Monday, November 15, 2010

Is Your Fate in the Weight?

 hint: do your homework.
Heart, 2004
Digital print on Kinwashi with rubber stamp
11" x 14"

As artists, we are always putting ourselves out "there"; wearing our hearts on our sleeves, on paper, on canvas. We often find ourselves waiting for the sale, or acceptance letter to come through.

Our skins thicken, hopefully, as we feel more comfortable in who we are regardless of how our work is received. That's all good to say, but how we feel can be another story.

I recently submitted a grant proposal to the Leeway Foundation for a project that involves social action in my community- a collaborative printmaking project with teen moms. My proposal was to partner with The Garage in Kennett Square who service teenagers in various after school programs that are free of charge.

So here's the great news... the envelope arrived on Friday, a thick one. I was hopeful.

My heart still sank to my stomach when I took it out of the box.  Did I tear it open? No.  Did I open it first. No.  Did I have a little pep talk to myself. Yes.

The great news is that I did get the grant (yea!)... and I will tell you all more about it as it moves along.

But this I will share now. Lessons learned:

1. Start early. Leave yourself enough time to write and rewrite your proposals.
2.  If they offer free workshops - MAKE SURE YOU GO TO AT LEAST ONE.

By starting early, I was able to attend 2 which was helpful since in the first workshop I learned that my idea was good but that this Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant has various specific goals and my proposal needed work aligning itself with their goals.  This brings me to #3....

3. Learn as much as you can about who is funding this grant and find out what their goals and mission are.

I am excited to be supported by this awesome foundation that supports women and transgender artists in the Philadelphia area and look forward to sharing this experience on my blog.

I'd love to hear about social action projects that you have been involved with or know about.


Cynthia Morris said...

Great news! Congratulations!

Thanks for sharing not only your victory - which heartens us all - but suggestions as well for how to get a grant.

I earned a grant once, and it was definitely because I went to a workshop and also had the help of a friend who understood the grant process.

That one grant has done a lot for me and I know yours will, too, Nanci. I look forward to seeing what you develop from it.

How will you celebrate?

Nanci Hersh said...

Hi Cynthia,

That is a great questions (which believe it or not did not occur to me!

I have a great new dress, think I will bring my hubby to the reception on the 22nd to receive the check and find a fun place to go in Philly!

Thanks for the suggestion!

Cynthia Morris said...


Believe it or not, this - celebration - is something I work on with nearly every client. It's not something we're used to including in our creative process.

But celebrating is vital to building the trust we need in ourselves - reminders that we can go for it and succeed.

Plus, it's fun!

Your dress sounds perfect and going to the awards ceremony with your husband, divine. Relish every moment, and know that accepting this award is a sign of more paid work coming your way!

Nanci Hersh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nanci Hersh said...

Thank you for saying that Cynthia. Truly.

What a valuable exercise to do with your clients!

also, I was able to delete a comment, but not edit it...

still working thru all the technical stuff.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for writing this, it was unbelieveably informative and told me a ton

Anonymous said...

I just added your web page to my favorites. I like reading your posts. Thanks!

Nanci Hersh said...

@Anonymous (both) So glad you have gotten something from the posts. Hope you will feel free to comment and join in the conversation in the future.

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