Supporting Yourself as an Artist – Deborah A. Hoover

Oxford University Press

Am I having an artistic identity crisis or what?
Jeff Kaiser recommended this book–it’s a very thin book–for those interested in grants. And I’m interested in grants…in the future.
This form of moolah procurement is still very popular, 20 years (!) after Deborah Hoover wrote the first edition to this book (she followed it up four years later with the second, and then kept shtum through the internet and email revolution).

If anything, the life of an artist is even harder now. Arts funding has been systematically slashed since the Reagan Era, and though I don’t really know what happened to it in the Clinton years (up? down? nothing?), you can bet yer sweet patootie that Shrub isn’t gonna give any Federal money to some godless Commie fags to make “art”. You want art, baby, go check out Thomas Kinkade.
On the other hand, the Internet has made research and proposal submission so much easier. Sending a SASE (that’s “Self Addressed Stamped Envelope” to you kids) and waiting for a pamphlet sounds like 60 years ago, not twenty. It’s also easier to spot organizations that are wastes of time. The field is also very competitive now (I would assume). The idea that so much cash gets unclaimed every year is a non-starter these days.
So what can this book still offer, as some people continue to recommend its step by step approach? Well, just that: a simple approach to identifying sources of funding and in each case how to hit them up for money. This dovetailed nicely into a Women in Film meeting I went to last week, where a distributor/executive producer was asked why any rich person would want to fund a film. She gave three responses: 1) Being invited to the party. Some people show off their wealth with a yacht–others get their name in the credits and go get their photo taken with Brad Pitt. 2)They believe in the cause. 3) Tax write-offs. That’s about it, really.
The main advice is something heard time and time again, but for anyone whose sat on a judging panel, is still very true: read the bloody rules before submitting.
This book led me to order a cheap copy of “Shaking the Money Tree,” with its more up-to-date lists and movie-centric focus.

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