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

To assist R&D Grant applicants in preparing their application materials, we asked five previously awarded R&D Grant recipients to recreate their applications in the new application format. We hope you’ll find these exemplary sample materials instructive as you prepare your own.

Click here to learn more about the sample applicants.

Stage 1 Application Materials

Applicants can type up their proposal narrative (1200 words), or upload it in a video or audio recording (8 minutes in length). In either case, the applicant is asked to respond to the following questions:

Narrative Proposal 

  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.)

Click below to review sample Narrative Proposals.

The Mexican Woman’s Post-Apocalyptic Survival Guide to the Southwest: Food, Clothing, Shelter, y la Migra examines and celebrates the survival skills of a group of contemporary Mexican women living on the US Mexico border. After spending the day tending their gardens, feeding livestock, completing knitting projects and firing handmade bricks, many of the women are active on their social media accounts, posting the fruits of their labor and/or selfies beside family members. My relationship with the woman of DouglaPrieta Works began when I was asked to paint a mural on their community space. I agreed and spent many mornings and afternoons in their presence and they have become role models to me, not only as stewards of the land but as mothers, artists and community advocates. DouglaPrieta Works is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering woman and children in Colonia Ladrillera, a rural neighborhood in Agua Prieta, SON. Members engage in permaculture in the desert and also focus on water preservation, brick making, energy conservation, and community learning.

For this new body of work will I photograph each woman in ‘heroic’ stances atop the land they preserve and utilize for survival. This photographic series is meant to place the brown woman in a landscape of power, demanding dignity and respect. The prints will be large scale (40×60 inches) for the aggrandizement and power the women possess, as a mechanism to counteract biases based on race and economic status.

Phase 2 of the project will consist of a “”how to”” survival guide that will exist as a printed art book and an interactive e-book including live links, and video. I will learn and document the many aspects involved with surviving solely on the resources of the desert land based on the following topics:

  • Food: Growing crops, herbs, and raising chickens, roosters, and rabbits.
  • Shelter: Making and firing bricks. (Members made and fired the bricks that now make up the DouglaPrieta Works building).
  • Clothing: Knitting, crocheting sewing, and quilting.
  • La Migra: Descriptions of what one could face when traveling on foot across the desert and how to deal with La Migra (border agents).

The book will also touch on additional details of DouglaPrieta Works’ practices including water preservation, energy preservation, and ethics. This detailed guide will consist of photographs and drawings illustrating the life and land the 12 women hold in high regard. The e-book will contain short video tutorials showing the women at work in their organization, along with live links to resources and articles.

Historically, art has provided a segway for the viewer to empathize with other humans. The work invites the viewer/reader to imagine themselves as outsiders or under the most extreme circumstance, like surviving the apocalypse. It forces a shift in the cultural paradigm starting with the local by empowering new cultural icons that exist outside of the status quo. The piece features new cultural icons in a scale typical of European aristocrats or American pop stars. I want to honor the women of Mexico from this particular border that value and practice an environmentally sustainable lifestyle in a time where consumption and waste are at its height in American culture. The work will center women producing sustenance for their community as a reminder of how the fruits and vegetables reach our own homes during a time where public rhetoric destabilizes cultural views and relationships with countries whose people are facing a crisis, forcing unwanted migration. A migration that supports our agriculture system and hospitality industries to name a few, all in the shadow of the American landscape. The piece is meant to empower women of color woman as educators, a role that is revered in the Mexican culture because DouglaPrieta Works also functions as a learning space where the women are continually learning and teaching each other new skills whether it be a new sewing technique or conversational English topics.

My community of practice is generally geographic, situated on the US Mexico border and/or the Southwest region of the United States. As the sociopolitical climate of the border region remains controversial, I am interested in exploring the idea of permeability and of how the perception of the border can be reimagined through a feminist lens atop a fence that bisects one culture. In this sense, my community of practice is deeply rooted in place and my personal experience in a particular border community. The inherent reciprocity of the United States and Mexico is often invisibilized rather than highlighted. Barriers are what drive my artwork to respond to the dangers they implicate, and for the peoples and environments involved.

This proposal responds to my personal perception and value of migrant labor and women’s leadership. I hope the viewer will reflect on border crossers who risk their lives to make our lives easier, with intentions grounded in survival and providing. The proposal frames an imagined situation where the reader faces the thought of a Post-Apocalyptic Southwest. The book is meant to place women of color in positions of power and ask the question, would our perceptions, rhetoric, and actions be altered if our lives depended on the knowledge and skills of Mexican women? What if you were faced with having to migrate south in order to survive? Would she be held in the highest regard if you knew your next meal derived from her ability to butcher a chicken? What if she knew the recipe and process for making bricks and your shelter relayed on her sharing the knowledge? What if you were forced to jump a fence into another country? How would you navigate through the desert or interact with La Migra (border agents)? This project invites the viewer/reader to imagine a flipped border scenario while learning about the realities of the everyday survival and the methods being performed by women on the other side of the border fence in Agua Prieta, SON.

