Fulcrum Fund Grants for Artists

 Fulcrum Fund WEB

Providing grants of up to $10,000 to local artists

The Fulcrum Fund is created and operated by 516 ARTS in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is part of the Regional Regranting Program of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York, which aims to support vibrant, under-the-radar artistic activity by partnering with leading cultural institutions in communities across the country. The program allows the Foundation to reach informal, non-incorporated artists and collectives to support their alternative gathering spaces, publications, websites, events and other public-facing projects. The Fulcrum Fund is one of 14 re-granting programs developed and facilitated by organizations in Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland (OR), Portland (ME) and San Francisco. Together these programs have supported well over 800 independent art projects in the past ten years, granting more than 3.4 million dollars.

The Fulcrum Fund serves as an essential support structure enabling artists to expand existing work and to explore new directions. It supports projects that inspire curiosity, engagement and dialogue. It offers grants directly to independent artists and collectives who are based within an 80-mile radius of Albuquerque (including Santa Fe, Española, Grants and Socorro). Grants from the Fulcrum Fund are for non-501c3, self-organized artistic activity that reaches the general public. The awards celebrate art practices that may not fit into conventional museum and gallery systems.

The Fulcrum Fund awards grants to artists and projects centering around the visual arts. Projects created with and involving performance and/or other media are eligible provided visual art is a major component of the finished work. Funding is intended to support art that embraces experimentation, utilizes innovative approaches and seeks to expand the practices of contemporary art in the Albuquerque / Santa Fe area. In its first three years, the Fulcrum Fund has granted a total $170,000 to 35 art projects.

Examples of funded projects are new exhibitions or exhibition series, the ongoing work of an experimental arts venue or collective, public art projects, one-time events and performances, publications directly related to the visual arts, online projects, the creation of new artist residencies and film festivals.

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Contact Claude Smith, Fulcrum Fund Manager, 505-242-1445, claude@516arts.org

View the previous Fulcrum Fund recipients HERE


Who is eligible? 
Visual artists and collectives living and working within an 80-mile radius of Albuquerque are encouraged to apply. Students, commercial businesses and non-profit organizations (501(c)3) are NOT eligible.

What types of projects are NOT eligible? 
Projects for which the lead artist lives outside of the 80-mile radius of Albuquerque, projects that are part of a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization’s programming, projects proposed by students, and projects that do not have a public component will not be considered.

If I am a recent college graduate, am I eligible to apply? 
Current students or anyone who was/will be a student during the time of application or granting period are not eligible.

I am doing a project later in the year or the following year at a non-profit or commercial gallery, but they don’t have funding to pay me. Can I apply for funding for that project? No. These awards are for self-organized artistic projects. The idea being that if you are doing a project tied to another organization/business/venue as their programming, they should be commissioning or paying you for that project directly.

Do you have to be a U.S. citizen to apply? 
No, but the artist/lead organizer must have a social security number in order to receive payment of the award. Additional collaborators and/or participants do not need to be U.S. citizens or have social security numbers.

What kinds of projects will the Fulcrum Fund recognize?
 The Fulcrum Fund recognizes a wide range of projects and activities such as: a new exhibition or exhibition series, the ongoing work of an arts venue or collective, a public art project, a one-time event or performance, publications directly related to the visual arts, an online project, the creation of an artist residency, a series of film screenings and more. In general, the Fulcrum Fund seeks to create opportunities for the development and presentation of artist-led projects and programs that foster collaboration and are open to the public.

Does my project have to be collaborative?
 Not necessarily. In previous years, applicants were required to collaborate with someone (another artist/individual or group) but that is not longer required. Artists can now apply for projects in which they are the sole creator of a project.

What is the maximum funding amount I can request for my project? 
You may request any amount between $2,000 and $10,000. How many grants will you give out?
 Funding will be awarded to between 8-20 applicants.

How long do I have to complete my project? 
Recipients will have 1 calendar year from the date of award notification to complete their projects and public event.

