applications:

The most important elements of grant writing                                                                     -Read instructions, understand them, follow them!

For each application you must reformulate CV, portfolio, application proposal etc.

-Start writing it much earlier                                                                                                     -Find a good friend to read your application to see if they get what I am saying without too much effort.                                                                                                                          -Find keywords from the mission statements                                                              -Remember that they need you as much as you need them                                                  -Ask yourself if you would give money to this project                                                           -You can imagine that you are writing to a specific person                                               -Prepare a checklist of things you need to do to appropriately complete the grant

A good proposal:

-Is clever                                                                                                                                         -clear                                                                                                                -concise                                                                                                                              -compelling                                                                                                                                     -Plans well                                                                                                                                  -Prepares extensively                                                                                                                 -Takes input and criticism in a positive manner and incorporates the critique in subsequent drafts

  1. Cover letter/Letter of intent
  2. Abstract (most important part of the proposal) should start with the elevator pitch.
  3. Project Description.                                                                                                                 -Also answer these questions in Project Description even if it is not in the guidelines (how is the project unique? how is it tried and true? why does the world need your project right now? why are you the perfect person to undertake this project?)
  4. Bio and Resume/CV- I can have 2-3 different CV’s (art/academic) Bio 3rd person singular, Resume go backwards in time starting with 2017, very top is residencies for art CV
  5. Artist Statement-Your history and philosophy as an artist, your parallel interests, write in 1st person singular (I/my), sound confident, check other artist’ statements         -where did you start?                                                                                                         -where are you now?                                                                                                           -where are you going?                                                                                                           -what happened on the way so that you are taking this path?                                 -who/what influenced you?
  6. work sample/portfolio
  7. supplementary materials
  8. recommendation letters
  9. budget
  10. Timeline                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If it is an online application, write it in landscape format because they will project it to landscape on the wall.                                                                                                                   Can prepare the whole thing in landscape format on keynote and and save as PDF

-If you do not have a venue for the piece to be screened or installed then you can contact a friend who has a space and ask them to write a letter saying that they are interested in supporting the project/screening it in the future.

Entering the Writing Process

First Draft- A Free Write