Frequently Asked Questions

Does WomenArts give grants?

Can you help me find funding elsewhere?

Any special suggestions for filmmakers?

Any special suggestions for theatre artists?

Any special suggestions for artists with disabilities?

Any special suggestions for artists outside the U.S.?

I am in dire financial need. How can I find emergency funds?

Can you spread the word about my upcoming  performance/ screening/ show/ reading/ publication?

What is the WomenArts Network?

I have a non-arts-related women’s project. Can you help me?

I’m thinking about starting a business. How do I find help?

I’m interested in learning more about women artists and their work. Where do I look?

I’m interested in learning more about the status of women in the arts. Can you help me?

I’d like to help WomenArts. How can I get involved?

Does WomenArts give cash grants?

WomenArts does not give grants. Instead, we provide services to help women raise money from other sources and to improve the working environment for all women artists. To see a complete list of our programs, please visit:  Our Programs.

Can you help me find funding elsewhere?

Yes! We have collected on our website a great deal of information about organizations that fund the arts and artists. If you are a video/film or theatre artist, we offer monthly funding and resource newsletters full of current calls for entries for festivals/competitions and requests for proposals from funding organizations.  You can learn more about our annotated lists of arts funders and funding newsletters on our Funding Resources Overview page.

Another great place for all artists to look for opportunities is at www.nyfa.org/source. The NYFA Source database has an extensive list of arts funders and arts opportunities that is searchable by genre, type of assistance (cash grant, fellowship, scholarship), and geographic area, including international. Using the database is free and available to artists everywhere.

Any special suggestions for filmmakers?

First, explore our lists of funding sources for film/video artists which you can see in the sidebar of this page. The lists include organizations that only fund in certain geographic areas or target their funding to specific demographic groups. So be sure to take a thorough look!

Another excellent website to visit is www.independent-magazine.org. This website for Independent Media Publication and The Independent, a magazine devoted to informing, promoting, encouraging, and mobilizing independent and grassroots media-makers, features an extensive “Learn” section (http://www.independent-magazine.org/learn) to guide you through many aspects of filmmaking, including financing and distribution.

The website of the Independent Feature Project (www.ifp.org) includes many helpful articles on all stages of film production. See the Make Your Movie section of the site.

Shooting People at www.shootingpeople.org offers both free and expanded (i.e. subscription – $40/year, at last check) online information and networking services to filmmakers, including a newsletter / bulletin board specifically for screenwriters. Centered in London, New York, and Los Angeles, they appear to be providing an important, accessible service.

Again, we recommend you read and subscribe to our free monthly funding and resource newsletter for film/video artists. Each issue is full of current calls for entries for festivals/competitions and requests for proposals from funding organizations.  You can see the current Film/Video Funding Newsletter online or sign up for a subscription on our Newsletter Sign Up Page.

Any special suggestions for theatre artists?

First, explore the lists of funding sources for theatre projects in the Funding Resources section of our site.  You can see links to our lists of theatre funders in the sidebar of this page.

The Dramatists Guild Resource Directory, a benefit of membership in the Guild, includes lists of conferences and festivals, contests, producers and publishers, agents, fellowships and grants, workshops, and more. www.dramaguild.com

Playwriting Opportunities at www.PlaywritingOpportunities.com and NYC Playwrights at www.NYCPlaywrights.org also provide lists of general interest opportunities for playwrights.

Theatre Communications Group (www.tcg.org) is a national alliance of non-profit theatres that offers a range of online information services, publications, and grants.  They publish ArtSearch, a newsletter for theatre job-seekers that lists available positions all over the country, and American Theatre, a monthly magazine that provides news about the non-profit theatre world. They maintain a list of international theatre festivals at: www.tcg.org/international/resources/other_organizations.cfm#FestivalsInternational

Read and subscribe to our free monthly funding and resource newsletter for theatre artists. Each issue is full of current calls for entries for festivals/competitions and requests for proposals from funding organizations. You can see the current Theatre Funding Newsletter online or sign up for a subscription on our Newsletter Sign Up Page.

Any special suggestions for artists with disabilities?

An excellent database of opportunities we recommend to all artists is the NYFA Source at www.nyfa.org/source. The NYFA Source has an extensive list of arts funders and arts opportunities that is searchable by genre, type of assistance (cash grant, fellowship, scholarship), and geographic area, including international, as well as by special population requirement, including disabled. Though the website belongs to the New York Foundation for the Arts, the information is free and available to all.

