While there are many grants that benefit artists, there are a few organizations and foundations that direct their entire support solely to grants for women artists. These range from nationwide programs to those that work in a specific local area but their focus of supporting women in the arts ties them together. And while there is nothing to stop you from applying from the many general arts grants that exist, if the art you produce is in line with the grant work these groups tend to offer, you stand a pretty good chance at being considered for an award simply by being a woman involved in the arts.
Anonymous Was a Woman
This award was started in 1996 as a response to the NEA decision to stop offering support to individual artists through their grant programs. The grant is awarded for $25,000 each and is only available to women artists over the age of 40. It is a merit based award intended to recognize an artistic accomplishment with no restrictions on how the money can be used. But there is no application process for the grant, however, as anonymous female art professionals serve as nominators for the yearly awards. The Anonymous Was a Woman Grant has been awarded to almost 200 women since the group began offering the prestigious award. For additional information about the program, send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barbara Deming Memorial Fund
Originally founded by Barbara Deming in 1975 as the Money for Women Fund, the non-profit now carries her name and has continued her work of supporting female artists in memorium several decades after her death. The fund offers small arts grants which usually range in size from $500 to $1,500 each to writers and artists of all types. There are two deadlines each year. Applications for nonfiction and poetry are accepted by June 30 with applications for fiction and other art genres accepted by December 31. All applications must be submitted by mail and must be postmarked by the corresponding deadline. For more information about the program, email email@example.com.
Kentucky Foundation for Women
While obviously only available inside Kentucky, this women’s foundation provides $200,000 a year in grant support to two arts programs focused on women in the arts. These are the Artist Enrichment and Art Meets Activism grants. Enrichment grants are available to artists to fund various types of art projects. Activism grants are intended to involve art in community programs or activities that show potential to produce social change through involvement with feminist art. Some examples of what could potentially be funded are listed for both grants on the KFW website. To contact the foundation about either program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 1-866-654-7564.
This foundation started in 1993 to support female artists in the Philadelphia area and has fine tuned its mission into funding art by women artists that have a potential to impact favorable social change. It offers two different awards to women and transgender artists, both available to residents of the Delaware Valley region only. Art and Change Grants are available for $2,500 with deadlines twice yearly of March 1 and August 1. The larger Transformation Award is available for $15,000 with a yearly deadline of May 15 to apply. All artists applying for either grant must show a commitment to social change through their artistic works and plan to use the grant monies awarded to further that agenda.
National League of American Pen Women
This association was founded way back in 1897 to support a small but growing group of female writers working professionally in the arts. It continues to this day as a nationally active association with branches spread out across the United States. Every other year, the group offers a number of $1,000 grants to support the work of female artists over the age of 35 across the disciplines of art, writing and music. The deadline for submission is October 31. In addition to the art grants, the league offers an art scholarship of $500 to $1,000 for Native American women ages 18 to 25 to attend art school. For more information about either grant program, contact the NLAPW by calling 317-514-9218 or by sending an email to email@example.com.