In the case that multiple individuals are affiliated with the project collectively, who should be designated as the lead artist?
 The lead artist will be the primary contact and the main administrator for the grant application in the event of an award. Since the lead artist will be responsible for receiving the check, they will also be responsible for the additional dispersal of funds to collaborators and paying any income taxes owed as a result of receiving the grant. The lead artist does not need to be a U.S. citizen, though must have a social security number and reside within 80 miles of Albuquerque.

Can I submit proposals for more than one project?
 Applicants can be the lead organizer on more than one proposal at any given time, thought in this case, only one of their projects will be funded. Alternatively, applicants can be listed as additional collaborators on multiple proposals without affecting their eligibility on projects where they are designated as the lead artist.

How will the awards be selected? 
Each year 516 ARTS inviting three jurors (comprised of regionally and nationally recognized curators and arts professionals), who will review the submissions and select the grantees. 516 ARTS staff do not determine which artists receive funding.

If my proposal is selected, how will I receive the money? Once a formal agreement and tax documents have been signed and received, a check with the full award amount will be distributed to the applicant (or lead artist in the case of a collective) in their name.

Will I be responsible for paying taxes on the award? 
Yes, the IRS classifies this award as income. 516 ARTS will mail all recipients a 1099-misc form at the beginning of the calendar year. ALL recipients will be responsible for any taxes resulting from the additional income. 516 ARTS does not provide tax advice and recommends you speak with a financial advisor/accountant about how an award might effect your tax responsibility.

Can I wait to deposit my check until the next fiscal year to defer the tax responsibility until the following year?  No. Funds need to be deposited within 30 days of receipt of the check.

Is it possible to apply for a grant to purchase equipment? 
Equipment purchase or rental can be included as an expense in the project budget as part of a larger project; however, applications submitted for the sole purpose of acquiring equipment will not be considered. A as general rule of thumb, new equipment purchase should not exceed 25% of the total funds being requested.

Can I apply for a grant to fund general operating expenses for a new or existing art space?
 Yes. Examples of general operating expenses associated with the launch of a new arts space or the support of an existing art space include: rent, utilities, artist/designer fees, materials, supplies, administrative fees and promotional materials.

Can I apply for a project that has already started? 
Yes, projects that seek to expand their reach or are considered “ongoing” can be considered. Keep in mind that the Fulcrum Fund will not allocate resources to finished projects or support individuals looking to document pre-existing or finished projects.

Where and how should I submit my budget information? On the application, there is a space for you to submit information regarding your anticipated expenses including but not limited to: artist/participant/contractor/fabrication fees or honoraria, venue rental fee, permits, materials, marketing and printing, website and hosting, rental and/or equipment purchase, travel, food (in the case of receptions) etc... Just keep in mind that your projected expenses should equal the amount of money you are requesting.

Should artist fees be factored into my budget?
 Yes. If your project requires you to compensate your collaborators, participants or yourself, you should include those expenses in your budget.

Can I apply for funding to cover my total budget, or am I expected to secure matching or additional funding? 
You may apply for a grants for full or partial funding of your overall budget. Additional funding sources are great, though not required. In the event you are accounting for additional income, jurors only want to know how you intend to spend the money requested from the Fulcrum Fund.

Can I apply to support a web-based project?
 Yes, web-based projects are eligible (blogs, podcasts etc..), as long as the content is related to visual art and artist applying for funding lives within an 80 mile radius of Albuquerque. Additional collaborators can be from anywhere.

How large should my images be? Images can be formatted up to 1600 pixels in any length at 100 dpi

If I’m proposing a project or exhibition that requires a venue space, does it need to be confirmed by the time I submit my application? 
No, but it would be helpful to describe the kinds of spaces that you envision would be appropriate for your project. The venue cannot be 516 ARTS and the project cannot be part of another venue’s exhibition program.

I don’t have any images that are representative of my proposed project. What kinds of visual aids should I include as part of my application?
 Applicants should submit work samples that represent the plans for realizing the proposed project. This could include previous work samples of artists who will be presented, mock-ups, plans and schematics for a site-specific project or documentation of past projects that are similar.

What are the requirements for reporting? 
Grantees will be expected to submit documentation upon the completion of the proposed project and complete an evaluation of the project.

For more information regarding the Fulcrum Fund, email: Claude Smith, Fulcrum Fund Program Manager, at claude@516arts.org.