Now Accepting Applications for the 2022 Creative Capital Awards
Creative Capital helps visionary artists in all disciplines build thriving careers, and every year we review applications from artists ready to take the next step in their creative practices. The selected artists receive the Creative Capital Award, which includes up to $50,000 in funding for bold new projects, as well as a wide range of counsel, career development, and networking opportunities to make their work come to life.
Artists can submit their project ideas through a free application. This application helps us identify a selection of artists working at the forefront of their fields. It’s designed to provoke deep thought about project ideas to determine intention, impact, timeliness, and capacity.
Due to the ongoing impact of extreme weather across southern states of the US, we have extended the deadline for the Creative Capital Award application to Monday, March 8, 2021 at 4pm ET.
The application for the Creative Capital Awards is competitive—of the thousands of applications we receive, we are only able to select a limited number of artists each year to receive an award. The application also takes time to complete (requiring at least an hour) and the final results are not announced until later in the year. However, we hope that the application serves to provoke deep reflection about creative practice and project development. Download our application toolkit for a guide about everything to know about the application, including a checklist with items you need to complete it.
What Type of Work Are We Looking For?
Creative Capital looks for projects that redefine and reimagine what art is and what it can do. Projects should challenge the status quo and provoke conversations about the topics they are engaging.
What matters most in the application is the strength, vision and originality of the project idea, capacity of the artist to make it happen, and how the project development fits in with the trajectory of the artist’s overall creative practice.
The application is designed to provide a glimpse at the core ideas of an artist’s project idea and career. We know that projects evolve, shift, and change over the course of their development, and in fact we expect that this will happen for artists that receive the award.
Timeline and Capacity
The first year after receiving the Creative Capital Award involves a lot of engagement. We encourage artists to slow down with their projects during this time to take advantage of the resources we offer. That’s why we are looking for projects in early stages of development that will premiere to the public about two to five years after receiving the award.
In addition to explaining a compelling and original project idea, applicants should describe why this project is a new step in their careers. If an artist has a history of making a specific type of work, and they apply with a project that appears to be an extension of that work, it might not be as competitive when compared to other projects.
Direct Funding Support
The Creative Capital Award comes with $50,000 in project funding, given at strategic amounts meant to help in different stages of project development.
The budget requirement in the application is to get a sense of the project and how the artist plans to make it work. The total project budget doesn’t need to come to $50,000—it might take far more money to fully execute an ambitious idea. This budget is an opportunity to tell a different story about what it will take to make a vision into reality.
What are Nonmonetary Services?
In addition to funding, it takes all kinds of nonmonetary services to make original new work. The core of these services include networking and gathering opportunities with a range of peers and professionals from across the arts.
The Creative Capital Award also comes with access to a range of services ranging from legal and financial counsel to business and communications skills—essentially any tool for pushing one’s practice outside of the actual creative process. How an artist uses these resources is up to them, and it can vary immensely depending on one’s situation, location, or field.
How COVID Might Affect Project Timelines
As a national organization working with artists and venues across the country, we understand how the pandemic has affected and disrupted communities and the creative process. Creative Capital’s commitment to artists is for the long-term, and it is designed to withstand challenges such as the ones we face today. While it may be difficult to imagine what a world might look like in which we can all experience art in person again, we do anticipate that this will be a reality soon, and we look forward to helping artists get through to that time.
Tips for Artists in Different Disciplines
This year, we hosted five different info sessions speaking to artists and professionals in different disciplines. Watch these info sessions through our YouTube channel.
Since Creative Capital often supports projects that blur boundaries between discipline, field, and genre, it’s common that many of the artists applying for an award identify as multidisciplinary. The award application allows for selecting up to two disciplines that best describe a project. Some artists even identify with more than this, but classifying work by one to two disciplines helps us choose reviewers who are best qualified to understand it.
When determining which discipline to select, artists should think about the ways in which their audience will experience the project in the future: will they read it in a book, will they see it performed in a theater-type setting, will they stream it online, will they see it in a gallery? This can help indicate which disciplines are the most relevant.
Not all artists readily have examples of the work they are proposing in their application, and that’s ok. A good work sample helps the reviewer, who probably isn’t familiar with every artist’s work, begin to imagine the future project. Artists can use the description field to make the connection between the image or video of a past work, and the future project proposed in the application. The application asks for six work samples, except for writers and literary artists who can submit three written work samples, or up to 25 pages in total. More information about work sample requirements can be found on the application.
Submitting an Application and What Happens Next
The Creative Capital Award application is competitive — we get thousands of applications each year. Many artists who receive the award have applied to more than one awards cycle. So, we encourage all artists to continue applying with new ideas.
After hitting the submit button, applicants should receive an automatic confirmation email. (Make sure to check your spam folder and make sure you are signed up to receive our emails.) There are three rounds to evaluation and the process will last through the fall (check out our timeline). We know that it can take a lot of time and effort to complete the application, so we take the work all artists share with us very seriously.
Read more about the Creative Capital Award on our website.