The proposed project relates to my current body of work geographically speaking as well as through providing an alternative viewpoint of life on the border. The work is meant to counter the overgeneralized statements made by individuals with power. Like many of my previous works, the goal is to take control of a false narrative by zooming into one geographic location and focusing on real people who we will find to have more in common with than not.

This multilayered piece will enable me to work on a lengthy; socially charged work combining Photography, Video, Web, and Book Art in a way that could add to the movement of cultural acceptance in the United States. It will deepen my artistic practice by creating an opportunity to explore creative non-fictional writing as a new mode of expression in my portfolio. Furthermore, this work will deepen my relationship with women in my community facing incredibly different circumstances than I am at this moment and who are willing to share space and tackle common goals. Finally, this project will broaden my understanding of book publishing, and equitable, collaborative practices.

Listen to Jenea discuss her community of practice.

Listen to Jenea talk about drafting her proposal narrative.

I propose to complete a series of 10 poems on the themes of chronic illness, health, healthcare policies, caregiving, and the impacts these topics can have on the body and mind, finances, and familial relationships. The poems will be written for hopeful publication within my larger book-length manuscript, Cure. I also propose to conduct three writing workshops on the subjects of health and illness at community and health centers in Southern Arizona, like El Rio Health
Center, Casa de la Luz Hospice, UMC Banner, and Southern Arizona YWCA. These two-to-four-hour free workshops will reach underserved communities. I hope to focus one of the workshops specifically for seniors and one for caregivers of chronically ill loved ones. In addition to these workshops, I will hold up to four free readings at literary centers like the University of Arizona Poetry Center and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, to engage broader communities throughout the state. Three of the readings will feature established writers in the state, and, if appropriate, one of the readings will be for emerging writers (i.e. the students of the workshops) to offer a place for the community to hear their voices and to celebrate the completion of the course.

This project deepens my artistic practice because it will push me to experiment with form, style, and content, while also holding my work immediately accountable for public exposure at readings or through publication. Furthermore, while themes of health and illness have often appeared in my work, I believe these poems will be the connective thread of my manuscript, connecting the personal and individual experience with collective experiences. The project will
serve as an essential step in the continuation of four years of interrelated work. It will also mark an important time in my own personal development and individual understanding of health and illness amid familial and national-level changes.

This project engages new strategies of approach on the subjects of health, illness, and healthcare. Poems, particularly a series of interrelated narrative poems which use a repetitive structure, allow for a new but familiar method of exploration of this topic; Americans are, for example, very exposed to the news cycle of headlines and stories, but the I believe the poetic lyric cycle can help people to connect to the emotional, deeper impacts of healthcare policy, data,
costs, etc. This project will also allow me to engage new methodologies in my writing and teaching practice. The poems will explore my own experiences, but I also hope to include other first-person narratives from anonymous surveys and research on specific health issues. I also will pull language from the primary healthcare texts of recent memory: the Affordable Care Act, the American Health Care Act, and the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Though the primary
texts—and the conversation around healthcare as of late—are politically charged, I aim to deepen the conversation around the human experience of being well or ill instead of adding to any political dialogue on the subject of healthcare. The methods of my own writing will inform the workshops, as well; the workshops will be hands-on, generative courses that will teach students strategies for continuing writing beyond the workshop.

This project impacts the literary community and the broader community alike in its aim to break down the constructed barriers of appropriate subject matter for poems and art. The health, financial, and family concerns that are often knotted into daily life do not always make it to the page in an understandable way. I hope this project will reach a variety of Arizonans: caregivers, patients, policy-makers, healthcare providers, artists, writers, and more. By focusing
on engagement through poetry readings and a community of practice through writing workshops, the project will impact the way Arizonans navigate themes of health and illness at the individual, family, and community levels.

I am most excited about the potential for collaboration and connection that this project will afford; the act of writing can be a solitary experience, just as the experience of being chronically sick can be, and bringing both of these acts to light through collaborative workshops and readings is a unique opportunity. Reshaping the narrative around health and health care is essential in advancing our collective quality of health and vitality in our daily lives. I believe that
poetry can serve as a conduit for this exploration.

Listen to Laura discuss how she defines her “community of practice.”

