Altana - yes, I’ve heard of others in similar situations. Go to any
art school in the country - any country! - and you will find plenty.
I was once one of them. What do you do? You go find a job. Very
simple. If you are lucky, it will have something to do with what you
want to do, in some small way. Otherwise, it will pay the bills that
allow you to do what you love in your spare time, until you can
build up a nest egg that allows you to do what you love full time. Or
until your mastery of your art grows until you are in sufficient
demand for it to pay for itself.
Making it as an artist of any sort is not easy.
Take some business courses; work in some galleries or jewelry stores
or craft stores - see what it is like. Learn the business.
Don’t look for handouts. There aren’t any. Look at the economy -
folks are loosing their houses and jobs right and left - you think
there will be money to pay you for finishing school and opening a
business??? Think again.
There ARE student loans, if you qualify. There are business loans;
again - if you qualify. You should have enough cash to not break even
for several years when starting a business…I can’t remember how
many they say, but I know it takes most businesses several years to
establish themselves. There are a number of business groups that
will help you create business plans and get prepared to start a
business. Check with your local chamber of commerce or better
business bureau for ideas. Many have mentors.
Quite wasting time looking for grants that don’t exist…if this is
what you really want, go to work to make it happen. It can, and for
some it does, but it takes a lot of hard work, and a good bit of old
fashioned luck doesn’t hurt!
That said, once you are somewhat established, your state arts
commission may have some emerging artist grants, or annual artist
grants, that you might apply for. Not in the price range you were
stating! I have gotten several small grants through the years to
allow me to get additional training, or to travel for my work. They
all then required me to exhibit work in the state as part of the “pay
back” of the grant.
Some states also have artist residency programs. SC has one that
provides artists for the schools for a week at a time. It has
changed radically over my career, and you now set your own pay scale
with the schools. If they like you and what you plan to do with their
students, and have the money, they will hire you. If not, they won’t.
When I started I got paid $500 a week. Now I get $1500 a week plus
housing. On the other hand, when I started it cost $35 for a good
motel room, and gas was well under a $1 a gallon. Now a decent motel
room will run at least $75 and lucky to get it that cheap, and gas is
between $2.60 and over $3 a gallon. And supplies have gone up
I hate to rain on your parade, but get out there and work and your
dreams may come true. Spend your time hunting for nonexistent
grants, and they never will. Sorry. Reality can be painful.
Good luck though!
Beth in SC
PS - if anyone actually knows of any money out there to be given,
I’m sure plenty of us would be delighted to apply for it!