Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Art of Grantwriting (And Another Reminder)

In my ongoing effort to revitalize my blog I made a commitment to blog every day this week, and then promptly failed to post anything on day two. But because I'm not a quitter or a giver-upper, I'm back for day three!

Today is one of my 3 days off per week from my day job, which I discussed in some detail a couple of posts back. Believe me, I'm cherishing these days off, and neither the company or my situation in general is any better after another week. However, I did learn recently that there have been a series of shake-ups in the company and I wasn't the only one targeted. Oddly, even though knowing that doesn't change the fact that my income is still drastically affected, it still makes me feel better that it wasn't just me.

Anyway, enough whining about my job. In my MFA studies this semester I'm learning all about grantwriting, and the capstone project for the semester is to write and submit a grant proposal. In order to write and submit a grant proposal, first I will need to decide on a project. I've narrowed my choices to:

1. Finding operating funding for the local Chamber Chorale to which I belong.
2. Finding project funding for an individual project (my husband and I have an awesome idea for a musical stage play we'd like to write and it seems like as good a good project as any to request funding for).

While I'm in the process of trying to wrap my head around the concept and process of grantwriting in general, I'm starting to form some pros and cons with regard to the kind of project I want to seek funding for. The Chamber Chorale project would be a fairly straightforward standard proposal which would give me a good foundation in the nuts and bolts of grantwriting. The individual project would most likely consist of a fellowship or sponsorship and although in the end it would benefit me and my art personally, it would not necessarily give me a strong foundation in basic grantwriting. And the individual project feels kind of self-serving, which of course it is, but it's very tempting, too!

So it sounds like I've pretty much answered my own question, doesn't it?

I've already done some preliminary research for a funding source for the chamber chorale and I think I've identified a few possibilities. I think my next step is going to need to be attending a board meeting and presenting my request to the board. It may be they won't even welcome my efforts, though given the fact that we're so low on operating cash, the likelihood is good they'll at least consider it. Tonight's rehearsal, so I'll talk to the board president tonight.

I'm sure none of this makes for very fascinating blog reading, but I do find it a great way to share the process involved in earning an MFA...at least through this program.

I'm also continuing work this semester on my screenplay. Since I have limited time available during the week to work on homework, I have to compartmentalize it all into my three days off. Sunday is generally grantwriting homework day, Monday is screenwriting day, Tuesday is any overflow plus working on the online multigenre workshop and writing on my ongoing WIP novel (which, by the way I'm nearly finished with and then I can go back and begin the revision process on novel number one).

So it's likely that tomorrow's blog will be all about screenwriting, since Monday is screenwriting day.

Also, a reminder: Don't forget the Love at First Blogfest on Feb 14th. For all you writers out there, go to Courtney's blog and sign up, then on the 14th post a love-at-first-sight moment from one of your WIPs, then tour the blogs of the rest of the participants and read their love-at-first-sight moments. It should prove to be an awesome way to celebrate Valentine's Day!

1 comment:

CDP said...

This is a great topic; I would like to hear about your progress on the grant and the results!