It may seem like I dropped off of the face of the planet. I did not. I just went to Portland, Oregon for a week. Here I am on the plane. For those of you who might want to know–I did not spill any red wine on my neighbor’s white jeans. I know. WHO wears white jeans on a plane? But that is a story for another day.
Portland really is keeping weird, and I LOVE that.
I titled the speech THE ART OF THE WORD– Getting Grants and Other Art Opportunities by Crafting a Well-Written Proposal. I had several conference attendees tell me that they were DREADING attending my lecture, and that they almost didn’t. And then they did, and they were happy. I love it when it goes like that. SAQA members who were not at the conference have asked me to share the key points of the speech.
To avoid the dreaded uber long–too many words and not enough pictures– blog post, I am going to break this down into several parts.
Part I– Writer + Quilter = Opportunity
Part II–Start Where Are, Do the Work, Show Us What You’ve Got
Part III– Get Your Systems Going
Part IV– Networking AKA Meeting New People
Part V–Apply, Apply, Apply
Part VI–Follow Up and Follow Through
Here we go.
I started out my adult life as a writer. I have two degrees in writing–a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Kansas and a MFA in creative writing from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. I used those skills to teach journalism, creative writing, and Intro to Women Studies at Prince William Sound Community College in Valdez, Alaska.
Then one day, I became a quilter, and I never, ever wanted to write again. All I wanted to do was CUT, STITCH, and PRESS over and over again. Do you see the gnome on the shelf and the vintage Norwegian sweater? THAT was my life.
But eventually, the youngest went to school, and I decided that was my chance to go out into the wider world of quilting and learn about my place in it. I wrote a grant and received funding to study with Nancy Crow for THREE weeks. I had not left my family since I had our oldest son. No matter what they looked like in this picture (it was taken at the airport moments before I boarded the plan)–They did survive.
Since then, I have received a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award to build a small solar powered studio in the garage of our off-the-grid cabin in McCarthy, Alaska.
I have received several awards from the Rasmuson Foundation including an eighteen thousand dollar fellowship,
and a two month paid artist residency at the McColl Center for Art and Innovation in Charlotte, North Carolina. There is the best upholstery store in Charlotte called Modern Fabrics. (I know I look like a dumpster diver, but I really am working.)
I have written proposals that were accepted by the Bellevue Arts Museums for their 2012 Biennial High Fiber Diet
and by the Surface Design Association to be one the featured artists for their conference in San Antonio, Texas. (Filling empty walls is scary and amazing all at the same time.)
And finally, I was one of four artists featured in the group show fiber at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, Ohio.
So how did I do that? THAT is what the ART OF THE WORD is about. You can do this too. It just takes a wee bit of tenacity AKA as rejection.
Over the next few blog posts, I am going to break down my systems for you.
I hope this will be a conversation, a dialogue.
Questions for today–How do you feel about writing? What trips you up? What gets you going? Why does everyone think grant writing is so boring? I think we need to change the name–it is no longer grant writing. It is CHA-CHING writing.
Let’s do it.