The story I hope to tell in a book-length poetry manuscript titled Radius is of three generations of women, all immigrants to America. My grandmother was born just after the turn of the 20th century, lived through the Japanese Occupation of Korea, was married in an arranged union to a wealthy silk factory owner, and was then widowed during the Korean War. My mother was her second daughter, believed to be taken in by my grandmother when one of my grandfather’s concubines died in childbirth. Caught between the crossfire of North Korean and American armies, my mother sustained bullet wounds in the thigh and foot. She was ten years old. My grandmother, having just lost her husband and with six children to care for, left my mother to die as the remaining members of the family fled for safety. My aunt, who was two years older, carried my mother on her back until they reached the next village. Many years later, my grandmother immigrated to America to live with my mother for over 30 years—a difficult and complex relationship that ended in estrangement followed by my grandmother’s death. This story of war, survival, immigration, and family has influenced my entire life. This along with the themes of loss, betrayal, identity, and exile are a part of the manuscript. I represent the third generation, fusing the stories of my mother and grandmother together with a voice that provides an empathic imagination for understanding and forgiveness.

The artist research and development grant will allow me to conduct research at two sites: Busan, Korea, and Los Angeles, California. These visits will enable me to garner the necessary information and experiences to write additional poems and complete the remainder of the manuscript. Specifically, these site visits will afford me the opportunity to visit the landscapes where these events took place and to use these images as reference points and inspiration. I will have the opportunity to talk with family members and family friends that can share their experiences of the war. In addition, I will be able to acquire copies of documents and artifacts that will help to flesh out and add authenticity to the manuscript. Finally, I believe my conducting the research itself might become a part of the storytelling. My need to articulate, find purpose in, and put form to this long history of trauma and loss will actually become a part of the narrative.

In addition to the site visits, other proposed activities include meeting with Korean history scholars; conducting interviews; researching both the Japanese Occupation and the Korean War via texts, museum visits, and the Internet; and generating new work throughout the process. These activities will help to answer several of the driving questions behind the proposal:

  • How can the suffering, specifically of Korean women and children, be interpreted through the framework of intersectionality? To what extent, if any, can the Korean culture be implicated? To what extent, if any, can the Korean government be implicated?
  • How has the country healed after such physical devastation? How have people changed emotionally and mentally?
  • What is the aftermath of the war on families? What are the lasting ramifications and how are they manifested?

To my knowledge, there is no poetry collection that incorporates the history of pre- and post-war Korea as told from the perspective of three generations.

Though my work focuses on Korean history and Korean culture, my community of practice is far more broad. Though writing is in its very nature a solitary undertaking, I could not possibly become the writer I hope to be by merely working in isolation. As an early-career poet, my community of practice has been primarily forged by communities of learners. These communities exist on a local and national level and include formative contexts in which poets develop, such as formal workshops, writers’ groups, conferences, residencies, and classes. These opportunities offer experiential and collective learning by fellow practitioners and are often facilitated by established poets. Out of these communities of learners, many informal relationships have emerged that I also consider my community of practice. These include mentors and trusted readers, who have provided me with incredibly rich and productive literary friendships.

The arts community in the city of Phoenix has also provided a broad landscape—a wide literary community—in which I have been fortunate to participate. This community of practice, made up of writers, teachers, editors, publishers, students, patrons, civic leaders, etc., has supported literary artists of all genres by creating and organizing meaningful opportunities where we can come together; by encouraging audiences at all levels of participation to attend literary events; and by inspiring and sustaining writers to produce and share their best work.

As a poet, I am fascinated by how specific and particular details of our individual lives and experiences broaden into the universal. Those details articulated and expressed in infinitely imaginative ways bring both delight and satisfaction to the intellectual and artistic mind. My aesthetic ambition is to write poems that resonate on an intellectual register as well as an emotional one. In this way, the work would reflect my communities of learners, as it is what we are working together to accomplish. Though my manuscript offers a single cultural representation, I do hope this expression of war and its concomitant sufferings will speak to larger audiences. I hope to share this work at readings and workshops in my larger community of practice, which would include the arts community in Phoenix.

The grant would allow me to conduct research towards the completion of a full-length manuscript. The concept arises from my chapbook, Crash Landing in the Plaza of an Unknown City (Dancing Girl Press), which briefly introduces the themes referenced above as well as themes of assimilation and biculturalism. My work has consistently investigated these notions of identity, and my approach as a poet has been to identify and consider the intersections of language, personal history, politics, culture, and gender. My hope is that the particulars of this story become part of a larger shared experience for those who have imagined or experienced war.

Leaving one’s country may be a singular transformative experience for an artist, but I would argue that the return to one’s homeland may be just as influential. These site visits to Busan, South Korea, and Los Angeles, California, will offer immersive and authentic experiences for me as a writer. It is not the research alone but the opportunity to see the landscape, witness its transformation since the war, and conduct personal interviews that I believe will make a lasting impression from which I can draw upon in my work.”

Alex discusses the choice between recording or writing out your proposal.

Alex talks about her Community of Practice

Alex discusses her editing process

Peer to Peer Learning Sessions

In each session below, Arts Commission staff and past grantees discuss a specific component of the application. 

