Artists' Opportunities Guide: Grants

PLEASE NOTE: These organisations are not connected to the Royal Drawing School so please take the time to research any opportunity carefully before investing your time and money in applying. For example, it can be helpful to look at which artists have been selected in the past, who sits on any judging panel, and to visit the relevant exhibition.

Feedback is welcome -

Advice on Applying for Grants

Listings Websites for Grants

A search engine for grant-giving funds of all kinds.

Focused on funding to run residencies but some information may be useful to artists.

Funding bodies for visual artists.

Charities' listings.

Search engine for grants in London (some suitable for artists)

'Cultural mobility information network'. Lists organisations and funds which can help finance international travels. They produce documents that list funding opportunities for countries etc for incoming and outgoing travel. eg. funding bodies for those wishing to travel to Spain.

They have a list of funding bodies that support travel in Europe.

Business Scotland
A search engine for funding sources. I'd suggest keyword searching for 'artists'.

Craft Scotland
Funding listings for 'craft makers and visual artists' in Scotland.

A US-based list of Visual Arts Resources

Arts Council Grant for Arts
Deadline: Rolling deadline

Arts Council England Grants for Arts is a funding scheme for ‘project based arts activities’ that ‘engage people in England' and 'help artists and arts organisations to carry out their work'. Individual artists, as well as groups and organisations, are eligible to apply, so long as you are based in the EU and have a bank account in the UK. They normally require a minimum of 10% funding from sources other than the Arts Council.
There is no deadline, but they need six working weeks to process applications for £10,000 or less, and 12 working weeks for applications for more than £10,000.

Pollock Krasner Foundation         
Deadline: Rolling deadline

The Foundation welcomes applications from visual artists who are painters, sculptors and artists who work on paper, including printmakers. Open to all nationalities. They are looking for applications from artists who have genuine financial needs which are not necessarily catastrophic, who have worked as professional artists for a significant period of time. Grants are intended for a one-year period of time. Artists are required to submit a cover letter, an application, and images of current work. Professional exhibition history will be taken into consideration. Artists must be actively exhibiting their current work in professional artistic venues, such as gallery and museum spaces. Not appropriate for students or to fund academic study. There are no deadlines but the application process could take 9 – 12 months.
Apply online.

The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation
Deadline: Rolling deadline

Applications welcome year round from artists of all nationalities, working in a representational style of painting, drawing, sculpture or printmaking, who are in the early or developmental stage of their career and can demonstrate a commitments to making art a lifetime career. They offer substantial grants of CAD $15,000 each. Grantees can receive up to three grants in their lifetime. Grants are awarded based on the information provided in the application, and no interviews are conducted. Previous recipients can be viewed in the gallery on the website.

Previous grantees include alumnus Jonathan Silverman.

The Eaton Fund
Deadline: Six deadlines per year

The Eaton Fund provides financial assistance for both male and female artists and nurses, and women in need. They will consider grants for painters, potters, sculptors and photographers (not performing artists). Include photos of your work or a link to your website. Art students must be UK citizens. Grants are made only once. Assistance can be given for artists’ materials and equipment, and picture framing for an exhibition. To improve your chances, give detailed information about your background and specific need, and also make applications to other charities if you are asking for more than £400, as they aim to work with other charities to meet your request. Not available for educational fees or recurring expenses.

Hope Scott Trust
Deadline: Multiple deadlines per year. 

The Hope Scott Trust promotes Music and the Visual Arts in Scotland. Preference is given to applicants who are Scottish by birth, or live permanently in Scotland. Grants given for help with exhibitions, travel, etc and in some cases for further tuition and costs of travel. They are not given to cover ordinary educational/course fees, except in rare cases. Application by post.  Grants rarely exceed £2,000 and more commonly are for lesser sums.

Elephant Trust Award          
Deadline: Multiple deadlines per year. 

The Elephant Trust provides funding for artists. It was set up in 1975 to make it possible for artists and those presenting their work to undertake and complete projects when frustrated by lack of funds. It is committed to helping artists and institutions that depart from the routine and signal new, distinct and imaginative sets of possibilities. Grants have usually been limited to £2,000. Priority is now being given to artists and small organisations who should submit well-argued, imaginative proposals for making or producing new work or exhibitions. Arts Festivals and group exhibitions are not supported. Only postal applications are accepted – be sure to follow the instructions on their website.

The Wildlife Trust Underwater Wildlife Art Award     
Deadline: Website

The Wildlife Trust’s Undersea Art Award, established in 2007, will pay for an artist to undergo dive training with the opportunity to exhibit art inspired by marine life at the SWLA annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. The award aims to highlight the need for Marine Conservation Zones.
Applicants have until Friday 27 February 2015 to say how they’d make the most of the experience. The award, established in 2007, provides a bursary for an established artist to learn to dive and then to work underwater off the UK coast, recording the wildlife of the sea, in painting and sculpture.

Kensington and Chelsea Studio Bursary Scheme
Deadline: Website

A studio bursary scheme for visual artists who have graduated in the past three years from a UK art school with the intention of becoming full time professionals in their chosen field. Evidence is required of having sought out professional opportunities in the arts since graduation. Preference is given to artists who live in or have connections with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The bursary is provided in partnership with the Chelsea Arts Club Trust. The bursary offers one artist access to free studio space for up to three years, an annual bursary of £8,000, an annual contribution towards materials (maximum £1,000), an annual contribution of up to £1,000 towards the costs of utilities and insurance, and access to a range of professional development opportunities. Artists will be required to run a minimum of 4 workshops per year, host an open studios, give a public lecture, and donate a piece of work.

