Research & Development (R&D) Grants provide funding support to Arizona artists as they work to advance their artistic practice, expand their creative horizons, and deepen the impact of their work.
Who’s it For?
Artists working in any discipline who live and work in Arizona. Whether you’re just getting started or you have already experienced many career successes, the R&D Grant is available to help you take your artistic practice to the next level, including:
- exploration of new techniques
- experimentation with new materials or technologies
- creation of new work
- development of new strategies for engaging your community of practice
Applicants may request a minimum of $3,000 and a maximum of $5,000.
Up to 20 grants will be awarded this year.
Grant funds may be used for any of the following (this list is not comprehensive):
- Stipend to grantee
- Stipends to collaborators
- Travel costs
- Space rental
- Marketing costs
- Production costs
- Rehearsal time
- Registration fees
The funding period is January 2022 – January 2023. Proposed activities may be underway prior to the time of application but must be completed by January 31 2023.
The R&D Grant application process is split into two stages so applicants don’t spend a lot of time doing unnecessary work. After your Stage 1 application materials are reviewed by a panel of independent arts professionals, applications determined to be most competitive according to evaluation criteria will move on to Stage 2.
Application: Stage 1
Proposal Narrative & Work Samples
Due 11:59 pm, July 8, 2021
Notification of Stage 2 Advancement
September 13, 2021
Application: Stage 2
Process Map, Experience List, & Expense List
Due 11:59 PM, October 13, 2021
November 19, 2021
December 13, 2021
Narrative Proposal Details
You can type up your proposal narrative (1200 words),
You can upload it in a video or audio recording (8 minutes in length).
- Describe the work you propose to do with the grant funds. What are your specific proposed activities?
- Tell us about your community of practice: is it your artistic discipline, audience, field of study, place-based, geographic, or broader community?
- How does the work you propose reflect or respond to your community of practice?
- How does this proposal relate to the work you currently do?
- How would receiving this grant deepen your artistic practice?
- If you have collaborators, who are they and how do they contribute to your proposed work? (Answer this question only if you are working with anyone else.)
Do not include URL links to external websites or video hosting platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo.
If you share your proposal narrative in a video or audio recording keep it simple and to the point. The recording should be just you, describing your proposal and answering the five questions listed above. Please do not include edits of your work samples or special effects. Production quality of this recording will not be considered in your review. Just make sure we can hear and understand you and keep editing and post-production embellishment to a minimum.
Submit work samples you’ve completed in the last 5 years. From the list to the right, please choose the most appropriate artistic work sample format to represent your discipline:
Artist Work Samples
- 3 minutes of recorded audio
- 3 minutes of recorded video
- 6 images
- 3-5 poems or a maximum of 5 pages of double-spaced text
- Combination of materials listed above: Please edit accordingly for no more than a total of 3 minutes of reviewing time (2 images=1 min.)
If you have collaborators you may include one work sample per person, for up to 3 collaborators:
Collaborator Work Samples
- 1 minute of recorded audio
- 1 minute of recorded video
- 2 images
- 1-2 poems or a maximum of 1 page of double-spaced tex
- Combination of materials listed above: Please edit accordingly for no more than a total of 1 minute of reviewing time (2 images=1 min.)
Remember to test your work samples as you upload them. Please do not submit promotional materials, exhibition posters, event program, or published reviews as work samples. Do not include URL links to external websites or video hosting platforms.
Work Sample Descriptions
Provide a brief description explaining how the submitted work sample(s) relate to your proposal. Why did you choose them?
Include the following for each work sample:
- Artist’s name
- Title of the work
- Date completed/premiered
- Location/site of exhibition or presentation
- Dimensions and medium of the work
Here’s what panelists will be thinking about as they review Stage 1 application materials:
- Potential Impact to Artist: Does the application describe the potential impact to your personal craft and/or body of work in the narrative proposal details submitted?
- Potential Impact to Artist’s Community of Practice: Did you clearly outline who is your community of practice? Does the application describe the potential impact to your artistic discipline, audience, field of study, place-based community, or broader community? Community can mean different things to different people in different contexts, and we encourage you to define your community in a way that makes sense for your artistic practice and this proposal. For further explanation of Community of Practice please visit https://azarts.gov/grants/rd-grant-applicant-resources/.
- Artistic Strength: Do the work samples you share reflect your distinct vision and originality? Does your work sample description convey a clear understanding of your craft—the techniques you use and the intention behind them—and commitment to artistic achievement?
When you’re ready to apply, click on the “Apply Now” button below. This will take you to a website called Submittable where you’ll submit the application materials described above.
Stage 1 application materials must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Thursday, July 8, 2021.
Applicants will be notified whether or not their application will advance to Stage 2 no later than September 13, 2021.
All Stage 1 applications will be reviewed by a panel of independent arts professionals from communities throughout the state. Applicants whose applications are determined to be most competitive according to evaluation criteria will be invited to submit additional materials and move on to Stage 2 of the application process.
Applicants who advance to Stage 2 of review will be invited to submit additional information including a process map, an experience list, and an expense list. Panelists will review the application as a whole and convene for a public panel meeting to make final funding recommendations.