Grant Writing 101: Proposal Narrative

Grant Writing 101: Communities of Practice

Work Samples & Descriptions

Applicants are asked to submit samples of work they’ve completed in the last 5 years. The work sample format is dependent on discipline.

Applicants are further asked to provide a brief description, explaining how the submitted work samples relate to their proposal.

Click below to review sample work samples and work sample descriptions.

Historias en la Camioneta records my experience on the shuttle to and from Agua Prieta, Sonora Mexico and Phoenix, Arizona. My fellow passengers reveal their perspectives and personal narratives, informed by the backdrop of the desert landscape. The combination of the passengers’ dialogue and changing scenery intimately reveals the interrelationship of personal histories to the particular places passed during the journey. The transient nature of the “tellings” in the shuttle exists for a fixed time as invisible traces of our era, lost in the passing landscape and unacknowledged.

Historias en la Camioneta
December 2010
Spirit Abuse March First Friday, Albuquerque, NM
Video, Phoenix Transect Website, Arizona Historical Society Museum, Tempe, AZ
Video installation

Printed on handmade cholla paper, enlarged view of an ankle pierced by cactus needles form the human landscape. The performative piercing ritual of feminist mestiza takes on blood and the body as a visceral response to the blood within the history of our borderlands and now as the death toll of migrants is ever so present.

Untitled 1
The Border Project: Soundcapes, Landscapes, and Lifescapes,
University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson AZ
16×20 inches
Archival print on cholla handmade paper

Window display in Mexico City examines the ideas of Eurocentrism embedded throughout the world, especially those disguised in marketing installations. For centuries, the “European look” has been the status symbol of being more educated, affluent and desirable. This image strives to make visual the thriving force of consumer propaganda and the consequences of perpetuating racial and cultural insecurity.

Window Display in Mexico City
Save Our States (S.O.S), D-Block Gallery, Long Beach, CA
Save Our States (S.O.S), D-Block Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
Environmental Imagination, GPSA Fall Juried show, Tempe, AZ
8.5 x 11 inches
Blind emboss on digital print

Skinning to Whiten: Survival Mechanism renders visible and auditorily the violence and obscenity projects onto the people of color and through the mainstream media. In doing so, the piece ignites a larger conversation about the effects of the institution of whiteness and our own historical involvement and complicity. The piece combined video projections, sound, rice, metal and a 5 day, 5-hour durational performance of brown rice being scrapped to become white rice.

Skinning to Whiten: Survival Mechanism
December 2011
Harry Wood Gallery, ASU Tempe Campus
The Hive, Phoenix, AZ, 2016
Video Projections, sound, border fence scraps, white rice, brown rice

Listen to Jenea discuss her work samples:

The following work sample includes four poems included in my manuscript-in-progress, Cure. These poems are of varying styles, themes, and length, yet the primary concerns of the work are of health and wellness, illness and disease. These concerns are also the subject of the proposal project; the workshops and poems I have proposed will directly address the issues of health, illness, healthcare, caregiving, and the lasting impacts of these experiences. Language is the way I explore my experiences and the world around me, and I hope that the workshops I have proposed will also offer others the opportunity to use language to explore.

  1. “Cure”
    Laura Maher
    Completed March 2014
    Published Fall 2016 in Third Coast Magazine, Issue 40 & 41
  2. “Disease Process”
    Laura Maher
    Completed August 2016
  3. “On Blood and Water”
    Laura Maher
    Completed August 2017
    Forthcoming, The Common
  4. “Sleep Water”
    Laura Maher
    Completed June 2015
    Published Fall 2015 in Moonsick Magazine, Issue 3

Listen to Laura explain how she selected her work samples.

The work sample includes five poems from my manuscript in progress. The working title is Radius, in reference to the way in which we move back and forth from our “centers,” which include “home,” “loved ones,” and/or “our past.” I chose the following poems because they represent my attempt to complement form with meaning using diction, figurative language, poetic conventions, and mechanics to enhance the poem’s purpose. Research opportunities made possible by the grant will enable me to write additional poems and complete the remainder of the manuscript.

