I have been putting on shows and events for over 6 years and have used the individual grant to help cover some of the expenses. Over the past 6 years, I have put on 2 robot themed art shows, 2 pin-up art shows and a themed art show called Fez Fest and last year put on a show call Strange Imaginations and other Perplexing Wonders. This year I put up a group art show called, Cartoon Cavalcade, A Celebration of all things Toony! This show had an Opening Reception on July 12that Artspace Gallery in Downtown Elgin.
The process is easy and you can download the application form from the City of Elgin website under the Boards and Commissions toolbar. Follow the key points on the form. The most important aspect I have found is defining your project or event. What is unique about it and how you plan to execute your idea? Remember the reason for gaining a grant from the city, is to have an impact on promoting the arts in the community. I also suggest, giving your self enough time for your project or event. You will find putting together all the details will take more time then you realize.
You will also need to show how your dollars will be used for your project. I use the funds to cover, marketing materials, printing, food, drink, and event insurance.
Each show I put on goes back into the community by also sponsoring a non-profit group. I usually do a $5 suggested donation at the door. All the remaining funds for the show after expenses go to a local non-profit. I also like to do an After Party at a local bar following the reception of my show. This is a great opportunity to help drive more traffic to a local business.
I encourage anyone who has a vision for an event or project to look into applying for an individual grant from the CAC. You can start the process by reaching out to Amanda Harris at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Metzger is a local Elgin artist, graphic designer, and illustrator. He is also the Director of Oddball Art Labs, a local non-profit arts organization.
This article originally appeared in BRAVO Magazine, an Elgin, Illinois ink-and-paper monthly magazine devoted to arts, entertainment, community events & dining. In continuous publication since July 2015. Free to pick up at over 100 locations.