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 Research & Development Grants is now closed.

No further applications will be accepted.

Award Amount

Artists may request between $3,000 and $5,000 in funding.

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):

  • Artist stipend to applicant
  • Artist stipends to collaborators
  • Materials
  • Travel costs

  • Technology
  • Equipment
  • Space rental
  • Marketing

  • Production costs
  • Documentation
  • Rehearsal time
  • Registration fees

The R&D Grant application process is now split into two stages so applicants don’t spend a lot of time doing unnecessary work. With guidance from over two dozen Arizona artists, we stripped down, simplified, and streamlined the application and review process.

Stage 1 includes a narrative proposal details section and an opportunity to submit work samples. After these materials are reviewed by a panel of independent arts professionals, applications determined to be most competitive according to evaluation criteria will move to the next stage of review.

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. Applicants are welcome to attend in person or listen to the proceedings online.

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

Click here to review sample 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, 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?

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:

  • 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.)

Please do not submit promotional materials. Panelists can’t assess your work based on an exhibition poster, an event program, or a published review. Remember to test your work samples as you upload them.

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:

  • Title of the work
  • Date completed/premiered

If appropriate:

  • 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, field of study, community of practice, 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?

After Stage 1 application materials are received and reviewed by panelists, applications determined to be most competitive according to evaluation criteria will move to the next stage of review.

Applicants who advance to Stage 2 of review will receive a request for additional information including:

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.

Expenses List

List total eligible expenses (artist stipends, including your own artist stipend, materials, travel costs, equipment, space rental, production costs, documentation, 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, up to $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 success?
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • Scholarships, awards and competitions.
  • Food and beverages for any purpose.
  • Grant administration, overhead or processing fees taken by an umbrella/parent organization as a percentage of the total award, with the exception of fiscal sponsors.

Gabriela Muñoz
Artist Programs Manager
[email protected]

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

As the application and review process for R&D Grants have changed significantly this year, the Arts Commission invites artists of all experience levels and disciplines to participate in a statewide interactive conversation with Arts Commission staff and past grantees on crafting a successful R&D Grant application!

Statewide Information Session
Saturday, September 29, 2018
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

You can join the conversation online from your own home or attend one of our community viewing sessions.

Join an Artist Community Session

We are partnering with community arts spaces throughout the state to host interactive viewings of the information session. Attendees will be able to engage with the presenters, ask questions, and network with local artists! We are currently working to secure locations and will update below as new spaces are confirmed. In the meantime, register for a session near you to receive updates directly to your email inbox! (Additional locations may be added.)

Sonoran Desert Inn


Central School Project


Arizona Commission on the Arts


Location to be announced


Yuma Art Center


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.

For more information, view the comprehensive partnership announcement at

  • Grant Guidelines: 2019 Research & Development Grant