  1. Title: “Photograph of My Grandfather in a Western Business Suit, 1950”
    Journal of Publication/Date: Gulf Stream Magazine, 2013
    In this poem I remove punctuation and capitalization to create the effect of disorientation as experienced in war. I include words in Korean to further this sense of instability and random spacing between uneven grammatical units to force longer caesurae and disrupt rhythmic continuity.
  2. Title: “Radius”
    Publisher/Date: Five Oaks Press, 2015
    “Radius” consists of almost entirely declarative statements, a kind of parataxis, in an attempt to reveal three generations without the construct of a true narrative poem and without rhetorical causality. To represent complexity in the relationships, I juxtapose abstract declarations to create an inferential judgment on the part of the speaker.
  3. Title: “Crash Landing in the Plaza of an Unknown City”
    Journal of Publication/Date: DMQ Review, 2014
    In this lyrical poem, action takes place in slow motion and backwards to replicate the experience of memory. This poem serves as the invocation to the manuscript, inviting readers to witness how the speaker arrived at this “crash landing.” The “crash” is a metaphor for immigration and represents its sense of jarring dislocation.
  4. Title: “Dinner at Yamashiro, 2010”
    Journal of Publication/Date: DMQ Review, 2014
    This poem serves as a mirror to “Photograph of My Grandfather in a Western Business Suit, 1950.” The form is replicated with larger spacing anomalies to show the disconnectedness between the daughter and mother. The setting is relevant in that Los Angeles is the location where the family in the poems immigrates, and the smog is symbolic for the obscured perspectives of the women.
  5. Title: “Landscapes”
    Journal of Publication/Date: Soundings Review, 2014
    In this lyrical elegy, I attempt to capture the landscape of the mother country as an object of mourning. I try to create an intimacy and a longing in the voice of the speaker using personification of physical geography.

I included digital images from my book as well as an example of a screen printed page. The first image Abecedario is the last page of my book Abecedario del Sur and contains the entire alphabet that I collected along South Sixth Avenue and South Twelfth Avenue. The second image Alphabet Map is an illustration that spans the first two pages of my book and is integral for understanding my concept. This illustration reflects how my book is a geographic alphabet. The map shows the route I took heading south and the letters I passed along the way. The order the letters appear North to South, is the order they appear in the book. The third image Book Spread shows an example of a few pages from the book. The letters E and C are out of alphabetical order but they are in geographic order of appearance which can be confirmed by the map. The last sample Screenprint A is an example of a screen-print. The photographic elements of the print show the ‘screen’ dots very clearly. The process is quite complex so I had to restrict the color palette to three colors plus black, which requires four different runs through the screen press. Any differences between the digital images and the screen prints were concessions made for the screen printing process. The last sample is from my collaborator and sister Sharayah Jimenez. She wrote an award winning essay about the history of the barrio where my great-grandmother grew up. The essay reflects our shared passion and interest in the people of Tucson.

Listen to Alex talk about how she selected her work samples.

1. Abecedario Alexandra Jimenez, May 2014, Tucson, Az 12″ x 12″ Digital Image

2. Alphabet Map Alexandra Jimenez, May 2014, Tucson, Az 12″ x 24″ Digital Image

3. Screenprint Z Alexandra Jimenez, April 2014, Tucson, Az 12″ x 12″ Screen Print

4. Book Spread Alexandra Jimenez, May 2014, Tucson, Az 12″ x 24″ Digital Image

Peer to Peer Learning Session

Grantwriting 101: Work Samples

Stage 2 Application Materials

Process Map

Applicants are asked to map the course of the creative process for their proposa, identifying 3 to 5 specific steps they will take during the funding period.

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

Click below to review sample process maps.

Listen to Laura talk about how she approached her Process Map.

Current Status:
Forty-eight of the targeted 80 poems have been completed. Of the 48 poems, 19 have been published or are in the process of publication in literary journals. Fifteen of these 19 poems will also appear in the chapbook Crash Landing in the Plaza of an Unknown City by Dancing Girl Press. The Artist Research and Development Grant will provide support to conduct research that is pivotal to the completion of my first book-length collection of poetry titled Radius. I will conduct research at two different sites: Busan, South Korea and Los Angeles, California.

Process Map:
January 2015: Book flight and accommodations for first research site: Busan, South Korea. Contact Wu family members (mother’s sisters), Seo family members (grandmother’s nieces), and Hyum Mi Kim (mother’s childhood friend) via phone. Inform them of travel arrangements and schedule meetings between 6/9/2015 and 6/19/2015. Seek out history professor of at Busan University and schedule personal interview if possible. Begin formulating interview questions for all meetings. Focus this month’s research on the narrative of the Korean War. Pursue books and articles written by individuals who lived through the experience. Continue generating new work inspired by the findings (3-5 poems).

February 2015: Establish contact in Busan government agencies to obtain birth, marriage, and property records. Focus this month’s research on collecting visual representations (photographs and video) of life in Korea from 1900 to 1940. Continue generating new work inspired by the findings (3-5 poems).

March 2015: Begin focusing research on Japanese Occupation of Korea, 1910-1945. Look specifically to accounts by Koreans who were older children at the time of the occupation to learn about life before and after. Continue generating new work inspired by the findings (3-5 poems).

June 2015: Plan and prepare all recording devices, including video recorder, audio recorder, DSLR camera, and portable scanner. Conduct research trip to Busan, South Korea. Upon return, schedule interview and meetings for second research trip. Prepare interview questions. Continue generating new work (3-5 poems).

July 2015: Transcribe interviews. Organize all research findings. Construct a chronological outline of all recorded information. Begin contemplating ways to shape the manuscript. Travel to second research site, Los Angeles, to interview my mother and aunt and visit the Korean American Museum’s archives. Continue generating new work inspired by the findings (3-5 poems).