Yorkshire Artspace Microgrants
Deadline: Website

Grants £500 each available to help artists or makers in Sheffield to realise a project. To support artists and makers, and to increase public access to and engagement with the work of artists and makers. In addition, artists are offered advice and support, blog coverage, and an exhibition/sharing opportunity at Yorkshire Artspace.
Grant awards will be decided before the end of April.
Online application, no fee.

Artists Benevolent Fund
Deadline: April/August

Grants of £2,000 - £5,000 to provide one-off support to enable artists to develop their careers, eg exhibition catalogue, materials, research travel, etc. Open to artists in England a Wales who work in 'what is traditionally described as the fine arts and the applied arts or craft, as well as those working in film, video and digital media.' Not open to those in full-time education or to support study, or residencies.
Apply online.

The South Square Trust
Deadline: April

The South Square Trust is a charity which assists individuals pursuing education in the arts. They award direct scholarships to a number of Schools and secondly by awarding grants to individuals who apply directly. Covers Fine and Applied Arts. Full-time only practical courses of undergraduate or postgraduate level, excluding foundation and research degrees (eg. PhD). Assistance to help with paying fees or for living expenses; no assistance for the purchase of equipment, private lessons or travel outside the UK.
Online application form. Two references required, preferably from your current tutors. The Trustees make a decision by July.

Arts Council England Artists' International Development Fund
Deadline: May

The programme offers early stage development opportunities for individual artists, writers and producers based in England to spend time building links with creators and cultural organisations in another country. Grants from £1,000 - £5,000).
In 2014, successful applicants visited Germany, Japan, Nigeria, India, Israel, Mongolia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, South Africa, Mali, Austria, Bangladesh, South Korea, Brzil, USA and Georgia. There were 211 eligible entries, of which 51 (24%) were successful.
There are case studies on the website.

Wellcome Trust Arts Awards
Deadlines: May/August

The Wellcome Trust Arts Awards support the creation of new artistic work that critically engages artists and audiences with biomedical science. Open to artists, scientists, curators, writers, academics, producers, directors and education officers. They encourage creative collaborations between art and science, which engages the public with biomedical science. Funding for up to £40,000 and over £40,000. Both Large and Small Arts Award schemes are highly competitive and they warn that they are often unable to fund even very good applications. High quality, imaginative artistic practice is a key feature of all successful application. They support 'professional, artist-led approaches to the subject matter that are likely to result in exciting and engaging work and the development of artistic practice.'

Henry Moore Foundation Grants
Deadlines: October / December 

Henry Moore Foundation Grants support sculpture 'across historical, modern and contemporary reisters, seeking to fund research that expands the appreciation of sculpture.' Among other things they provide Fellowships for Artist Residencies (I assume for those making sculpture!). The artist must be supported by a host institution for residencies that can last from two to six months. The host institution should apply for the grant. The maxium is £6,000.
Fullbright Awards for study in the US
Deadline: October

The Fullbright All-Discipline Postgraduate Student Awards offer up to 25 scholarships of up to $45,000 each year to UK citizens to support them in their first year of postgraduate or doctoral study, or for ‘special student research’ at a US university. Above and beyond this, they offer support, visa sponsorship, networking, mentoring, events etc. They are for all subjects. They are highly competitive and they recommend planning an application at least a year in advance. The selection criteria are academic excellence; ambassadorial skills with evidence of cultural sensitivity and a desire to learn more about the US and share aspects of British culture; leadership potential, and; a desire to further the Fulbright Programme and give back to your home country upon returning. 

Alumnus Florian Graf was a Fullbright Fellow 2009 - 2010

Artangel Open
Deadline: tba

A £1 million initiative for new site-specific commissions across the UK.  For artists working in any media to propose projects. Shortlisted artists will meet and develop their proposals with a range of influential cultural figures.

The European Association for Jewish Culture
Deadline: tba

A grant programme to provide part-funding for new exhibitions of contemporary art which 'address the Jewish experience'. Open to European (resident or national) visual artists with at least two years' arts practice and who have exhibited previously. Grants of up to €5,000 for the production and exhibiting of work. For exhibitions (painting, sculpture, photography, installations, electronic art), residencies, workshops, and 'design of Jewish artifacts'. Priority given to projects that show artistic excellence and innovation, cross-border relevance, opportunity for collaboration, well-developed dissemination plans, involving collaboration within cultural institutions and venues, medium to long-term lifespan, and financial viability.
Grants are decided three months from the close of applications.

Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Studentships
Deadline: January

A generous grant offering maintenance and research expenses to allow applicants to spend a period of 12 to 24 months on advanced study or research at a centre of learning in any overseas country (excluding the USA). Open to UK residents. Basic annual maintenance of £18,000, plus air fair. Other costs such as tuition fees and research costs are payable at the Trust's discretion.

Lighton International Artists Exchange Program
Deadline: Spring

Provides support for visual artists and arts professionals to travel to international residencies and artist communities and for foreign visual artists to travel to and work in the United States. Grants of up to $6,000.

Daiwa Foundation Art Prize
Deadline: tba 

A triennial prize which offers a British artist a first solo show at a gallery in Tokyo, Japan. Plus a period of support and introductions to key individuals and organisations in the Japanese contemporary art world. Plus an artist's fee of £5,000. The judges for 2015 were Hideki Aoyama, Gallery Director, Richard Deacon, artist, Mami Kataoka, Chief Curator, Chris Orr RA, artist, and Jonathan Watkins, Gallery Director.