Queens Arts Fund wants to give you money for your new writing!

Each year, Queens Council on the Arts gives money to artists and arts organizations in Queens. For the past two years, Newtown Literary has been able to pay its contributors and staff thanks to grants from QCA. Below, we interview Lynn Lobell, the Grants and Resources Manager at QCA about how writers can get money to write through the Queens Arts Fund.

What is the New Work grant?

Since the late 1970’s Queens Arts Fund (QAF) has offered support to Queens-based individual artists and nonprofit organizations offering distinctive arts and cultural programming that directly serves the citizens of Queens.

The Queens Arts Fund is committed to supporting emerging artists from diverse cultural backgrounds across disciplines to create work that provides open and equal access for audiences in all communities of Queens, furthering racial and cultural equity.

The New Work Grant supports artists who live in or have their art practice in Queens, in the creation of new work that contributes to the cultural life of the borough.

This program is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Greater New York Arts Development Fund, in partnership with the City Council.

The QAF program also receives funds from the NYS Council on the Arts, Decentralization Community Arts program. Through this grant program we have a fund that also supports new work of artists working in social practice. This grant, Community Engagement Commissioning supports creative artists interested in working within a community setting.

Both of the individual artists grant are $2,500 and artists of any discipline can apply (to only one of the grants in a grant cycle), directly without fiscal sponsorship.

After people hit the submit button, what happens to a grant application until the decision is made?

After you hit the submit button the QAF staff will review the application for completeness and contact the artist via email if the application is incomplete. We ask that the applicant check their email regularly after submitting her application, as there will be a limited amount of time to fix any application errors. Once the applications are considered complete, the QAF staff prepares all the applications for the panel meeting by placing them in discipline specific panels.

Who are the people on the grant review panel, and how does that impact their thinking and decision making on who gets funded for a New Work grant?

A panel comprised of 5–7 artists, arts administrators, and community leaders will review the QAF applications and make funding recommendations. Panelists are given access to the applications for review and evaluate and score each application prior to their deliberation meeting. The panelists score their decisions based on set criteria of the grant. On the panel day, panelists come together to deliberate through facilitated conversations and decide with their peers on what applications get funding recommendations.

The QCA executive board then reviews the recommendations, and our funders provide final approval.

By the way, QCA staff does not vote on QAF applications we just facilitate the process.