Getting grants, getting support of art scene, funding, etc

Started by FreakAnimalFinland, March 24, 2022, 09:00:31 AM

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online prowler

I think grants in general and art grants are a wonderful thing.

We actually utilized such oppurtunities when we arranged noise concerts in Norway as partial funding for travel and salary fees for abroad noise artists. This way we where able to show bands like Fecalove, Bizarre Uproar, Arkhe, Shift, Trepaneringsritualen, Die Kombination, Cremation Lily, Jukka Siikala and others to a Norwegain audience.

Here, one may apply for grants nationally, via the county, commune. We received twice from the municipality of Oslo for self-organized events.

Personally, I am not interested in the politics surrounding the topic. I recognize grants as an opportunity and tool to realize thoughts and larger stage or art productions that might be economically difficult for a sole individual or a group of people. A grant is meant as a support - this is the basic premise - for an ongoing practice in art or music. The projects I was involved in were organized and executed in the same manner as self-funded events were. We applied for and received grants for partial funding. On no occasion were we asked or did alter any of the contents presented. In order to receive the funds, we had to file a formal report post event, and the funds where paid out.

I think I still have the concert support application for the BU, Arkhe, Shift and TxRxP event. If I can find it, I'd be willing to forward it to anyone considering to apply for support, who is reading Scandinavian languages. Text is written in Norwegian. If I cannot locate it, I can give advice on how to set up and write a support application.

online prowler

For anyone wondering how to set up a grant application. Here is the set up I used for the concert evening with BU, Shift, Arkhe and TxRxP. It is some years back now, so I am sure it is possible to make improvements on it today.

I recommend to check out the options, if any, your city, municipality, county or country have for you. In could be event support, material support and more. In general, event support are easier to get than the latter. Then the demands for indivdual practice, CV and plans exceed.

Try to be as presice and short as possible. The people reading your applications are not interested in your life story or hearing any fairytale. They need the facts of who, when, where, what, etc. Stay grounded, stay focused. Try, writing short informative sentences. Spend your time researching actual cost, what needs to be done, and set up a proper application. Rush jobs usually do not get any support and in the end are a waste of time and effort. For some the idea might seem overwhelming, but in reality it is a very practical excersice.

If you are unsure of what is needed or demanded in an application it is possible to talk to the institution responsible. In most cases, they will tell you what they need of information in order to process an application. You can also ask about how they recommend setting an application up if you are a first time applicant. Some even have own forms you need to fill out. Do not be hesitant to explore. A question can in the worst case, only get you a 'no' answer.

Set up for concert application.

Project description

Title of project, what are you applying for.

application details, support mode.
Event location, address.

Applicator and responsible individuals:

Event organiser roles:

- Contact person
- Event director / responsible individual for economy and execution
- Treasurer
- Other roles: For instance, sound, light, transport, food, etc.

Application re support (complete or partial)
Synopsis of who is applying, the amount, how the event is organized and financed. «The final budget is adjusted in accord of income» is a good line to use as one do not know the fina lbudget midst in organzing event or funds.

Key numbers:
Total expenses: 0000
Grant application: 000
Short sum of event / exhibition. Where it will be, who is performing. If the event is free or visitors have to pay admission.

About the organiser
Short info about as it says above.

Project description
What is to be presented.
Intention with the project.
Expected visitors.
About the venue.
Opening hours.
Event marketing.
List if any project documentation in sound, image and video.
List if any related music or art releases in connection with the event or post event.

Event plan.
Short description and listing of how the actual event is executed on opening day.

About the artists.
Short artist bios of the exhibiting or performing artists.

Project execution plan.
Short , detailed description and plan. Describe how event is executed and organised in detail. Describe how artists are paid, etc.


CVs from organiser and performing artists

PS! Keep the budget realistic. Research actual cost and factor this, do not inflate or guess numbers.

List what the budget includes: Expenses, income and application sum.

State if budget is designed to go in zero or profit. For projects like this I recommend zero.

Finance plan:
Describe how. Most likely most events on this level is a combination effort of: Voluntary work, self-financing, maybe a bar or admission fee, and possible other support avenues.

List where you have applied for other grants.

Budget overview.

In the budget, in section 'income', I recommend to monetise the Voluntary work being done. So, if 4 people work 10 hours for free, that is a total of 40 work hours at an x value.  

Total expenses:

Total income:

Application sum, where you are applying from:

Application sum, if any from other support foundations:

Result (if budget aimed to go in 0):  0.-

Detailed list of expenses with total summarisation.

Detailed list of income with total summarisation.


Quote from: FreakAnimalFinland on March 24, 2022, 09:00:31 AM

-Do you have some stubborn idea that "underground" should not overlap with "state funded art"?

Some of us used to refer to stuff like Oren Ambarchi,  Lucas Abela and Marco Fusinato as "business noise".

I don't really like the sounds that Ambarchi or Abela produces (while Fusinato is ok), I don't really consider any of those kind of artists to be active contributors to the harsh noise underground.


Art historically depended on wealthy patrons who took pride in employing artists.

