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Cultural Council to award $600K to individual artists

Published on July 9, 2024 at 6:16 pm

In partnership with the city of Jacksonville, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville has announced a pilot program that will award individual grants of $10,000 to 60 artists. 

As part of the new city-funded initiative, the grants will be made available to Duval-based artists working in multiple disciplines. Dubbed “The Artist Grant Program: Operational Grants for Individual Artists,” the program earmarks $600,000 for individual artist grants. It was developed in collaboration with Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan’s Arts, Culture, and Entertainment Transition Committee.

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In December 2023, based on recommendations from the various resident-led transition committees, Deegan signed legislation appropriating $26 million for new initiatives, according to the Florida Times-Union. That legislation included increased arts and culture spending as part of more than $1.5 million allocated for “Beautiful Jax” initiatives.

“Arts and culture has been a priority to my administration since the get-go,” Deegan said in a news release announcing the program. “It’s no secret that Jacksonville is brimming with talent and creativity, so we are excited to be able to further support our artists, who truly exemplify the creative heart and soul of our city. Through this new program, Jacksonville-based creatives will have an even greater support system to help them to develop and showcase their talents, build a larger audience and succeed financially. And ultimately, I hope that it will encourage them to stay here and continue to share their talents with us.”

The grants are intended to aid Duval-based artists, as well as “creative entrepreneurs and cultural workers who work directly, primarily and to the benefit of individual artists such as curators, producers and presenters,” according to the news release.

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A FAQ page for the program states that the awards are intended to support individual “artistic practice and endeavors,” and that the grants are “not ‘project-specific,’” meaning that the grants are not designed to finance a single work — a mural, large-scale sculpture, theatrical work, music album — but rather to support each grantee’s creative practice during the grant period. 

The Artist Grant Program is spearheaded by the Cultural Council, the city-designated nonprofit responsible for allocating cultural service grants to more than two dozen local arts organizations, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Jacksonville Symphony and the Florida Theatre, among others.

Prior to the Artist Grant Program, the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida’s Art Ventures program, which offers $5,000 individual artist grants, was one of the few notable and consistently operating grantmaking initiatives available to local artists. 

The application window for the Artist Grant Program opens July 29 and closes Aug. 30. Applications will be reviewed by a panel made up of professional artists, community members, Cultural Council board members and a chair.

Two preapplication workshops will be held (July 31 and Aug. 21) at the Jessie Ball duPont Center in Downtown Jacksonville. Those interested in attending must RSVP here. The workshops will be recorded and made available to the public. 

The grant awards will be announced in October. Information about the grant program, including a timeline of the grantmaking process, details about preapplication workshops, example applications and Frequently Asked Questions are available here on the organization’s website. 

Editor’s note: Matthew Shaw served on Mayor Deegan’s Arts, Culture, and Entertainment Transition Committee. WJCT Public Media receives some funding from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.


author image Arts & Culture Editor Matthew Shaw is a writer, editor and musician. His writing has appeared in Folio Weekly, Edible Northeast Florida, The Surfer's Journal, and SURFER Magazine, and he's reported on national stories for The New York Times. He was previously editor in chief of the Void Magazine.

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