How to Find and Pursue Arts Grants

Arts grants come in as many shapes and sizes as the range of arts projects they support. However, the process of applying for public and private grants can be tedious and complicated, and it’s almost always competitive. You you can lift your chances of winning a grant by attending CDAC’s free Arts Salon on July 20 at Cathedral City City Hall, located at 68700 Avenida Lalo Guerrero.

The program, set for 5:30 to 7 p.m., features three presenters — grant writer Leigh Wiemann, artist Barbara Gothard, and arts programmer Brittany Delany — who will share their experiences as well as tips on how to start, where to look, and what information and materials you need for a successful grant application.

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The arts salons are a program of the California Desert Arts Council, whose mission is to unify, empower, and promote the arts community of the Coachella Valley and High Desert. CDAC fulfills this mission through its programs in cultural tourism, business and professional development, education, and advocacy.

“Our July salon, ‘How to find and pursue arts grants,’ offers our local arts community an opportunity to come learn about and pursue funding opportunities and also network with our presenters,” says Christi Salamone, CEO of CDAC. “Our salons are free, and we’re grateful to our presenters for volunteering their time to share their experiences, knowledge, and advice with other artists and arts leaders in the community.”

The presenters will offer their advice from different perspectives. Wiemann is the grant writer (and was recently interim director of human resources) at Palm Springs Art Museum, where she’s also a member of the Artists Council. Gothard is a PSAM Artists Council board member whose career zigzagged from art teacher to principal to globetrotting business executive before returning to art with the help of grants from the Kenneth A. Picerne Foundation’s Artist Outreach Project and Institut Calvisson in France. Delany, programs manager for CDAC and La Quinta Arts Foundation, has written and managed public and foundation grants for arts organizations and performing artists.

“The ability to pursue funding is essential in the arts, and it’s incumbent on CDAC to be our community’s conduit to grant-giving entities,” Salamone says. “Regrettably, local agencies and institutions, public and private, are not pursuing the grant money we know is out there. One of our goals is to help local artists and organizations bring those dollars home to the desert.”

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