Photo credit: Leslie the Pony Lion and Amy. Photo © Sara Muskulus
Community Art and Civic Engagement Program: Grants
Purpose. To support artists and organizations around the mid-Atlantic region in their efforts to develop innovative, collaborative, community-focused art and civic engagement projects.
Eligibility. Artists and organizations that share a passion for the burner ethos and demonstrate a commitment to bringing participatory, interactive art, or forward-thinking collaborative projects to their communities may apply. Programs and projects that are solely based on artistic endeavors and do not have a community or civic aspect will most likely not be considered for funding. Priority will be given to individuals and teams that have demonstrated a commitment to the FirePony Creative Society community, and those projects which are endorsed by one of Burning Man’s Regional Contacts. Applicants may apply as an individual or as an organization. Organizations must be a registered non-profit in the US in good standing.
Projects designed for specific events such as Playa del Fuego or Constellation should apply for event-specific art grants.
Examples of Allowable Costs:
- Materials, Insurance, Engineering, Shipping, Fabrication and Installation Services, Permits, Artists’ Fees, Copyright Registration, Plaque and Dedication Costs, and Photographic Documentation.
Examples of Unallowable Costs:
- Community Art and Civic Engagement Grants may not be used to purchase food and beverages, fund colleges, universities or other government agencies, or purchase individual pieces of equipment or tools over $100. Funds may also not be used for direct fundraising, or promotional efforts.
- $2k or Under: Projects may be sponsored by individuals or organizations. Matching funds are not required.
- Above $2k: Projects may be sponsored by individuals or organizations. Applicants may request up to $2k in additional matching funds through the Community Art and Civic Engagement Grant Program. All funds to be distributed through the grant will be released once required matching funds are submitted.
Examples of Fund Distribution:
- Projects valued at $2k or lower. Matching funds are not required. Grant funds will be awarded in full once approved and contract is signed.
- $3,500 Project. $2k plus an additional $750 grant to match $750 raised by the grantee. The grantee must submit documentation of $750 for the awarded $2750 to be released. Funds will be awarded in full once documentation has been approved and contract is signed.
- $10,000 project. Grantees may apply for $2k plus an additional $2k grant, to be matched to funds raised by the grantee. The grantee must submit documentation of the remaining $6k for the awarded $4k to be released. Funds will be awarded in full once documentation has been approved and contract is signed.
Application Rounds and Notification: Application rounds for the Community Art and Civic Engagement Grant Program will be open twice a year. Applicants will be notified of their grant status within 45 days of the application deadline.
- For projects $2k and under, Interim Reports must be turned in 60 days after the grant award, and must include a detailed update of the project, visual media of the project’s status, and documentation of all expenses made to date. A project’s Final Report must be turned in no later than 30 days after the approved project’s end date.
- For projects above $2k, all matching funds must be demonstrated before any funds are released through the Community Art and Civic Engagement Grant. Interim Reports must be turned in 60 days after the grant award, and must include a detailed update of the project, visual media showing the project’s status, and documentation of all expenses made to date. A project’s Final Report must be turned in no later than 30 days after the approved project’s end date.
- All former FirePony Creative Society / Playa del Fuego / Constellation grantees are required to have submitted any outstanding reports and hi-def project photos of their work to be considered for funding.
- All expenses must be approved before the grant agreement is processed for payment.
Changes in Grant Activity. If a grantee would like to request a change in the approved scope or direction of the contracted project, they should contact the Board of Directors of FirePony Creative Society. Grantees must submit a written request for amendment and a revised budget, both which must be approved by FirePony Creative Society before any changes to the activity can occur. If the grantee makes changes to the grant proposal without first seeking approval, the grant may be cancelled and the grantee may be required to repay distributed grants funds in full.
Failure to Complete the Project. Grantees who fail to complete projects and submit all final documentation on time will be ineligible for future grants for a period of 18 months. (Exceptions may be made in cases of illness or family emergency.) Additionally, if the grantee defaults on the agreement with FirePony Creative Society and does not complete the project as proposed and approved, breaches the terms of the grant contract, or ceases to do business, it shall be required to repay grant funds to FirePony Creative Society in their entirety within 30 days of default.
Evaluation Criteria: The following areas will be used to evaluate the application submissions, artistic work samples and other support materials:
- Artistic Merit: 30%
- Community Impact and Civic Engagement: 40%
- Level of Community Participation: 15%
- Artist Experience and Financial & Managerial Capability: 15%
The evaluation process will also take into consideration general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the American public consistent with The National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act, as amended in 1990.
Evaluation Team: Submissions for all Community Art and Civic Engagement Grants will be reviewed by the Board of Directors of FirePony Creative Society, until a more formal curatorial team is put together.
Access and Equal Opportunity. Federal and Maryland statutes require all applicants to comply with laws and regulations governing nondiscrimination. These include: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (P.L. 88-352) which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (20 U.S.C. Sections 1681-1683, and 1685-1686), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. Section 794), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101-12213) which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disabilities; and the DC Human Rights Act of 1977.
- For individual contributions of $1,000 or more, applicants must submit copies of canceled donor checks, bank statements showing the transfer of funds by wire or receipt of credit card payments and/or signed documentation verifying the transfer of securities and their market value at time of transfer (pledges do not qualify; and clear evidence that a donor’s intent is to meet FirePony Creative Society’s match).
- For contributions of less than $1,000, applicants must submit a list of all such donations, including name of donor, form of donation (ie. Check, wire transfer, credit card, security, etc.), date of donation, and amount of donation, with a signed statements restricting all donations on the list to the FirePony Creative Society’s match. Cancelled checks or separated documentation is not required.
- Crowdfunding. If applicant raises funds through an online crowdfunding campaign, the applicant may submit the list of donors, including amounts and proof of payment.
- Grantees may not provide matching funds to themselves.
- All former grantees are required to have submitted any outstanding final reports to be considered for funding.
- Interim Report details (due 60 days after receipt of grant funds):
- Name and summary description of the project
- Summary of any challenges the project is facing, and an outline of solutions
- Summary of community participation, community impact, and civic engagement as experienced during the early stages of project development
- At least 3 hi-def images of the project, in whatever stage it’s in
- List of all project expenses to date
- Final Report details (due 30 days after the approved end date of the project):
- Name and summary description of the project
- Final budget and list of all project expenses to date
- Team members and responsibilities
- Challenges faced during project development and execution
- Detailed description of project launch / burn
- Detailed description of community participation through project development and post completion
- What would you do the same? Different?
- Minimum of 6 hi-def photos of the final project, to show its awesomeness, as well as its scale, color, details, etc.
- If you have received event-based art grant funds from FirePony Creative Society (for either Playa del Fuego or Constellation) in the past but have not turned in final reports and hi-res photos of your project, you will not be eligible for the Community Art and Civic Engagement Grant until this documentation has been turned in.
- No funds will be disbursed without a signed contract between FirePony Creative Society and the recipient artist or organizational representative.
- Final Budget and Expense Reports should reflect only those costs that will be incurred during the “Period of Support” that you have indicated for your project. Any costs incurred before or after those dates will be removed.
- Since the contract constitutes a legal agreement between the artist or organization and FirePony Creative Society, a 501c(3), and the template for the contract must be approved by the FirePony Creative Society Board of Directors, it is not subject to change.
- If at any time a member of the FirePony Creative Society Board of Directors decides that the guidelines of the Grant are not being followed, the process will be examined and the grant may be cancelled.