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Artist Opportunity Grants

Awarded three times a year, Artist Opportunity Grants help artists hone their skills and craft by funding important professional development opportunities, such as travel to work with a mentor, participation in a festival or artist residency. 

  • Next Deadline: Monday, May 19, 2014 
    (for opportunities occurring between July 1,  2014 and December 1, 2014)
  • Eligible Applicants: Individual Artists*
  • Maximum Grant: $2,500
  • Guidelines:  pdf PDF version  doc Word version
  • Application:  pdf PDF version   doc Word version

Greater Pittsburgh Artist Opportunity Grants help advance the careers of individual artists by providing funds to support expenses related to specific, extraordinary opportunities that have the potential to significantly impact an artist's work and professional development. Grants range from $250 to $2,500. 

What is an opportunity?
While an opportunity can be a lot of different things, AOG-worthy opportunities have four key characteristics:

  1. Are something you have not done before; UNIQUE
  2. Will definitely happen; you have a date and a commitment; CONCRETE
  3. Happen at the right time in your career: CRITICAL NOW
  4. Will help you achieve a professional goal: IMPACT

Artist Opportunity Grants pay for the stuff that other grants won’t. Our goal is to remove the financial barriers between local artists and professional opportunities. AOG’s don’t pay for materials to create new work but they do pay for childcare, framing, shipping, travel expenses, professional installation of your work, documenting, and tons of other stuff that you usually can’t afford. 

These grants help you become the best artist you can be but do not fund creating new work. This may grant does NOT fund art projects or the creation of new works of art. It is intended to fund professional growth opportunities for artists!  If you are unclear about this distinction, feel free to contact GPAC staff to discuss your opportunity before applying.  For examples of opportunities, please view the previously-funded applicants.

Applications are considered three times each year, and upcoming deadlines are as follows.  To see when would be the best time for you to apply, take a look at our chartUpcoming deadlines:

  • May 19, 2014 (11:59 pm)
  • October 20, 2014 (11:59 pm)

Funding for Artist Opportunity Grants was provided by the Fund for Individual Artists of The Pittsburgh Foundation, supported by The Heinz Endowments, and by the Hillman Family Foundations.

Previously funded grantees, please fill out a Final Report Survey (Survey Monkey). Questions? Contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at 412.391.2060 x 238.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

When should I apply?

What expenses are eligible?

What expenses are ineligible?

What is the funding criteria, and who makes the decisions?

What is the timeline for this grant?

Straight Talk: Our advice to you as you write this grant! 

 

Who can apply?
Eligible applicants must...

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a full-time resident of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Mercer, Lawrence, Somorset, Venango, Washington or Westmoreland counties for at least one year prior to the application deadline
  • Have a record of artistic accomplishment that can be documented, including evidence of work that has been publicly performed, exhibited, published, critically reviewed, etc.

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When should I apply?

Applications are considered three times each year, and the most current deadlines are always available on this page.  Please see the following chart for the application deadline that best fits the date of your opportunity. If you would like to apply earlier than the timeframe listed below, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to discuss your options. No applications will be accepted between deadlines. Completed applications should be sent by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

If your opportunity takes place... You should apply at the following deadline:
Between 4/1/2014 and 9/30/2014
2/24/2014
Between 7/1/2014 and 12/31/2014
5/19/2014
Between 12/1/2014 and 5/30/2015
10/20/2014

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What expenses are eligible?
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What expenses are ineligible?

Eligible Expenses

(Stuff the grant can cover)

Ineligible Expenses

(Everything else...)

Travel costs for the artist applicant (plane tickets, mileage and/or accommodations if you are more than 100 miles from home)

Travel expenses for anyone else

Opportunities that have already happened or are currently underway

Costs to document the opportunity

Marketing expenses, curatorial costs or curatorial projects

Framing work for an exhibit

Supplies to create art

Travel costs to attend the premier or opening of your work

Self-produced exhibitions, performances or publications

Tuition, registration fees and other fees associated with the opportunity 

Undergraduate or graduate study or any activity for which you would receive academic credit toward a degree

Childcare expenses

Pet sitting

Lesson fees to study with a mentor

Teaching opportunities or arts-in-education programs

Costs to professionally record songs you have already composed

Medical, legal, administrative, marketing, PR or accounting fees/expenses or your own artist fees

Equipment worth up to $500 necessary for the opportunity

Equipment not related to the opportunity or that costs more than $500

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What is the funding criteria, and who makes the decisions?

The panelists who review these applications are artists like you but they will not critique the quality of your art. Instead of submitting work samples, you will submit a resumé or CV so that the panel can assess:

  • If you have a documented record of artistic achievement; and
  • If this opportunity is appropriate for this stage of your career.

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What is the timeline for this grant?

Grant Deadline

Opportunities Must Occur Between:

Panel Meets

Applicants Notified

2/24/2014

4/1/2014 and 9/30/2014

3/21/2014

3/25/2014

5/19/2014

7/1/2014 and 12/31/2014

6/20/2014

6/24/2014

10/20/2014

12/1/2014 and 5/30/2015

11/21/2014

11/25/2014


 Please submit your applications to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Straight Talk: Our advice to you as you write this grant

Your application must tell us:

  • HOW the opportunity is unique, and what it offers that is new to you:

    • Demonstrate that this does not duplicate previous career experiences; and
    • Explain how this opportunity is not a regular part of your artistic practice.

    WHY the opportunity is critical at this juncture in your career:

    • Explain how this will move your career to a higher level.

    WHAT the impact will be on your career and work:

    • Tie the opportunity to accomplishing a specific career goal;
    • State the skills you hope to acquire or what you want to learn or define the new audience that you will reach etc…

    WHO you will be working with and why they are the best teachers for you right now.

    The panelists reviewing the applications are artists like you. But, they can’t read your mind, so write like they do not have any idea why this opportunity is important. Many applications are not funded because the panelists are frustrated by trying to figure out how the opportunity will impact an artist’s career.

    When writing your application, assume the panelists:

    1. Are not familiar with your work (make sure your artistic statement is clear);
    2. Do not understand the value of this opportunity to your career.

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