Map the course of your creative process for this proposal by identifying 3 to 5 specific steps you will take during the funding period. These may include research, travel, activities or events, achievements, or anything else you will use to organize and track your artistic process and progress.
You will be asked to upload a 1-page Process Map (.jpg or .pdf) describing the specific steps you will take to complete your proposed work. You can provide a numbered list of steps, a timeline (with or without specific activity dates), a flow chart, drawing, sketch, other visual, or simply a written narrative.
- Provide 3 to 5 personal, professional, and/or community-based experiences you have engaged in within the past 5 years that are relevant to your proposal. You may include 1-2 experiences that took place more than 5 years ago so long as they are especially relevant to your current proposal.
- Briefly describe how each experience has prepared you for the work you propose to undertake.
Collaborator’s Experience List (if applicable)
- Provide 1 to 3 personal, professional, and/or community-based experiences that each of your collaborators engaged in the past 5 years.
- Briefly describe how each experience is relevant to your proposal and has prepared your collaborators for the work you propose to undertake.
Please do not simply include a list of highlights or accomplishments from your CV or resume. Instead, include experiences that clearly demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skill set necessary to complete the activities you’ve proposed in your application.
List total eligible expenses (artist stipends, including your own artist stipend, materials, travel costs, equipment, space rental, production costs, documentation, marketing, rehearsal time, childcare, etc.) related to your proposal.
Please include expenses even if you are not seeking funding for them and tell us about any additional income in the Budget Narrative section below.
Grant Amount Requested
Indicate the grant amount you are requesting, between $3,000 and $5,000.
Describe anything in the expenses list that would benefit from additional clarification. For example, if your expenses exceed $5,000, please tell us how you will fund the rest of your proposed activities.
As you develop your application materials for Stage 2, consider that the panelists will be thinking about Stage 1 Application Materials and Evaluation Criteria in addition to the following:
- Feasibility: Does the application demonstrate substantial evidence that the proposal will be realized within the funding period? Does the application include a reasonable expenses list for the scope and scale of your proposed activities? Do the process map and experience list provide evidence of your ability and capacity to realize your proposal? Are the experiences you describe relevant to the work you propose? Does the process map present a clear path to your goals?
- Integrity of Proposal: Viewed as a whole, does your application demonstrate the integrity with which you approach your artistic practice and the community of practice you defined? Do your application materials demonstrate a commitment to high ethical standards and equitable professional practices in regard to proposed actions, values, methods, and goals?
Stage 2 application materials must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Wednesday, October 13, 2021.
Applicants must be individuals and may submit only one application per year. Organizations are not eligible to apply. At the time an application is submitted, and the grant is awarded, an applicant must be:
- 18 years of age or older;
- not enrolled for more than three credit hours at a college or university;
- and a resident of Arizona.
Recipients of the R&D Grant must wait 4 years to reapply and may receive a maximum of four (4) awards in their lifetime. This also applies to recipients of the previously-named Artist Research and Development Grant and previously-offered Artist Project Grant. Applicants who failed to submit a Final Report for a previous award are not eligible to apply.
This program does not fund the following:
- Support for activities, or projects which would otherwise be eligible for another Arts Commission grant, such as: Career Advancement Grant; Lifelong Arts Engagement Grant.
- Teaching artist residencies.
- Documentation of existing arts projects.
- Costs related to activities for which the applicant is employed or contracted.
- Costs related to academic research or formal study toward an academic or professional degree.
- Expenses incurred in the presentation of final work, such as self-publishing, promotion, catalogs published by the artist(s), exhibition expenses, and self-presenting. Such expenses may be one component of the proposal but cannot be the sole purpose of the requested funds.
- Fundraising projects
- Food and beverages for any purpose.
- Scholarships, awards, and competitions.
- Grant administration, overhead, or processing fees taken by an umbrella/parent organization.
This list is not comprehensive.
Leading up to the application due date, the Arizona Commission on the Arts will present webinar-style information sessions and workshops to help prospective applicants in preparing competitive applications.
Recordings of each session will be posted here the day after they occur.
Online Information Session
This information session was presented online on Thursday, June 3, 2021 and provides an overview of the Research & Development Grant application, eligibility requirements, and review process.
Over the course of three sessions, previous R&D Grantees will share tips, tricks, and insights on crafting your best application.
Session 1: Proposal Narrative
Attendees will learn insider tips on crafting a compelling narrative that communicates who you are, what you do, and why it matters.
This session was presented on Thursday, June 10, 2020.
Session 2: Communities of Practice
Attendees will learn how to identify your communities of practice, tips for describing your community of practice in the R&D Grant application, and how thinking about your contributions to a community of practice can lead to more authentic and ethical engagement.
This session was presented on Thursday, June 17, 2020.
Session 3: Work Samples
Thursday, June 24
4:00 – 5:00 PM
Attendees will learn…
- How to choose work samples that reflect your distinct vision.
- The best ways to convey the techniques you use and the intention behind them.
- Tips for putting your best foot forward and avoiding common mistakes.