There are two main paths in my project which each have distinct steps. Progress along each path will progress at different rates but will be carried out simultaneously.

Written Narrative:

  • Make contact with business owners and ask for participation in this project
  • Gather at least 12 interviews from business owners who are a part of my book
  • After 3-4 interviews, work with the writer to identify trends in the narrative and begin crafting a storyline. When draft is finished, send to an editor friend for review.
  • Design the layout of the book and prepare to send to a printer.
  • Use funds generated from screen print sales to publish a small run of the book

Screen Prints:

  • Convert digital files to compatible screen printing layer
  • Print a new letter every month
  • Look into a location for a show of the letters
  • Sell screen prints to fundraise for publication of the book

Listen to Alex discuss how she developed her process map.

Experience List

Artists are asked to provide 3 to 5 examples of personal, professional, and/or community-based experiences that are relevant to their proposal and describe how each experience has prepared them for the work they propose to undertake.

Click below to review sample experience lists.

Collaborative Mural Project with DouglaPrieta

May – August 2014

I was invited to lead a mural project on a wall of the newly constructed DouglaPrieta community center. This experience provided the opportunity to interact with the women and children who benefit from the DouglaPrieta the most. I was present when the woman conducted tours and presentation that spoke of their mission in the community and how the collective originated. I was often invited to sit in on such occasions and join the discussion. This experience not only inspired me as a woman and mother but also as an artist who is ready to embark on a major interdisciplinary project, three years post MFA.

Began a binational arts organization, Border Arts Corridor

October 2014 – 2015

In 2013 my husband and I started Border Arts Corridor with the goal of highlighting local artists in our border region. For our first artwalk on G Avenue, we featured the work of 50 artists in 12 local businesses. In 2015 we worked with Postcommodity to develop the first Binational Artwalk as part of the weekend featuring The Repellent Fence Project. The event was so successful that we have continued to work with artists and organizers in Mexico, highlighting the artistic vision of our shared communities.

Directed and edited Cochise College Holocaust Documentary

August 2012 – 2013

Collaborated with Cochise College instructors to produce a documentary that focused on Holocaust survivors in the region and their interaction with students from Douglas Agua Prieta who were inspired to retell their stores in Arizona and Northern Sonora. The documentary gave voice to the survivors as well as the future storytellers who would be tasked to keep the stories alive.

“The three experiences listed have prepared me to work with communities across disciplines, generations, and nationalities. The work has heightened my cultural competency and has sensitized my approach, especially in working with migrant women, children, and the elderly.

The mural project at DouglaPrieta created the opportunity for me to build a deep relationship with women in the collective. More than 200 hours were spent working at DouglaPrieta, which allowed for a great number of work hours and downtime, opening up new possibilities for deeper interactions and planning time.

Border Arts Corridor has served a community that has been deprived of the arts for nearly two generations. From curating to hosting events, this work has developed my interpersonal skills with artists, stakeholder, dignitaries, youth, and elders. My experiences working binationally has heightened awareness for the growing need for female representation and leadership in our border. I see this organization contributing to the revival of our city as a cultural hub in the borderlands as it was in the early 20th century.

The Holocaust Project Documentary is a heartfelt project spearheaded by educators and students with a common goal of eliminating discrimination so an event like the Holocaust may never occur again. The documentary’s primary focus is the way our binational community interacts with a generation who went through the most horrific event in modern times. This event serves as a force to remind our young generation of the importance of empathy and tolerance in today’s age. This work has helped me to continue to develop my portfolio in stay current in digital photography and video production.

As an artist, I am ready to take on the proposed multidisciplinary project, as the skills necessary have been nurtured in the past five years with my work as an artist, educator and arts organizer.”

Listen to Jenea talk about why she chose to highlight these experiences:

Teaching a Community Workshop at the U of A Poetry Center

September – October 2017

I taught an 8-week community course on the subject of revisions.

James Merrill Fellow at the Vermont Studio Center

August 2016

I was a fellow at a 4-week long artist residency, where I completed many poems for my manuscript.

MFA Graduate, Warren Wilson Program for Writers

July 2014

I graduated with an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson. My studies lasted from 2012 to 2104.

My most recent experience teaching a community-based workshop helped me to undertake this proposal because a large component of this work will be the community workshops. Through this experience, I was able to set goals for the course, set expectations and outcomes (both for myself and for students), and deliver the material in a comprehensive and understandable way. The fellowship at Vermont Studio Center has prepared me for this proposal work because it was a period of focused time where I was able to write, read, and to do research. I will use a similar approach to my work for this proposal, carving time from a busy schedule to produce work. The MFA degree experience is important to my work on this proposal in a similar way; this was a low-residency program, which meant that while I was pursuing a degree I was also working full-time (as I will be during the completion of this proposal). It was an immensely helpful experience to be able to learn how to manage my time, how to work with fellow students and faculty, and how to create new writing, all while balancing other demands.