In theory is a great idea but in practise there is a lot of compromise and dependency to that. You rely on those who have the means, you have to know the right people or to not provoke too much with what considered appropriate and fashionable. For example old school acts like Whitehouse, Non, Genocide Organ etc would never receive grants in the current cultural context.

Depending on others is never a good idea.

impulse manslaughter

I applied once for a grand from the local authorities for a series of 7 noise performances together with a friend. Took me 30 minutes to fill in a simple form, asked my uncle to help set up a foundation as this was a requirement and then got 17.000 euros in my bank account. Afterwards had to send them a short report including al the receipts. Applied the following year as well but it got denied and in the following years these kind of grands slowly were abolished. Here's a clip of the final result;

Also did 2 government sponsored tours overseas with bands I played in. Not a lot of money involved but it covered the plane tickets and the cost of renting a van. This kind of government funding for all kinds of cultural activities used to be pretty normal in Holland including underground music/art but these days only mainstream and professional bands qualify.


Not being an artist myself, but from a decade (96-06) of organizing concerts and other events, I can corroborate what Online Prowler wrote above. Scandinavian governments are indeed (or at least used to be) very generous with various forms of grants for supporting even marginal cultural expressions. As in Norway, here in Sweden it's possible to apply on state, regional, and municipal levels. Our organisation used to get the equivalent of 15,000 Euro annually in (non ear-marked) activity support. For special projects like one-off festivals there was possibility to apply for more. Most difficult is the paperwork for the first year, once you're recognized and inside the system, the wheels keep on turning.

Then there are other sources to tap is into. Wealthy geezers that set up foundations for donating to cultural ends. Embassies and their cultural affiliates (British Council, Goethe Institut, Alliance Français, etc). There's a lot out there if you care to look.

While we perhaps wouldn't have booked potentially controversial groups like Blood Axis or Bizarre Uproar, I feel we didn't compromise to any major extent. We had many of the top tier acts within noise, industrial, electronica, glitch, post-rock, you name it. Of course most of this could not have been done without the taxpayers' money.

Quote from: FreakAnimalFinland on March 24, 2022, 09:00:31 AM
...these have far more roots in tape-music/underground/mail-art and all sorts of DIY, while CMVH would be freelance curator at contemporary art & achitecture center, organizer of sound art events, being influenced for his art by 49th Biennale di Venezia type events rather than getting.. Atrax Morgue tapes from mailorder, heh heh..

Well, CM von Hausswolff wasn't born an internationally acclaimed sound artist and curator. He too grit his teeth in the underground. He was organizing sub-sub-cultural events and happenings in the early-to-mid 80's. There are Gothenburgers here that can say more on this topic.

Quote from: FreakAnimalFinland on March 24, 2022, 09:19:28 AM
Of course I appreciate the most the utmost total DIY, but there are occasions when I have played in places that probably have funding of some sorts. Or gigs that have gotten funding, and without that funding, things would no have happened in same way they did. Indirectly effecting what I do.

Yeah you and a couple of thousand other artists have played at Fylkingen, who wouldn't have sustained as an institution since 1933 were it not for public funding.


What about just borrowing money from the bank if you can't get free/state funded money?

Steve Underwood/As Loud As Possible #1: When you started taking Broken Flag as a serious proposition with the first vinyl release, did you get some funding? How did you support the label?

Gary Mundy: The only funding I ever got was bank loans. I used to borrow the money and then use the money from the sales of the records to pay it off, and then borrow more for the next one. There was very little profit on runs as short as I was doing, but that wasn't why I did the releases anyway.

And here's a short video of Bill Drummond talking about making records in the 1980s.

I can appreciate things have changed an awful lot in 40 years time (only two weeks to get records pressed!) but I still see this as the most obvious route for people being serious. Write a business plan, wear a suit and put skin in the game.


the problem is only a problem when considering politics of the artist; grants and arts funding are obviously not inherently "good" or "bad" in themselves. it is bad when people are hypocritical. is it hypocritical of the early death metal bands in sweden to form in the government youth center? not really. is it hypocritical for right wing black metal bands to do the same? well...


Quote from: theotherjohn on April 30, 2022, 11:17:28 PM
What about just borrowing money from the bank if you can't get free/state funded money?

I think this is entirely different thing. Money you loan, is still your money, that you will have to pay back eventually. Free state money is different thing. I was recently listening interview of people who work in Finnish movie business. Back in the day, the grants you got from state, were like they are (as far as I know) in many european states. If your movies is success, you have to pay back the money. In Finland that system was changed that even in moment when movie is success, breaks even (haha..) or perhaps makes little profit, you do not have to pay back the funding.

I would think for a lot of art, this loan you must back back would be good alternative system. If you really have trust in what you do, but just shortage of funds, then short term no interests loan in favor of advancing art would be good. Problem might be that artists are generally not businessmen, so paying back something appears to be challenge when money that comes back in tiny fractions will get easily consumed.

In these days, my strong assumption is that borrowing money from bank here in Finland, is possible mostly for those who do not need to borrow money. After financial crisis, it was growingly difficult to get money from bank.
E-mail: fanimal +a+ cfprod,com