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Monday, October 05, 2009

Funding for poets, poetry, and the arts

I am both a poet and a fundraiser and grants consultant. I have often found the two worlds as far apart as different planets, though both involve writing. But recently I began to research grants for arts organizations and artists, both for myself and my own ventures in poetry, and for poetry organizations with which I'm connected.

Digging into the possibility of finding funding for the arts during the most severe economic downturn I've ever experienced during my career as a fundraiser has been an -- are you ready? -- encouraging experience. From the National Endowment for the Arts down to local governments, there is a resurgence of the idea that arts are central in our lives and our communities, and must not be casualties of the general diminishment of funding for a healthy and equitable society.

I will be preparing a resource page on my website for poets and writers to seek individual grants. But I think now I will also include sources of funding for literary organizations and ventures. We have to think like entrepreneurs. Perhaps by finding ways to give poetry, literature, and art to our communities, we can support our individual work as well. Stay tuned.