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

Award Amount

Applicants may request a minimum of $3,000 and a maximum of $5,000.

Up to 15 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

Proposed activities may be underway prior to the time of application but must be completed by March 2022.

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.

Stage 1

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?

Stage 1 application materials must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Thursday, October 15, 2020.


Applicants will be notified whether or not their application will advance to Stage 2 no later than January 8, 2021.

Stage 2

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.


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?

Stage 2 application materials must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Thursday, February 3, 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 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.

Kesha Bruce
Artist Programs Manager
Phone: (602) 771-6530
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 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

The following information session was presented recorded on Friday, September 5, 2020.

Grantwriting 101: Communicating Who You Are, What You Do, and Why It Matters

September 25, 2020
5:30 – 6:30 pm


Join a panel of three past R&D Grant recipients for an interactive discussion on crafting a strong proposal narrative. Participants will learn…

  • What reviewers are looking for in a grant proposal
  • Tips for crafting a compelling narrative
  • Successful strategies for communicating effectively about your creative practice and its impact

Grantwriting 101: Identifying Your Communities of Practice and the Impact of Your Work

Friday, October 2, 2020
4:00 – 5:00 pm


A pair of past R&D Grant recipients will share their unique insights in an interactive discussion about communities of practice and the impact an artist’s work can make within them. Participants will learn…

  • How to identify your communities of practice
  • Tips for describing your community of practice in the R&D Grant application
  • How thinking about your contributions to a community of practice can lead to more authentic and ethical engagement

  • Grant Guidelines: 2021 Research & Development Grant