The main difference between winning and losing proposals is clarity. Panel reviewers read dozens, sometimes hundreds of applications, often with a short amount of time to review each proposal. If it is unclear what your project is, what it will look like, or why it matters, then it is unlikely your project will make it to the top. This doesn’t mean you need to have everything perfectly spelled out before you’ve even started the project, but it does require giving the grant-reviewing panel a strong idea of your proposed direction.
If you were to sit down with me to brainstorm a direction for a grant proposal, after you’ve determined the general project idea and reviewed the questions, I would ask, “What’s the story here?” Each answer is an opportunity to pull the reader in through storytelling. Does the project or idea stem from a particular incident that can form a unique hook? Differentiate your project from all of the other proposals by making it as unique as you are.
What I mean by story is start with a clear idea that you build and expand. Use structure to keep your writing on topic. Remember in high school when they taught you the three paragraph essay? At the time, I honestly thought this was something I would never need to use again. I actually used to copy my introduction paragraph in the conclusion spot to make it seem like I had written more because I’ve always thought I was a slow writer. Now, I just skip the conclusion paragraph altogether for brevity. The general structure though, I use all the time. Write a conceptual thesis, and then break it down into supporting paragraphs, and then support each of those paragraphs with specific evidence.
What that looks like in the form of a grant proposal is a broad overview of what the project is, that becomes increasingly more specific as you write. Supporting paragraphs can expand what it will look like, how you will make it, and even connect your theme to contemporary events. I’m of the opinion that every sentence of your proposal should be purposeful, focused point. If you go in too many directions, trying to nail down every possible interpretation, you risk clarity and possibly the readers interest.
It is better to write it simply, the way you would explain it to a complete stranger, than it is to is to veer into vague art speak. Then elevate your proposal with a dash of poetic language used sparingly for feeling. Ask your peers to describe your work and then keep that language in a document “word bank” that you can refer to when writing proposals for that added flair.
Once you have a solid project written out, look for ways to expand projects by re-using said applications. I call this recycling, and I do it because it’s sustainable. For example, if you get the a project funded, then perhaps look for a residency that can provide the studio space and solitude to get it done. Finding multiple streams of income is not only financially responsible, it’s a good way to be productive and efficient. I keep everything I’ve written in a searchable repository like Google Docs or Evernote for this purpose.
C4 Atlanta is proud to announce the twelve artists selected into the Hatch Training Intensive for Fall 2017. This will be the fourth cohort of artists that have participated in the Hatch Program since it was started in 2015.Over the next four months these artists will learn skills for creating art projects with community, with a final culminating public presentation on December 16, 2017.
The Hatch Training Intensive was established as a training program through C4 Atlanta in October 2015 with the generous support of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. The course is a result of three years of collaboration, research and curriculum development with both national and local experts in the field of community driven art projects. The purpose of the program is to address the skills needs of artists working in a variety of community contexts. The artists work independently and in groups to build skills for a variety of different community work. While many of the artists who participate are already active in community projects, others seek out the program in order to gain the skills and vocabulary necessary for more specialized work such as urban development or planning projects.
A major program focus is building “soft” skills in cultural organizing, understanding and establishing identity, identifying key community stakeholders, and working with community in ways that are sustainable for both artists and community members. In addition, one thing that makes the Hatch Training Intensive unique from other community art programs is that it also emphasizes important career development skills necessary to do social and civic practice work, including working with city planners, applying for RFPs/RFQs, negotiation and budgeting.
“Through this training program, we hope to provide greater access to resources for artists doing community work,” said Executive Director Jessyca Holland. “We’re incredibly proud of the work our past Hatch artists are doing around Atlanta, regionally, and even internationally. ”
“We want to make sure that not only do the artists benefit from the training, but that they also benefit from working with each other so closely, ” said Education Manager Audrey Gámez. “There is a lot of hands-on group work in this program, which helps with developing skills for collaboration and broadens the participants’ artistic networks.”
Selection of artists for this cohort was made by an independent committee of public art professionals who work directly with artists. The committee included Katherine Dirga of MARTA Artbound, Brandon Jones of WonderRoot, and Josh Phillipson of the Atlanta Regional Commission.
Artists selected to the Spring 2017 Hatch Training Intensive include:
Angela Bortone – Painter, Video Artist, Arts Critic
Angela Bortone is a painter, video artist and freelance art critic. She mixes other people’s voices into her paintings and videos. Born in the Dominican Republic, Bortone was raised in Brooklyn and spent nearly a decade abroad in Germany before moving to Atlanta in 2002. She earned a BFA in studio art with a concentration in drawing, painting and printmaking from Georgia State University in 2010.
