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

The application period for 2020 Research & Development Grants is now closed.

The guidelines below are provided only for reference.

Award Amount

Applicants may request a minimum of $3,000 and a maximum of $5,000. Up to 30 grants will be awarded this year.

Up to 30 grants will be awarded this year.

Eligible Expenses

Grant funds may be used for any of the following (this list is not comprehensive):

  • Stipend to grantee
  • Stipends to collaborators
  • Materials
  • Travel costs

  • Technology
  • Equipment
  • Space rental
  • Marketing costs

  • Production costs
  • Documentation
  • Rehearsal time
  • Registration fees

The R&D Grant application process is split into two stages so applicants don’t spend a lot of time doing unnecessary work.

All Stage 1 applications submitted by 11:59 pm, October 25, 2019 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.

You will be notified whether or not your application will advance to Stage 2 no later than January 10, 2020.

After the February 5 Stage 2 due date, your Stage 1 and Stage 2 application materials will be evaluated by each member of the review panel individually, according to the evaluation critiera.

On March 20, 2020, the panelists will convene in Phoenix to discuss the applications as a group. This meeting is open to the public and applicants being reviewed will be notified of listening options.

At the conclusion of the meeting, panelists will finalize their scores and recommend up to 30 applications for funding. These recommendations will then be sent to the Arts Commission’s Governor-appointed board of commissioners for approval.

Grantees will be notified in April 2020.

When you’re ready, click on the “Apply Now” button above. This will take you to a website called Submittable where you’ll submit your application materials.

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).

  1. Describe the work you propose to do with the grant funds. What are your specific proposed activities?
  2. Tell us about your community of practice: is it your artistic discipline, audience, field of study, place-based, geographic, or broader community?
  3. How does the work you propose reflect or respond to your community of practice?
  4. How does this proposal relate to the work you currently do?
  5. How would receiving this grant deepen your artistic practice?
  6. 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.)

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.

Work Samples

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
  • 5 pages of double-spaced text or 3-5 poems
  • 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 page of double-spaced text or 1-2 poems
  • Combination of materials listed above: Please edit accordingly for no more than a total of 1 minute of reviewing time (2 images=1 min.)

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

If applicable:

  • 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.
  • 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?

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.

Process Map

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 can be activities, events, achievements, or anything else you will use to track and anchor your artistic process.

You can provide a list or narrative text or upload a 1-page file (.jpg or .pdf) of a drawing, sketch, or other visual.

Experience List

Provide 3 to 5 personal, professional, and/or community-based experiences you have engaged in the past 5 years that are relevant to your 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.

Expenses List

List total eligible expenses (artist stipends, including your own artist stipend, materials, travel costs, equipment, space rental, production costs, documentation, marketing, rehearsal time, 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.

Budget Narrative

Describe anything in the expenses list that would benefit from additional explanation. 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 the application materials demonstrate a consistency of proposed actions, values, methods, and goals?

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 previously funded grant 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; Arts Learning Collaboration 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.

Anna Needham (Red Lake Ojibwe)
Artist Programs Coordinator
Phone: (602) 771-6526
Email: [email protected]

Submittable Technical Support
(855) 467-8264, ext. 2
[email protected]

Leading up to the application due date, the Arizona Commission on the Arts will present public information sessions online and throughout the state.

Additional opportunities will be posted here as they are scheduled.


This webinar-style session will be presented online.

September 6, 2019
3:00 – 4:00 pm



Onyx Art Gallery
1346 W Roosevelt St, Phoenix

September 17, 2019
6:00 – 7:30 pm



Littlewood Community Co-op
176 S Main St, Yuma

September 18, 2019
6:30 – 8:00 pm



Phoenix Indian Sch Visitor Ctr
300 E Indian School Rd

September 20, 2019
6:00 – 7:30 pm



Xico Arte y Cultura
1008 E Buckeye Rd, Phoenix

September 23, 2019
6:00 – 7:30 pm



Native American Cultural Ctr
318 W. McCreary Dr, Flagstaff

September 27, 2019
3:00 – 5:00 pm


Investing in Arizona’s Innovators and Creative Contributors

In 2018, the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) embarked upon a public-philanthropic partnership supported in part by funding from the Newton and Betty Rosenzweig Fund for the Arts, an endowment held at ACF. The collaboration aims to increase strategic investments in artists, supporting the work they do as innovators and creative contributors to Arizona’s future.

Assessing Arizona’s arts-funding landscape, ACF and the Arts Commission determined that there was a clear shortage of support for individual artists compared to other regions. Thanks to ACF’s investment, the Arts Commission will double the number of artist grants awarded annually, with ACF matching state funding, dollar-for-dollar.

Both partners believe that Arizona is home to many artists who lead with creativity, resourcefulness, and ingenuity, and that supporting their work can enhance our state’s creative capacity for years to come. View the comprehensive partnership announcement at

  • Grant Guidelines: 2020 Research & Development Grant