Before Applying, You Should Know…
What types of projects are eligible?
-Projects that are initiated by individuals currently residing in the Greater New Orleans area
-Projects that take place within the Greater New Orleans region (Orleans, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, and St. Tammany Parishes or within a 50-mile radius of New Orleans in Louisiana)
-Projects that have a strong visual arts component
-Projects organized and implemented by (but not limited to) visual or performance artists, curators, writers, cultural organizers, collectives, collaboratives, or artist-run spaces
-Projects that are open and accessible to the public at large
-Projects that are innovative to the New Orleans area
Preference will be given to projects that achieve one or more of the following:
-Exemplify core values of creativity, collaboration, or resiliency
-Develop an innovative or unconventional approach to an idea
-Benefit others outside of the applicant(s)
-Interactive and/or participatory exhibitions
-Public art projects such as murals, outdoor sculptures, or installations with a temporary or permanent physical presence
-Screenings, performances, parades, and/or festivals with a strong visual arts component
-Publications, including books, zines, and digital publications
-Temporary or ongoing physical or online presenting spaces
-Projects that take an innovative approach to engagement or collaboration with traditional indigenous cultural practitioners
-Projects that partner with an out-of-town artist or cultural practitioner to present in the Greater New Orleans region
What types of projects are not eligible?
-Projects organized by existing incorporated businesses (includes LLCs, B Corps, state non-profits, 501(c)(3) organizations, and 501(c)(4) organizations), universities or schools (private, public, charter), religious institutions*
-Projects initiated by students (where the lead applicant is a student)
-Projects seeking to get support retroactively or seeking reimbursement
-Projects that have previously received a Platforms Fund grant and projects led by artists who received funding during the 2019–19 grant cycle
*Please note: Artist-led projects can partner with otherwise excluded incorporated businesses (see above), but the project must be distinct and separate from that organization’s regular programming. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact the Platforms Fund team in advance of applying.
June 17, 2020: Application Deadline
August 1, 2020: Selections Announced
Funded projects must commence between August 1, 2019 and August 1, 2020
Public Information Sessions
Tuesday, March 10th, 6 pm
3718 St. Claude Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70117
Thursday, April 2nd, 6pm
Tuesday, May 12th, 6pm
Wednesday, May 27th, 6pm
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard
New Orleans, LA 70113
It is important that all feel equally welcomed and prepared to apply to the Platforms Fund regardless of previous experience with grant applications. One-on-one assistance is available for guidance or feedback on any aspect of the application process (e.g. using an online submission service, making a budget, writing a narrative). Please make an appointment ahead of time with Jo Ann Minor for one-on-one assistance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 504-569-9070. Please note that individual assistance will only be available before 5 pm on the application’s due date.
Frequently Asked Questions
The application process is designed to provide the Platforms Fund with the most complete picture possible of the goal, scope, and viability of each project and we encourage open and honest communication between applicants and the Fund.
Q: Who selects the grant recipients?
A: Each year a committee of five jurors will be selected. The organizations that form the Fund (Antenna and Ashé Cultural Arts Center) will nominate three local arts organizer or artist to serve on this committee. The nominees will not be employees, board members, or artist members of the two organizations. Additionally two outside panelists who have previously participated in the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts re-granting process in other cities will be chosen by the Fund. One will be selected from a re-granting organization and one will be an artist who has successfully received funding. Reflecting a range of valuable perspectives, these five panelists will review all of the submitted materials and then convene in New Orleans. During their convening, panelists will develop a shortlist of projects of possible grantees and then will interview finalists to help make their final decisions.
Q: How many grants will be awarded?
A: We will award a total of up to $60,000 in grants of up to $10,000 each, with most being $5,000 or less. The Platforms Fund will reserve $10,000 grants for particularly ambitious projects developed by established artists or collectives, and will continue to provide research-and-development grants in the amount of $1500 to support projects in their earliest stages. Research-and-development grantees will be eligible to apply for up to $3500 in the next grant cycle to help actualize their projects.
Q: At what point in the creation of my project should I seek Platforms Fund money?
A: We prefer that you seek funding after you have a strong concept, timeline, and list of people or organizations you might be working with. We are looking for solid, feasible projects: You should try to prove to us in your application that your project can actually happen. The more you have planned before you apply, the better. We can accept projects that have already begun. Similarly, we can accept projects that will commence within a year of the grant deadline. We cannot, however, accept already finished projects that are seeking reimbursement. If you are unable to complete your project within one year, we expect you to be in communication with us and propose a revised timeline.