An affiliate of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., VSAarts is an international organization offering a variety of opportunities and resources for artists – of all disciplines – who have disabilities. You can find them at www.VSAarts.org.

The National Arts and Disability Center (NADC) promotes the full inclusion of audiences and artists with disabilities into all facets of the arts community. A project of the University of California at Los Angeles, the NADC website (www.semel.ucla.edu/nadc) offers free resource directories and other information.

DanceAbility of the Joint Forces Dance Company focuses on dance for people both with and without disabilities. The DanceAbility site at www.danceability.com offers performance videos, articles and interviews, and links to other resources for dancers with disabilities and mixed-ability dance.

A women’s fund in your state may have some help or guidance for you. If you go to the website for the Women’s Funding Network at www.wfnet.org, you can search for member funds by typing in the name of your state in the Search box at the top of the page.

Any special suggestions for women artists outside the U.S.?

First, welcome! We love hearing from artists around the world.

To begin your search, explore the lists of funding sources for international projects in the Funding Resources section of our website.  You can see links to some lists of international funders in the sidebar of this page.

An excellent database of opportunities we recommend to all artists is the NYFA Source at www.nyfa.org/source. The NYFA Source has an extensive list of arts funders and arts opportunities that is searchable by genre, type of assistance (cash grant, fellowship, scholarship), and geographic area, including international. Though the website belongs to the New York Foundation for the Arts, the information is free and available to all.

We also recommend that you do a search for funding opportunities at www.foundationcenter.org. From The Foundation Center’s home page,  click on the Get Started tab near the top of the page and then click on International Visitors. The Foundation Center gathers a great deal of information about philanthropic organizations and the grants they offer.

If your work is related to human rights, you might particularly want to investigate these organizations:

The Global Fund for Women is an essential resource, a grantmaking foundation supporting women’s human rights organizations around the world. You can find it at www.globalfundforwomen.org.  The Global Fund for Women provides an excellent fundraising handbook at: http://www.globalfundforwomen.org/impact/publications/127-other-resources/208-womens-fundraising-handbook.

The Open Society Institute at www.soros.org/grants and the Ford Foundation at www.fordfoundation.org/ both have strong international programs.

The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding (www.karunacenter.org) offers international training programs in conflict transformation, intercommunal dialogue, and reconciliation. They work in post-conflict regions of the world at the request of local partners.

I am in dire financial need. How can I find emergency funds?

You are not alone! Sadly, we hear from many artists who are struggling to make ends meet. See the Emergency Funds page in the Funding Resources section of our website for some sources of emergency support.

We also recommend that you search the NYFA Source database at www.nyfa.org/source. The NYFA Source has an extensive list of arts funders and arts opportunities that is searchable by genre, type of assistance (including emergency grants), and geographic area, including international. Though the website belongs to the New York Foundation for the Arts, the information is free and available to all.

Can you spread the word about my upcoming performance/ screening/ show/ reading/ publication?

For general events, we do not currently have the capacity to run announcements. (Though we have a big website – with over 50,000 visitors per month – we are a tiny staff.) We suggest that you create an artist’s profile on the WomenArts Network on our website and include a mention of your event or project in the “Current Work” section. You can also link to your own website from your WomenArts Network profile, as well as to other websites that have additional information about your work and/or upcoming event.

If you are organizing an event for Support Women Artists Now Day (SWAN Day), the exciting new international celebration of women artists in all art forms, then yes, The Fund for Women Artists will be able to help publicize your event.  There is a special section of our SWAN Day website where you can post your SWAN Day events. The second SWAN Day was held on March 28, 2009, with 174 events in 11 countries. Join us for SWAN Day 2010 – March 27, 2010.  For details on how to get involved and how to post your events, visit our SWAN Day Overview.

What is the WomenArts Network?

A one-of-a-kind showcase of the diversity and creativity of women artists in all the artistic disciplines, the WomenArts Network is a webspace where woman artists or women-run arts organizations may post free profiles about themselves and their work. With over 1500 profiles of artists living in every state in the U.S. and 23 countries around the world, the WomenArts Network is helping women artists connect to each other and acting as a clearinghouse for those looking to hire a woman artist. Go to the WomenArts Network to search the profiles or to get started creating one of your own.

I have a non-arts-related women’s project. Can you help me?

No, the mission of WomenArts is to celebrate and support art by and about women. We are very interested in the intersection between the arts and social change, but we are not involved with projects that contain no arts elements whatsoever.

We suggest contacting your local Women’s Fund for support. If you go to the website for the Women’s Funding Network at www.wfnet.org, you can search for member funds by typing in the name of your state in the Search box at the top of the page.