Listen to Laura discuss the experiences she selected to highlight.

Lluvia Flamenco

2014 to present

Produced flamenco festival in Phoenix and Tucson.

Phoenix Festival de Espana

2014 to present

Produced Spanish cultural festival in Phoenix

Dancer – Noche Flamenca


Danced with world-renowned, New York-based company Noche Flamenca in their production of Antigone.

Founder/Artistic Director of Flamenco Por La Vida


Flamenco Por La Vida, a performance company that has been continually performing throughout the Valley for the past eight years.

Flamenco Teacher


Teaches flamenco to students ages 3-103 throughout the Valley

My work as an artist is broad — I consider myself a dancer, a choreographer, an arts educator, an artistic director and a producer. Over the past ten years, I’ve had the pleasure of presenting flamenco in the Arizona community through festivals like Lluvia Flamenca and Festival de Espana and performing and teaching throughout the valley. I’ve always strived to present Flamenco, in the purest most authentic way possible. Throughout my career, I’ve been told that my style is too aggressive and masculine; that women should not do so much footwork and instead focus on the fluid movements of the hands and arms, always concentrating on creating a picturesque, beautiful flamenco image. I’m continually searching for ways to improve my technique and artistry. That drive has brought me a good amount of success. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to tour with world-renowned, New York-based company Noche Flamenca, alongside many payos (Spanish dancers) and gitanos (gypsies). But no matter how hard I work, my dancing will never be puro in their eyes because I am American. So, I am stuck between these two worlds where I’m too puro and not puro enough at the same time. I’m too fat. I’m too queer. I’m too short. I’m too American. I’m too flamenca. I’m too aggressive. I’m too brown. I’m too intense. These are all comments that have been made to me throughout my career. These ideas are not merely what define me but often also what I define myself against as an artist. Through this project, I hope to silence those voices from my past and finally reveal myself as an artist.

MFA Education, Bennington College

Jan 2012 – Jan 2014

Graduate coursework leading to MFA degree.

Editorships for Literary Journals

Aug 2013 – May 2015

Editorship positions at various levels for four literary journals.

Workshops and Conferences

2013 – 2014

Participation in various workshops and conferences, both local and national.

Community Readings

2014 – 2015

Participation in various readings, both local and national.

Artist Residencies

2014 – 2015

Residencies granted for the time and space to work on a particular creative endeavor.

“Graduate coursework has enabled me to pursue poetry as an academic and intellectual endeavor, which includes the ability to research, write both academically and creatively, and develop a disciplined writing practice.

The editorships were invaluable in gaining experience with project management, specifically the ability to work within budget and time constraints, as well as working in collaboration with other artists to develop and execute an artistic vision. Interviewing and transcribing are also skills that will be transferable for this project proposal.

Generative workshops and conferences with other practitioners and established poets have been and are an integral part of developing my writing, reading, and revision skills.

Participating in community-based readings strengthens writing communities and promotes art, but they also allow me immediate feedback regarding the resonance or lack thereof in a particular poem. The information has been critical in the revision and editing process.

Residencies have allowed me the time and space to focus on developing and sustaining a writing practice with a specific creative project in mind.”



Starting in my last year of high school through my four years at Cornell University, I worked in several laboratories. Sometimes developing my own projects or assisting in lab work.

Business Manager


I managed a small tattoo shop for several years. I handled all administrative and financial affairs.

Southside Tucson Resident

Most of my life

My family and I have lived in the southside for two generations.

Degree in Visual Communication


I received a BFA in visual communication from the University of Arizona

I believe my lifelong experience in the southside is the base from which I am building upon with this project. My family and I have lived in the southside for many years and I have an authentic connection to this side of town. My heart for this project will not only come out in my writing but it will connect me to the people that I interview. I will be able to relate my experience of the southside and share that with my interviewees. Not only will I be able to approach my participants with a shared sense of place, but also my experience as a business manager has given me an understanding of the needs, fears, and trials that small business owners face. My life experiences help me to connect with the subject of this project and my work experiences have given me practical skills to complete the project. As a researcher I learned diligence, consistency, and attention to process. I also learned how to ask questions of the world around me and to make connections out of my discoveries. This mental training when applied to this project will help me craft important interview questions and make connections between the stories that I’ve heard. Lastly, my degree in Visual Communications has allowed me to practice the art of storytelling without words. In art school I was able to explore different mediums, practice carrying out an idea from concept to execution, and I learned how to translate my inquisitive nature into artistic exploration. My life experiences combined with my training in research and art give me all the tools I need to complete this project as well as a foundation for the human connections I will be making.

Listen to Alex explain why she included the experiences she chose.