Q: Can I submit multiple projects for Platforms Fund grants?
A: You can only be a lead applicant on one application per grant cycle. If you have affiliations with any other projects seeking funding or that have previously received funding, you must disclose those affiliations.
Q: When is the application due?
A: Applications for the 2020–21 funding cycle are due on June 17, 2020, before 11:59 pm. We encourage you to submit your application early, as we will only be available to answer questions until 5 pm the day the application is due.
Q: Is there an application fee?
A: No, there is not an application fee to apply for the Platforms Fund.
Q: How do I receive Platforms Fund money if I am selected?
A: A check can be made out to the lead applicant, any number of collaborators, or a fiscal sponsor. Anyone who receives funds will be personally responsible for applicable taxes associated with the award. They will be required to fill out a contract and a Form W-9 and will be issued a 1099 to be filed with their annual tax return.
Q: Can I pay artist fees or stipends with grant funds?
A: Yes, we expect you to pay the people involved in your project, including yourself, for their contributions.
Q: Can I purchase equipment with grant funds?
A: Yes, so long as the equipment is necessary for the development of your project.
Q: What are the reporting requirements for the grant?
A: Recipients will be required to make regular public progress updates to be posted on platformsfund.org. The frequency of updates will be determined in collaboration with the recipient and the Platforms Fund team on a project-by-project basis. A final report detailing the outcomes of the project are due at the end of the granting cycle, and 25% of the award amount will be retained until a final report is submitted.
501(c)(3) Non-Profit or Businesses
We are looking to support art that is driven by independent artistic initiatives or that encourages experimentation with alternative organizational structures. For this reason, funds will not be able to support 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations or for-profit businesses.
Q: What if I am developing an independent project but I am planning on working with a non-profit? Can I still apply for grant money from the Platforms Fund?
A: We understand that funding for your project can come from a variety of sources and if you have found a non-profit that will be your fiscal sponsor or will be providing you with funds, a venue, or some other form of support you can still apply for Platforms Fund grants. The distinction is that the project must be developed independently of the non-profit, separate from it, and not as a regularly scheduled program. If you are confused about this distinction, contact us and we can discuss your individual project.
Q: My project will eventually make money, through ticket sales for example, does that mean I can’t apply for a grant?
A: You can still apply for a Platforms Fund grant if your project will make money. Particularly in the case of performances, we understand that they are costly ventures and that $5000 may not cover all of the artist fees and production costs. In that case you may need to charge attendees a ticket price to recoup costs.
We encourage prospective Platforms Fund grantees to actively engage with the public. Public engagement can take many forms, and we encourage applicants to look at past grantees to see the breadth of communities served and types of engagement.
Q: I would like to apply for a grant to fund a public exhibition of my artwork. The community will be engaged because they will see my work in a public space. Can I receive Platforms Fund money?
A: Typically not, particularly if you are the only person credited with creating the work. We are looking for public engagement that goes beyond passive viewing of finished projects. With that said, there will certainly be exceptions, where artists are taking an innovative or thought-provoking approach to the exhibition platform.
New Orleans Region
We will provide grants in the Greater New Orleans region, which includes five parishes: Orleans, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, and St. Tammany or within a 50-mile radius of New Orleans in Louisiana. Therefore, the lead applicant for each grant must live and work in this area.
Q: What if my project involves people living in other states or abroad?
A: You can collaborate with people from other regions but the lead organizer must live in and your project must take place within the funding region.
Q: I am a foreign national who lives in the New Orleans area but I am not a United States citizen. Can I apply for a grant?
A: Yes, you can apply, so long as you consider home to be within our funding region.
The work we are looking to fund should come from independent and experienced artists. Students, therefore, cannot apply as the main recipient of Platforms Fund grants because their work can be heavily influenced by the institution of which they are a part.
Q: Does this mean if I went to art school I can’t apply for a grant?
A: No, all this means is that you cannot currently be in school. We welcome the work of art school alumni; we just ask that they have graduated and are pursuing independent avenues of creativity.
Q: My project involves working with students K-12 in a classroom setting. Can I still apply?
A: Absolutely, we welcome collaboration with K-12 students. However, lead organizers of such a project should not be students and/or the school itself.
Q: What if I am an independent artist that would like to collaborate with college students? Is that OK?
A: Yes, you can collaborate with college students and have them as a part of your project, but lead organizers cannot be in college or graduate school at the time of application.
Q: What if I am a student when I apply but will have graduated by August 1, 2019? Can I apply?
A: Yes, you can apply, so long as you will not be in school (that includes graduate level schooling as well) during the award cycle.