International projects should contact The Global Fund for Women at: www.globalfundforwomen.org.

I’m thinking about starting a business. How do I find help?

Business development takes us pretty far outside the mission of WomenArts, but we have picked up some information and advice over the years that we’re happy to pass along.

If you are planning to develop your project as a for-profit business, there are numerous organizations out there interested in helping women do so.

  • The Business and Professional Women’s Foundation at www.bpwfoundation.org/ maintains many lists of helpful websites and other information.
  • WomanOwned.com at www.womanowned.com provides numerous free resources and networking opportunities as well as access to business plans and loans.
  • Founded in 1996 by Congressional action, the National Women’s Business Center says that it is  “…dedicated 100% to assisting entrepreneurs”: www.womensbusinesscenter.org
  • The National Association for Women Business Owners (NAWBO) at www.nawbo.org is a membership organization that supports and advocates for women in business.

Other possible sources of information and support would be a local women’s fund, which might have a small loans program, and any economic development programs that your state or city offers to people starting new businesses. If you go to the website for the Women’s Funding Network at www.wfnet.org, you can search for member funds by typing in the name of your state in the Search box at the top of the page.

The local Small Business Administration office should be able to help you identify economic development programs if they exist in your area. To find the office nearest you, go to www.sba.gov and use the form with the map (in the middle of the page) to enter your geographical information.

On the other hand, you may be considering starting a nonprofit organization rather than a business. The advantage to doing so is that individuals and foundations can make gifts to the group and get a tax deduction. You can get help from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in setting up a nonprofit. Find them on the Web at: Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

Either way, it’s a great idea to look for someone who’s doing what you want to do and see what you can find out about how she’s accomplished it. You can research this on your own, but if you do contact the Small Business Administration, Business and Professional Women/USA, WomanOwned.com, a women’s fund, or any other organization providing business start-up support, you might ask whether they offer a mentorship program, matching a successful woman in business with someone just starting out. That kind of personal, one-on-one advice and support is incredibly valuable and can really help keep you focused on your goals.

In the meantime, we recommend that you join the WomenArts Network. A one-of-a-kind showcase of the diversity and creativity of women artists in all the artistic disciplines, the WomenArts Network is a webspace where woman artists or women-run arts organizations may post free profiles about themselves and their work. With over 1500 profiles of artists living in every state in the U.S. and 23 countries around the world, the WomenArts Network is helping women artists connect to each other and acting as a clearinghouse for those looking to hire a woman artist. Go to our home page and click on the WomenArts Network to search the profiles or to get started creating one of your own. If you search by theme or keyword, you may find women who are doing something similar to what you want to do and who could share their experiences with you and advise you concerning your own plans.

I’m interested in learning more about women artists and their work. Where do I look?

Two areas of our site might interest you. A free online database of women artists, the WomenArts Network is a one-of-a-kind showcase of the diversity and creativity of women artists in all the artistic disciplines. Designed to spotlight the variety and excellence of women’s artistic visions, it provides an easy way for audiences and art lovers to find women artists and learn more about their work. Browse the 1500+ profiles of artists living in every state in the U.S. and 23 countries around the world, or search by geography, discipline, theme, or keyword. Full instructions are provided and you won’t need a high-speed Internet connection to enjoy this dazzling display of talent.

The SWAN Day/WomenArts News is an occasional series of free e-magazines designed to showcase the successes and challenges of women artists that have now been imported into our blog. To see browse through past articles, go to the WomenArts Blog section of our site and use the search tools in the sidebar of those pages to search for articles by keyword, author or category. To receive our newsletters by email, please sign up on our Newsletter Sign Up Page.

I’m interested in learning more about the status of women in the arts. Can you help me?

Women are creating some of the most exciting and challenging art in the world today. And yet, despite great strides in other fields and a few high-visibility success stories, women continue to face enormous employment discrimination in the arts and media.  You’ll find studies on women’s employment and participation in theatre, film and television, music, dance, literature, and the news media posted at Women’s Employment in the Arts.

I’d like to help WomenArts. How can I get involved?

Here is the best way to get involved:

Organize or participate in a Support Women Artists Now (SWAN) event.  We have declared a new holiday to celebrate women artists called Support Women Artists Now (SWAN for short).  Artists and arts supporters all over the world plan events for that day, and we welcome your participation as an organizer or audience member.  SWAN events can be performances, exhibits, film screenings, workshops, rallies, parades, house parties, or any other events that celebrate the accomplishments of women artists.  Visit the SWAN section of our website for more information.