Sally Eppstein – Sculptor, Visual Artist
Sally was raised in Augusta, Georgia but her first real education was moving to New York City and going to school at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Living in the city and being exposed to so much diversity with all the different nationalities and so many art museums was a huge part of her education. She majored in jewelry where she did both design and studio work. After Sally completed the associate program, she moved back to her hometown to complete her B.F.A. at Augusta College (now Augusta State University).
After receiving her B.F.A, Sally taught art for 10 years to kindergartners through high school students in both public and private schools. While teaching she continued her art practice by selling jewelry and paintings throughout the southeast.
The biggest influence in Sally’s art has always been nature. Her latest series of paintings has focused on different feathers of song birds, birds of prey, and waterfowl. As part of her Artist-in-residence at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve she made an eight foot tall stainless steel feather sculpture. Sally sees feathers as being so fragile just as she sees our environment which has inspired her to be come a big tree activist.
Sally was inspired to start to do sculpture when she saw the Art on the Beltline and it is amazing how many skills that she had learned from her jewelry training have translated for her large totems.
Other achievements are getting into Vermont Studio Center, being awarded the first Artist-in-residence at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, being awarded an Emerging Artist Award for the Gasparilla Festival in Tampa, FL and being a part of Art Leaders of Metro Atlanta with Atlanta Regional Commission 2016.
Bria Goeller is passionate about art and social change. Bria works in a multitude of mediums including photography, film, 2D visual art, sound art, graphic design, creative writing and illustration/comics. Already a leader in her own right, Bria has been the Director of Design & Technology for TEDxEmory, Executive VP of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, Executive Board Member for the Homeless Outreach Awareness Project, Founding Member and Design Chair of MR.MA’AM: Emory’s Queer Literary and Art Journal, and Genre and Visual Arts Editor for The Pulse Anthology. Bria is currently a student at Emory University studying English/Creative Writing and Interdisciplinary Studies.
S. Promised Gourdet – Culinary Arts, Photographer, Stylist
Promised Land Kitchen explores the intersection of food, imagination, taste and community. Promised has partnered with community gardens, local food purveyors and food justice advocates in the fight for food sovereignty in under-served communities in metro Atlanta. She strives to address the urgency in addressing malnutrition and food insecurity in our communities, and the link between dietary habits and overall health and wellness.
Rachel Graf Evans – Theatre Artist, Composer
Rachel Graf Evans is a writer and theatre artist most interested in the telling of forgotten and silenced stories.
Rachel Graf Evans grew up in in Baltimore, Jerusalem, and Jakarta, before attending Quaker boarding school in Westtown, PA. After one year in the musical theatre performance training program at NYU – CAP21, she transferred to Oberlin College. She graduated from Oberlin with High Honors BA in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, as well as a BA in theatre, for the writing and composition of Vessel: A New Musical. RGE currently serves as the Dramatists Guild Regional Young Ambassador for Atlanta, is a member of Working Title Playwrights, and recently completed a Playwright Apprenticeship at Horizon Theatre Company. Her work can be read on the New Play Exchange.
Prior to Atlanta, RGE spent four years in NYC working in various capacities (including as playwright, producer, props designer, and/or performer) with New Georges, LCT3 at Lincoln Center, PowerOutNYC, Hot Pepper Theatre, York Theatre Company, Fresh Fruit Festival and Theatre for the New City’s Dream Up Festival.
She is an Associate Member of the NYC women’s barbershop chorus Sirens of Gotham.
Alison Hamil – Visual Artist, Graphic Designer
Alison Hamil’s creative spark began at an early age. As a child, she was constantly building, sculpting, making, and creating. She fondly remembers doing imaginative things like constructing a robot entirely out of recycled materials on a whim, and holding an art show at a pop-up gallery in her parents’ garage. Throughout her childhood, she won several art contests, and decided to be a cartoonist in fourth grade. That didn’t quite pan out, but she wasn’t far off.
In high school, Alison realized that she was the only student not using ceramics class as an excuse to slack off, so she decided to pursue formal training and a career in art. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Georgia State University with a concentration in Drawing and Painting in 2010. She also studied the art of graphic design while she was in school, and now specializes in using what she’s learned to bridge the gap between technology and traditional drawing and painting.
Currently, Alison is a working artist in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. She has a diverse body of work including murals, sign painting, graphic design, paintings on paper, and drawings. Most of her work incorporates bold colors, patterns, symmetry, and bright colors.
Alison has been awarded several scholarships, and was named Best Emerging Visual Artist in Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta 2013. Although she is based in Atlanta, Georgia, she has painted murals in various places across the globe including Nicoya, Costa Rica, and Kefalonia, Greece, and several various towns throughout North Carolina. She has exhibited in Kibbee Gallery, Mason Murer Gallery, The Granite Room, MOCA GA, MINT Gallery and Gallery 1526, and she has been included in several art showcases in Atlanta, including the 2013-15 and 2017 Hambidge Art Auction and Performance Gala.
