LPCA now accepting applications for arts grants

LAKE PLACID — The Lake Placid Center for the Arts is partnering with the New York State Council on the Arts to give out $650,000 in grants to artists and arts organizations looking to build their audiences and strengthen artistic connections with their local communities.

There are two categories of grants available through the new “Audience-Building Project” regrant program — “Building Audiences” and “Artists in Communities.” All of the grants are intended to help give artists affected by the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice a financial boost.

A major goal of the grant program, according to LPCA Director of Education and Outreach Tara Palen, is to help these artists rely less on ticket sales for economic security.

“Equity, diversity, inclusion and access are challenges the arts field struggles within the best of times,” Palen wrote in an email on Tuesday, Jan. 31. “The pandemic magnified our racial justice reckoning — recognizing the urgency and commitment needed to make meaningful, lasting changes, particularly in the arts. ‘Who is on stage? Who is not on stage? Who is in the audience? Who is not in the audience?’ are important questions to ask, and they’re not always easy to answer with regards to equity, diversity and inclusion. There is responsibility and accountability in arts programming, and that is one of our intentions with these opportunities.”

While the Building Audiences program focuses on funding projects that could help artists attract bigger audiences, the Artists in Communities program would help artists establish a connection with audiences outside of artistic presentations. People can submit applications for both the Building Audiences and the Artists in Communities categories.

The grant application period opened on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Any nonprofit or nonprofit-sponsored artists or arts organization in the state can apply for a grant for the 2023-24 presenting season, though grants are aimed at artists and organizations in “underserved communities” — like in rural communities like the North Country, where there’s less access to the arts — rather than funneling all of the funding to New York City.

The application period closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 10.

Awards will range from $5,000 to $10,000. A diverse panel of six artists from across the state will vet the applications, and the LPCA’s board of directors will finalize award amounts based on the panelists’ recommendations. Awards will be announced in June. There is no matching component to the grant; the awards are intended to fund entire projects when possible.

The LPCA is hosting two informational webinars about the grant program — one at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 and another at 1 p.m. on Feb. 22 — where people can ask questions about the grant process. Registration links for the webinars, as well as complete details about the grant program, eligibility and application guidelines, are available at http://lakeplacidarts.org/theaudiencebuildingproject.

Building Audiences

There are two types of grants within the Building Audiences category — the “Reignite the Field” grant and the “Risk-to-Reward” grant.

Reignite the Field grants are a maximum $5,000 award. These grants can be used for any artistic presentation during the Sept. 1 2023 to Aug. 31, 2024 project period.

Risk-to-Reward grants are a maximum $10,000 award. They’re intended to fund “wish list” projects that may pose more of a risk — either financial, artistic or otherwise — for artists and their organizations.

Within the Building Audiences category, people can submit one application for Reignite the Field or two applications for Risk-to-Reward, as long as the two applications are for different projects.

Artists in Communities

The Artists in Communities grants are intended to help artists extend their connection with communities outside of a performance or presentation. This grant, which has a $10,000 maximum ask, would help fund resources for artists to engage with communities in the days leading up to their presentations rather than funding the performances or presentations themselves.

The funding could be used for artists’ hotels, travel, per diem and education staff. Applicants can’t ask for more than 50% of the cost of their arts presentations.

Starting at $1.44/week.

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