Applying for the Creative Capital Award as a Collaboration

Artistic collaborations and collectives are eligible and encouraged to apply for a Creative Capital Award. We know that collaboratives come in all shapes and sizes, so we are clarifying a few guidelines about them to know when submitting an application. Keep in mind that the information for all members of an artistic collaboration must be agreed upon and entered in the application, or else that collaborator won’t be recognized if the project is awarded.

Creative Capital allows between two to five collaborators on each project. “Collaborator” or “collective member” is someone who is a co-owner of the project and generative part of the team. It is imperative that these “co-owners” be designated on the initial application. On the other hand, people who provide services on a “work for hire” basis for the project are not considered collaborators.

Generally, collaborative projects fall within a couple of categories: ongoing team or collective collaborations, or one-time collaborations. In each case, collaboratives should select one person as their main contact, as Creative Capital will need to ensure that resources are being distributed equally and fairly.

Ongoing Team or Collective Collaborations
We often see two to five artists joining forces to regularly work on projects, and they sometimes produce work under a group name. These collectives can apply under the group name, but the information of each individual artist should be entered into the application (contact info, name, location, website, etc.) whether or not it is intended for external communications.

For example, the artist collective Fallen Fruit is made up of two artists, David Burns and Austin Young. When we speak about the work they make together, they are referred to as Fallen Fruit. On our website, their project is made by Fallen Fruit, but we reference the two individual artists below their collective bio.

Another example is The TEAM, a group of performing artists pioneering how theater works are made. Each member has their own respective practices and make distinctive work—and we note that on our website—but when they work together, they are The TEAM. The collective known as Eva and Franco Mattes exclusively make work as a collaboration, and never as individuals, so they are noted as a single entity.

In every example, each individual artist that make up the collective will be required to sign letters of agreement with Creative Capital to receive support.

If applying as this kind of collective, be prepared to point to an ongoing body of work. It’s possible that members of collectives drop out, and go on to do their own work, and that’s OK! We understand that working relationships evolve even after a project receives a Creative Capital Award. However, artists cannot be added to receive the Award after the applications are submitted.

One-Time Collaborations
If you are making work together with another artist for the first time, you are welcome to apply for a Creative Capital Award as a unified team. We understand that collaborations may be necessary for one-off projects, but the application must be approved and reviewed by all members of the collaboration, and not just the leader that you have selected for your team. Keep in mind that if your collaboration receives an award, all parties in the collaboration will be required to sign a letter of agreement stating their intention to finish the project together.

For example, artists Shaun Leonardo, Melanie Crean and Sable Elyse Smith received the Creative Capital Award for their project Mirror / Echo / Tilt. While they may go on to do future work together, they applied as a first-time collaboration.

Whereas ongoing collectives will have a body of work that they made together to point to in their application, one-time collectives will not. These types of collectives will need to make a very strong case regarding their commitment to work together for the entire multi-year life cycle of the project in order to be competitive. Because the Creative Capital Award represents a long-term commitment of support beyond the life a project, we want to ensure that members of a collaboration are equally committed to working together.

For any other questions about collaborations, email [email protected].

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