Expenses List and Budget Narrative

Applicants are asked to submit a list the total eligible expenses for their proposal. (See grant guidelines for more information on eligible expenses.) Applicants may also include a budget narrative to describe anything in their expenses list that would benefit from additional explanation.

Click below to review sample Expense Lists and Budget Narratives.

Expense Description Amount
Macbook Pro 13 inch laptop computer $1,904
Camera lenses and accessories Wide angle lens, 85 mm fixed lens, bulb, external flash, lighting kit, and reflectors $900
Color prints and frames Cost of three- 48 x 60-inch prints framed with mattes plus six 16 x 20-inch prints, framed with mattes $1,996
Artist Stipend Amount paid to artist $200
  TOTAL: $5,000

The proposed budget was put together with the process and product of this proposal in mind. The grant will allow me to purchase the tools that will enable me to complete the work promptly and professionally. My main obstacle as a multidisciplinary/digital artist is the absence of a personal computer that can manage the new software I prefer to utilize in my practice like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere. A MacBook Pro is a portable digital powerhouse that can handle the load of digital processing I require in my workflow.

The camera equipment is part of the budget that will enhance the outcome of my work and will add to my artist tools for this proposal and future projects in the making.

Printing and framing with a fine art company will be like icing on a cake. This budget line will provide me the opportunity to submit to shows in Arizona and Sonora over the coming years. I also plan to apply for shows out of state with a body of work that is essentially ready to ship and hang.

Listen to Jenea discuss assembling her expenses list:

Expense Description Amount
Materials Pens, paper, photocopies, scissors, tape $225
Teaching Honorarium Payment for teaching workshops $1,350
Marketing Efforts Costs of marketing workshops/readings $400
Writer Honorariums Payment for readers $600
Travel Airfare & accomodations $1,187
Conference Registration Desert Nights, Rising Stars $438
Submission Fees Costs of submitting work for publication $150
Room Rental Fees Costs of reserving rooms for workshops or readings $650
  TOTAL: $5,000

The budget consists of three main components: costs associated with putting on the workshops, costs associated with putting on the community readings, and costs associated with continuing education and marketing (conferences, marketing components, submission fees).

Listen to Laura discuss her expenses list.

Expense Description Amount
Artist Stipends Eleven artists for performance of /ser/ $4,400
Travel Travel for rehearsals and performance $2,500
Materials Fabric and costumes for artists $1,300
Rehearsals Studio Rental and Artist Fees $1,000
Marketing Print and Web Advertising $500
Documentation Video Editing of /ser/ $400
Production Costs Lighting Designer $300
Equipment Rental of Wireless Mics $200
  TOTAL: $10,600

The additional $5,600 of the budget is being funded by Stateside Presents, our presenting partner ($3,100) and our Fiscal Sponsors- Performing in the Borderlands ($1000) and Northwestern Mutual ($1500).

Expense Description Amount
Airfare to 1st Research Location Round trip flight from Phoenix to Busan, South Korea, based on Expedia research conducted on 8/16/14. $2,019
Lodging (10 days) Motel rooms in and near Busan based on Expedia research conducted on 8/16/14. $1,500
Public Transportation (10 days) Transportation in and around Busan based on $35.00 per day for subway, taxi, and bus. $350
Meals (10 days) Meals in Busan based on 20% of foreign per diem (FPD) rate as stated on Twenty percent of FPD is representative of the cost of local Korean cuisine vs. the cost of American cuisine. $718
Travel to 2nd Research Location Round trip mileage from Phoenix to Los Angeles based on 2014 IRS Standard Mileage Rate of $.56. $413
  TOTAL: $5,000

Expense Description Amount
Graphic Design Labor This is the time I will devote to the graphic design elements of the book. Assembling the layout, designing a new cover, editing the text and preparing the book for press. $2,250
Screen-printing Labor I will be spending about 6 months screen printing.  It takes me around 3 weeks for one print.  This amount reflects a lump sum for that labor $1,000
Writer I will be paying my sister to co-author the book with me. $700
Translator I will encounter some interviewees who would prefer to conduct the interview in Spanish.  This will pay for someone to help me. $150
Screen-printing Facilities I will need to rent space from a local print shop in order to use their equipment. $560
Screen-printing Supplies Screens, Negative Film, Tape, Emulsion, Inks, squeegees, and paper $340
Book Printing I hope to print a small run of 100-200 books. $2,000
  TOTAL: $7,000

The majority of my budget will go towards the labor that I will put into the project. I will spend many hours collecting interviews, editing the book, and screen printing. I have listed an estimated budget for printing a small run of the book. I have decided that the best way to have a small run of the finished book published will be to finance it through the sale of screen prints. If I cannot generate the entirety of the $2000 then I will have to produce a smaller amount of books.

About the Sample Applicants

To learn more about the artists and their projects, click their name below: