Can I apply for the Kindling Fund?
Artists, curators, collectives, partnerships, arts writers, and artist-run spaces located in Maine are eligible to apply.
Artists who were funded in the previous year or who have received $15,000 in support from the Kindling Fund over their lifetime, students, incorporated 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations or artists living outside of Maine are not eligible to apply.
What kinds of Projects will the Kindling Fund support?
Projects supported by The Kindling Fund may include (but are not limited to):
- Curatorial projects that focus on unconventional artistic practice or research methods
- A web-based project or app
- Public art projects, interventions or site-specific installations
- The publication of writing directly related to the visual arts, in print or online
- Performance projects that incorporate the visual arts in meaningful ways
- The creation of a program that supports other artists (a residency, an exhibition space or series, etc.)
- Any artist-focused initiative that incorporates the visual arts and fits outside of traditional institutions
How much funding can I request for my project?
You may request $1,500 to $5,000
How many grants will you give out?
We typically give out 12 – 15 grants each year ranging from $1,500 up to $5,000
Do you have to live in Maine to apply?
Yes, the lead applicant must live in Maine in order to be eligible for grant funding.
Collaborators or participating artists can be from outside of Maine, though the grant is not intended to exclusively support collectives/projects outside of Maine.
Can I submit applications for multiple projects during the same round of the Kindling Fund?
Lead artists/organizers are allowed to submit only one application each year, but they may be involved as a collaborating artist in another project. The narrative and budget on the application should reflect this difference.
Does the Fund only support new projects?
Ongoing projects may submit applications, but the budgets and funding should support distinct chapters, iterations, or components of the project. The funds cannot be used to pay for past expenses or completed activities. Previously funded projects may not reapply for additional funding if they have received $15,000 of funding over the course of their lifetime.
Can projects reach beyond Maine?
All projects, including web-based and publishing projects should have a Maine focus but may also extend to audiences outside of the state.
What is the time frame for executing the project?
The proposed project and activities must occur within one year of receiving funding; otherwise, the grantee risks forfeiting the fund received. In the instance of a publication, website, or other projects that will continue into the future, they should be published or initially launched within one year of funding. All projects will be required to submit a report that outlines how the project was completed at the end of the year.
Can I include artist fees, stipends, or honoraria in my budget to compensate participants and/or myself?
Yes – we encourage you to pay yourself and any collaborators involved. For more information on paying artists, please visit wageforwork.com
I want to work with a nonprofit, commercial gallery or established organization as part of my project. The venue does not have enough funds to pay artist fees or provide other financial support. Can a Kindling Fund grant cover these costs? Does working with a non-profit or established organization make me ineligible? What about presenting at a university or museum?
The Kindling Find supports projects that are artist-initiated, independently managed, and not part of an organization’s regularly scheduled programming. The most compelling and competitive projects will be ones which don’t fit in established institutions or venues, occur in alternative spaces or use alternative practices. Preference will be given to projects that present work by multiple artists.
Some funded projects may have components that overlap with nonprofits, commercial galleries, museums, established institutions or other venues which provide additional support, such as the use of their facilities for a performance or event. Applicants who receive in-kind support from nonprofits or other established institutions are eligible to apply and should address the role that the organization has in their project somewhere in their application. We recommend that applicants upload a letter of commitment from the collaborating organization(s) that outlines their in-kind support for the project.
The Kindling Fund is not intended to cover costs related to a nonprofit, commercial gallery, museum, or other established organization’s regular programming, including production costs associated with the project and venue rental fees. If nonprofit or established organization made an explicit invitation to the applicant(s) to present work at their venue, then the Kindling Fund views this as part of the organization’s regular programming. We believe that these expenses should be covered by the nonprofit or established organization’s budget. Again, the most successful projects take place outside of traditional venues or occur within alternative spaces.
Alternative spaces include artist run spaces, the outdoors, public land, laundromats, bowling alleys, farms, garages, chicken coops, rivers, boats of any kind, and any number of spaces where art is not traditionally shown.
How many people need to see / experience the project for it to meet the public engagement requirement?
There isn’t a specific target number – you can have a stadium full or people or just a handful attend your project – the quality of the engagement is most important. A project that involves a smaller number of audience members, participants, or viewers but fully involves them may be more compelling than one that is exposed to lots of people but only superficially. Be sure to explain who your audience is and how you are inviting them to participate in your project in your proposal.
When listing proposed venues in the application, do they have to be confirmed?
Although an application that lists committed or confirmed venues–particularly one that is able to submit a letter of commitment–illustrate a more feasible project, The Kindling Fund understands that circumstances evolve over the course of the grant period. Even if you do not have confirmed venues, listing potential venues or ones that you have had some communication with is helpful to give the jury a sense of the project’s direction or lead applicant’s intentions for the project. We understand that presentation at these locations may be subject to change.
If your project includes the use of public land or facilities, it will help to show what efforts you’ve made to secure permission or permits. A letter of support or partnership could be helpful in some circumstances. The strongest applications demonstrate that discussions with venues have at least been initiated.
Can I apply for a grant to purchase equipment?
The purchase or rental of equipment may be included in your grant proposal budget as an expense related to a larger project. However, you may not apply for grant with the sole purpose of purchasing equipment.
Our collective incorporated in order to get a bank account, are we no longer eligible?
If as a group or collective you have made steps towards incorporation for banking or administrative purposes but are NOT a commercial or 501(c)3 entity, you are still eligible.
The Kindling Fund does not support commercial businesses or 501(c)3 tax exempt nonprofit organizations.
Some funded projects may have components that overlap with nonprofits, established organizations or other venues which provide additional support, such as the use of their facilities for a performance or event. Applicants who receive in-kind support from nonprofits or other established institutions should address the role that the organization has in their project somewhere in their application. We recommend that applicants upload a letter of commitment from the collaborating organization(s) that outlines their in-kind support for the project.
The Kindling Fund is not intended to cover costs related to a nonprofit or established organization’s regular programming, including production costs and venue rental fees associated with the project. We believe that these expenses should be covered by the nonprofit or established organization’s budget. If nonprofit or established organization made an explicit invitation to the applicant(s) to present work at their venue, then the Kindling Fund views this as part of the organization’s regular programming.
The most compelling and competitive projects will be ones which don’t fit in established institutions or venues, occur in alternative spaces or use alternative practices. Preference will be given to projects that present work by multiple artists.
What are the reporting requirements?
We ask all grantees to submit images and a simple statement at the midpoint and end of the cycle. If the project will continue beyond the grant period, we would like to be kept updated. We will post updates on our site and ask for periodic updates to share on social media platforms.
Why is SPACE offering this grant program?
SPACE is helping to build a sustainable arts ecology in Maine where the value and labor of artists are made visible in the public realm. We advocate for artistic excellence, critical dialogue, and inventive practices. We can leverage our position within the granting community to support Maine artists and to develop responsive programs that address artists needs.