Student Engagement

Focus: Artist Grant Program

Artists, writers, performers and musicians! Apply for funding for your creative ideas through Focus, a campus organization supporting students in the arts since 1972. Individuals or groups of students of all majors may apply for up to $600 for artistic projects done outside of the classroom. Grants support creation and presentation of new work in visual art, apparel design, writing, theater, dance and musical performances. Funding for Focus Grants is made possible through Student Government; awards are determined by a committee of students, faculty, and staff representing a broad range of the arts. Proposals that most often receive funding show imagination and motivation, have a clear timeline of production, a detailed budget, and a dedicated advisor.

Deadlines

Grant applications are accepted twice a year: April 1 (First Round) and October 1 (Second Round). Performances must take place by mid-March. Visual projects will be exhibited at the Memorial Union in late March for about a month, and a reception will be held to honor the artists and see excerpts from performing and literary projects.

Guidelines
Funded projects may not to be used to receive course credit or as part of a graduate thesis.

Funded projects must be completed according to the schedule provided by the Focus Committee. The committee may ask for a refund of the money expended toward any project not completed on time or not turned in by the deadline.

Focus Grant recipients will receive a Purchasing Card from Campus Organizations Accounting (COA) for all grant-related expenditures. A separate agreement must be signed with COA to receive your card. 

Please read the Focus Grant Application Guidelines for all eligibility requirements and rules for submission.  

Role of Project Advisors

Advisors must be a faculty member with expertise in the project area, and need to provide a written recommendation. (Specific information can be found on the Focus Applications Page.) If your project crosses disciplines, consider having more than one. 

Advisors agree to meet regularly with students to assess progress and troubleshoot. It is the student's responsibility to set up meetings with their advisor.

Advisors will need to submit 1-2 (very brief) progress reports during the course of the project that will accompany the student's visual review meetings with the Focus Committee. (Specific information can be found on the Focus Post Award Page.)

Evaluation of Proposals

The Focus Committee will evaluate proposals based on the following points:

  • Extent to which the applicant presents a convincing rationale for funding the project. The proposal should demonstrate discipline, imagination, and creativity.

  • Extent to which funding the project will contribute to the artistic development of the applicant.

  • Extent to which the methodology proposed will result in the successful completion of the project. The project should be realistic, given time and budget constraints.

Hearings 

Hearings with each applicant are scheduled to allow the committee time to ask questions about the proposal and see examples of the individual's (or group's) work. The hearings last 5 - 10 minutes, and students can bring examples and/or images of previous work to share with the committee. Hearings will be scheduled after the grant proposal is received.

2022-2023 Grants
April 1, 2022                        Applications for First Round Grants Due
April 7, 2022                       Grant Hearings & Award Announcements for First Round Grants
September 10, 2022           Written Progress Reports Due for First Round Students & Advisors
September 12, 2022           Visual Progress Reviews for First Round Students
October 1, 2022                  Applications for Second Round Grants Due 
October TBD                       Grant Hearings & Award Announcements for Second Round Grants
January 25, 2023                Written Progress Reports Due for First and Second Round Students & Advisors
February TBD                     Final Visual Progress Reviews for First and Second Round Students
March 1, 2023                     Project Summaries Due for Inclusion in Brochure
March 20, 2023                  Focus Project Dropoff at the MU Art Gallery (Specific time TBA)
March 26 - April 26, 2023   Focus Exhibit on Display
April 1, 2023                        Applications for First Round Grants for 2023-2024 Due
April TBD                             Focus Exhibit Reception at the MU Art Gallery
 

Focus: Artist Grant Program Committee Members

Letitia Kenemer, Committee Chair, Memorial Union Art Programs
Jia Lan Chow, Student Representative
Kristine Heflin, Associate Director, Memorial Union
Raluca Iancu, College of Design Representative

Brenda Jones, College of Design Representative
Dan Neubauer, College of Design Representative
Elizabeth Reeves, Student Representative

Robert Sunderman, Music and Theater Representative
Olivia Valentine, College of Design Representative
Rochelle Zuck, English Department Representative

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