Fall 2018


Are you an artist who has experience engaging community members to make creative work together? 

You may not formally call yourself a “teaching artist” but if your creative projects include working with a community to create something art-full, consider applying for the SBMA/Bartol Teaching Artist Micro-Grant.

This grant values an artist‘s creative work in which the community’s voice, input and perspectives inform, shape and create the project.

Teaching artists are not limited to teaching a workshop or working with kids.  Below are just a few examples of the kinds of creative work a teaching artist may do.

These are not the only examples, and we look forward to considering projects that present examples like the ones below, or other innovative ways artists and communities can create together.



An artist uses their artistic/creative talents to help community members create their own art, for example, working with veterans to write poetry or helping residents of a shelter create a mural.

An artist (with the buy-in of community members) creates their own work based on community stories or experiences, for example to illuminate a story or issue from that community in a way that is respectful and authentic.

An artist runs a program for community members to learn a particular creative skill, for example, teaching girls about fashion design or music recording. 


All applicants must:
• be a United States citizen
• live in Philadelphia, Delaware or Montgomery counties
• be 21+ years of age
• not be a student (students taking 6 credit hours or less will be considered)
• have an artistic career length of at least one full year (reflected in your bio)
• have not received SBMA micro-grant funding
(does not include funding/payment recieved through SBMA Programs)


  • Online grant application
  • Two work samples (one sample on your personal work and one showing your community work)
  • Letter of support (i.e. confirmation letter) from an organization or venue that you are working with to present your project (this confirms you have a place and/or community to work with)
    See below in the next section for further explanation of the letter of support.


  • Artists should detail:
    • 1) the time-sensitive need of funds and
    • 2) how funding would have immediate and ongoing impact on creative work and career
  • Awarded recipients must use funds within 3 months of receiving funds
  • Awarded artists will be asked to provide documentation of use of funds
  • Community project must be confirmed or already underway
  • Projects must take place in Philadelphia (county)
  • Grant recipients cannot use all of the $500 to pay themselves
  • Applicants who receive a micro-grant will receive the full $500 amount

Selected artists will be notified in late September.


What artistic disciplines qualify for this grant?

The micro-grant application is open to most all recognized and exploratory art forms.  We give an extensive list on the application that should cover most artistic practices, but if you do not see the category that represents your primary art form, please email us.

Here is also a quick list:
Acting  | Animation | Creative Writing | Dance | Digital Art | Fabric and Textile | Fashion Design | Film | Furniture Making | Graphic Design/Illustration | Installation | Interactive Design | Jazz | Mixed Media | Multimedia | Music Performance (Vocal, Instrumental, MC) | Music Production (includes songwriting, Deejaying, engineering) | Musical Theater | Painting | Performance Art | Photography | Playwriting | Podcast | Poetry/Prose | Printmaking | Puppetry | Scenic Design | Screen Printing | Spoken Word | Storytelling | Theater | Visual Art | Writing


It says the grant is only open to artists living in Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery or Delaware counties. What if I live outside of those areas but my office/studio/project takes place in one of those counties, can I still apply?

The application process is open only to artists who live in the specified counties or whose primary creative work takes place in the specified counties. This means artists’ mailing address for their personal residence, business office or performance space must be located in Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery or Delaware counties and specified on the application. If you live/work outside of the specified county areas, but your project/creative work takes place primarily in one of these counties, you may still choose to apply and offer further detail in your application.

Note: The voting committee may choose to give priority consideration to artists’ whose primary residence and creative work is in the specified county areas.  


Can I get a Bartol Teaching Artist micro-grant if an organization my project is connected to has also received a 2018 Bartol Foundation organization grant? 

No. If an organization has received a 2018 (June) Bartol Foundation general operating grant that will use funds to support all or part of your teaching artist project, you cannot also apply for a Bartol Teaching Artist micro-grant from SBMA. We suggest applying for a micro-grant with a different organization or host partner.


One of the requirements is a letter of support? What is needed as a “letter of support”?

A letter of support comes from an organization or venue that you are working with or whose support you have in order to pursue or complete your project. Because this is community-focused micro-grant, an artist must show some connection to successfully work within the community with an established organization or venue (i.e. “host site”). The letter would come from a main contact person at the organization or venue who is familiar with your project OR who is directly involved.  The letter would confirm that you will be working on your project with the organization or at the venue, a brief sentence on what you will be doing and the span of time you will be working on the project.  The letter should be signed and dated by this main contact person.  There is a place on the online grant application to upload a copy of your letter.


It says the grant is not open to full-time students. What if I’m only enrolled in college part-time or taking one college level class, can I still apply?

We will still accept applications from applicants enrolled in college-level classes for six (6) credit hours or less. Applicant may be asked to specify enrollment details.  The committee will take this information into consideration on all grants.


