I came across a post on a blog called Mira’s List called “Finding Money for your Dreams” and I was immediately drawn in. This article is about asking for money in the form of Grants for creative writing or artistic work. Mira lets the reader in on her own story, then launches into grant myth-breaking. She says that although you don’t have to be famous or know someone, you do have to have talent. Mediocracy doesn’t cut it. So how do you know if you are any good at what you do? As a “slush pile” worker for a granting agency, Mira tells us that applications that credit Grandma as their biggest fan, or state that the jury will like their art because “everyone does” go directly in the ‘no’ pile. So who’s opinion counts? Your peers, the curator of the local public gallery, people who buy your art, juries for group art shows, art instructors to name a few. The point is to get your work out there. Don’t hide it under your couch like my grandmother did. She was an accomplished hand potter who dug her own clay from the banks of the river, taught community classes in pottery and hid her best work under her furniture. She didn’t believe that her work was valid. As creative people, our work is always valid. It is a way of communicating opinions, thoughts, ideas, and observations. It can be a record of cultural influences, personal history, struggles, joys and sorrows. Those of us who are compelled to create have an important place in society and those who offer grants believe in what we do. They ‘want’ to see us succeed. If you are a creative person, do yourself a favour, go to Mira’s list and read her post, then ‘ask’ for what you need in the form of a grant. I know I will!
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