Erin Hayes – Plant Artist
After returning to Atlanta from teaching in international schools in the United Arab Emirates and Brazil, Erin Hayes found herself back in her hometown of College Park, Georgia eager to get involved in the revitalization efforts taking place around Atlanta. As a third generation educator, Erin has long realized the role that education plays in one’s life. Hailing from a long line of gardeners, Erin brings her varied interests in city development, education and horticulture as well as her experiences from living abroad to the forefront of her work. After the passing of a dear friend in March of 2017, Erin began to seek ways to honor his legacy by bringing city-dwellers closer to their natural world. She conceived the idea of combining enterprise, urban farming and horticulture along with education to address the accessibility gaps that largely affect young men and women in her community.
Christopher Jones – Graphic Designer, Visual Artist
Christopher Jones is the founder of SeeJones Creative, LLC, a creative services firm that helps mission-driven organizations and visionary leaders expand their reach through impactful visual communications. Notable projects include: a community mural in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood; helping a local co-working space to build a sense of community within its space through incorporating hand-drawn chalk murals on its walls; developing brand identity and marketing collateral for several non- and for-profit entities.
Christopher earned a BFA in graphic design from The University of Tennessee and an MBA in Marketing from Lincoln Memorial University. His career path has revolved around serving in leadership roles and providing corporate communications for non-profits. Chris feels that because of his background in service to his community, he understands the challenges that the organizations that he works with have faced.
Krista Jones (“Jonesy”) – Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Muralist
Jonesy is an Atlanta based Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Muralist. She has over a decade of professional graphic design experience and provides services in print advertising and design, logos, branding, illustration, hand-painted signage, residential and commercial murals. Her public art can be seen in Decatur and Avondale Estates and her illustrations in local shops around Atlanta. She is a published designer, writer and illustrator. Jonesy’s artwork has been featured multiple times on the cover of Aquarius Magazine. Some of her clients include: Atlanta BeltLine, Unscripted Way, Sustainable Wellness, Aquarius Magazine, Brandshake Creative, Precision Performance Atlanta, Expression Chiropractic, Virtually Staging Properties, Lake Claire Community Land Trust and City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.
Tiffany LaTrice – Visual Artist, Curator, Arts Administrator
Tiffany Latrice is an Atlanta based visual artist, curator and arts administrato. In her work, she seeks to understand the psychology of human emotion through the female body. The female body is used as a means to unveil the variety of emotions, especially the emotions that are hidden deep within a woman. She has always been passionate about women’s stories and how she depicts those stories on canvas. With a degree in international relations with a concentration in gender, culture, and global society from the University of Southern California and a masters in women’s history from Sarah Lawrence College, her art is a feminist statement that seeks to combat androcentric world views of women’s role in society. Through her compositions and texture, she tells the story of marginalized voices and systematic oppression. By the use of bold colors and vivid brush strokes, she moves women from marginalized spaces to spaces of power and agency. She combats objectification and commodification by allowing the viewer to undergo a journey through the elaborate imagery that she depicts on the canvas.
Tiffany is the Founder and Executive Director of TILA Studios, a visual arts incubator, co-working and shared gallery space serving female visuals artists in Metro Atlanta area. Located in East Point, GA, TILA Studios strives to be a place where women can work, collaborate, and exhibit to create a more inclusive art industry where women’s voices are heard and recognized.
L S Lewis – Sculptor, Fabricator, Writer, Actor, Comedian
Working in mixed media to accurately express the emotional language that underlies current events, L S Lewis’ work captures human processes in various struggles in a relatable and often humorous manner. L S has participated in several group gallery shows and has independently undertaken public installations. She resides in Atlanta, GA.
Bethany Pelle – Ceramicist, Arts Educator
Bethany Pelle is an artist, craftsperson, and educator with over four years teaching experience at the university level. Bethany has twelve years of technical experience in support of academic, commercial and private ceramics studios. She is an ardent supporter of greater inclusivity, equality, and social justice. Bethany is currently an Adjunct Professor at Northern Kentucky University. Bethany brings a breadth of perspective and connections to the diverse art communities in Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and New York.
The selected artists will present their final public presentation on December 16, 2017 from 2-4pm at Fuse Arts Center. Hatch artists will present group projects that represent hypothetical community scenarios which they may encounter as part of their work. Though the prompts are hypothetical, all are based on actual RFPs or Calls for Artists. These projects allow the artist to exercise skills learned in Hatch without fear of harm to themselves or an actual community during the learning process. More information and RSVP for the final presentations will be available online at c4atlanta.org/training at a later date.