This summer I had an eye opening experience when I was invited to partake in the Creative Capital Summer Intensive, a free, four-day professional development workshop and a unique opportunity for artists from New York to Lusaka Zambia to collaborate, share best practices and learn from prominent leaders working and living as artists today.
On the first day, I sat in between artist from all over the world and was surprised to have been selected to be part of this program for the simple fact that for my whole life I had never seen myself as an artist. I had been an actress, a journalist, and now a filmmaker, but to me, those were professions and not explorations of art. Obviously, this is just a matter of perception, and mine comes from my family's negative opinion of art and the ability to make a living as an artist. I had to fight very hard to take the creative path I took with my family and still to this day they are surprised that I manage to make a living with my "art."
What I realized in the CCSI is that to justify myself to my family and myself, I had convinced myself that I was practicing a craftsmanship instead of art. This has had a variety of consequences from stifling my artistic voice in order to fit industry standards to never ever applying for a grant or a fellowship. Both have held me back in my career and more importantly in my artistic impression.
Leaving the CCSI, having finally embraced the fact that I am an artist, I have felt the freedom to focus on projects that truly align with my artistic voice and vision, which have helped me be more successful in my career and helped me earn a better living. Furthermore, I now feel I have permission to apply for grants and fellowships and have applied to a couple.
The process of applying for grants and fellowships is whole complicated process and art form in itself. I am learning with every application and wish I had started a lot earlier because most foundations like you to apply numerous times before they award you a grant or fellowship. But another challenge that one faces before that is that these grants and fellowships are not easy to find. There are some lists out there, but they are not complete.
To make it easier for myself to keep track of all grants and fellowships out there and their deadlines, I created a spreadsheet over the last couple of months. I finally feel I have aggregated most grants, fellowships, workshops and residencies that are relevant to a filmmaker, VR content creator, and writer, and I want to share them with my fellow artists in film, VR, and writing.
The spreadsheet lives on Google Drive, and I will continue to add to this list as I come across other grants and fellowships. So check back for it. But you can download it now and make changes that make it more useful for you.
You can also leave comments that you think are helpful, but you cannot change any of the other columns.