Can artists submit more than one SBMA micro-grant application if I am working on multiple projects or have multiple needs?

Yes, we will accept multiple applications, but artists can only be awarded from ONE of the three SBMA funding/resource streams. More specifically, if an artist is awarded a Fringe Festival micro-grant, they cannot also receive a grant from one of the other opportunities. We suggest applying for the opportunity where the greatest and most timely need exists.


Can I apply for an SBMA micro-grant if it is for a project for a creative group, collective or organization?

Yes, if the applicant is the lead, initiator, manager, or founder of the project. You should focus the application answers on how this grant would impact YOU as an individual artist. The SBMA micro-grant is meant to serve as a crucial catalyst to advance your project or overall career, especially within the next 3 – 6 months.

Example: A dancer who founded a dance ensemble applies for an SBMA grant to pay for performance space for the ensemble’s tenth production. Potential Impact: complete 10th production, founder able to continue creating future projects, performance makes it possible for founder to secure future grant funding, helps founder continue to work with/grow ensemble…


Can an ensemble (that meets all of the eligibility requirements) also apply for the SBMA micro-grant?

We recognize there are many artists who work with ensembles/collectives to produce their work. The primary focus of our micro-grant is on the individual artist, so anyone applying for an SBMA micro-grant that is part of an ensemble/collective must be the lead, initiator, manager or founder.  Answers on the application must focus on how the grant would impact YOU as an individual artist. We will not accept applications from collective members, assistants, interns or non-lead participants.  


Can I apply for funding to use for materials, supplies or services related to my creative work in general?

Yes! You can apply for funding to be used for material and supply costs and expenses related to completing or furthering your creative work. You must show how that expense will help you make significant progress in your creative practice or on a project. Artists can also apply for funding for professional development opportunities such as training, classes, workshops or residencies. Funding cannot be used to cover college classes in pursuit of an academic degree.


Can I apply for funding to help with our fundraising efforts/campaign?



What if I’m finding it hard to fit in all of my expenses in the budget section, what should I do?

Feel to use bullet points or a list format. If you still are limited on space, prioritize inclusion of primary expenses and note which expense(s) you would cover with SBMA funds if awarded.


What if I’m submitting a work sample link and only want the committee to view a specific page on my site or point in a video?

Grants are all about specificity, so the more specific you can be the better (“please look at page 2, paragraph 3” or “please view video starting at 3:22 until 4:56”).  We will only consider the specified information submitted when making a decision about the grant.


The application says that awarded artists must use funds within three months of receiving the grant.  Is this a strict requirement of receiving the grant?

Yes. SBMA Micro-Grants were created in direct response to local artists’ need to receive funds in a timelier manner to keep their creative momentum.  We are looking to support artists who will make immediate use of funding and make significant progress on a project, complete a project or pursue a professional development opportunity that can help advance their creative career.  Applicants can apply for funding to support a part of an ongoing or long-term project, but the SBMA micro-grant funds must be used within three months of receiving grant funds, and artists should include details of how a micro-grant would help the overall project momentum.
Note: We will not fund requests for projects or work that is only in the concept or idea stage.


I’d like to re-submit my application. Is this possible?

Yes. Artists can re-submit an application to add/change details for any reasons as long as it is within the application period. Applicants MUST send an email to info@smallbutmightyarts.org to let us know that you have submitted an updated application and to disregard the previous submission.

We will immediately delete your old submission and only consider your new application. Please note this action is not reversible, so please be sure! In the case that we have two applications for the same project, without notification, we will only review the most recent application.


Can you explain the “giveback” portion of the SBMA micro-grant opportunity?

The SBMA artist giveback is a way to connect the community, supporters and stakeholders to the artists we support. Often, SBMA offers artist support that cannot be viewed or seen (example: supplies, marketing support, etc.) but is critical to artists’ advancement.  The giveback option supports a cycle of giving that includes the community, the artist, their work and SBMA. Artists can opt to give an item/product of their creation or a giveback of time (which could include a performance, sitting on panel or other in-person activity).  

The giveback commitment is meant to be an easy, stress-free contribution that respects the value of the work and time of the artist. The level of giveback will be noted on the application and artists can select which giveback type they would like to offer. SBMA will work with each awarded artist to confirm their giveback details. We respect the right of the artist to value their work as they see fit and make the giveback according to this value.

Exempt: Fringe Festival & Bartol Teaching Artist Micro-Grant recipients

Example of giveback in action: SBMA funds an artist $500 to cover the first round of their CD printing costs to sell at an upcoming show. The artist chooses the product option for their giveback and gives SBMA 10 CDs that SBMA includes in our “thank you” gift bag to recent donors. Donors love the CD and the thank you and give an extra $20 during our next fundraising effort. Awesome!


Check out our Facebook video HERE


email us at info@smallbutmightyarts.org