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NEW! SBMA Creative Genius Happy Hour!


It's so great to have the convenience of technology to connect with all the cool creatives around the city, but sometimes it's nice (and necessary) to come out of our awesome creating spaces and gather in a cool place (with a nice patio) and make connections with other creatives: singers, dancers, DJs, musicians, visual artists, graphic designers, poets, arts teachers & administrators, playwrights, actors, filmmakers, crafters, photographers, all-round ARTrepreneurs and Philadelphians who love Philly creatives!! Can you imagine what that kind of meetup would look like? We can!

Join us for the kickoff Thursday, May 22, 2014!


SBMA at PHAIR 4th Saturdays!

Starting Saturday May 24th visit the SBMA table every 4th Saturday at
Philly PHAIR outdoor marketplace!

PHAIR runs April 5th - Nov 22nd
Saturdays - rain or shine | 10 am to 5 pm

PHAIR features a weekly variety of artisans & food trucks who sell art, food, photography, handmade items, furniture, crafts, prints, clothing, jewelry, vintage, and more at their new location in Headhouse Square at 2nd & Lombard. More info at www.phillyphair.com

SBMA is excited to partner with Philly Phair to host a table and give "vendor grants" to local artists and artisans to feature their art! We even have opportunities for performance artists! Interested artists and artisans can contact us for more information. 

SAVE-THE-DATE: June 21, 2014 - Creative Strength Swap!

 Saturday, June 21, 2014

9am – 12pm | $5 registration
A Creative Strength Swap (well at least ours) is an event that encourages creative people to come together, identify each persons' skills, knowledge and resources. Then participants are encouraged to meet and connect to "swap" these valuable strengths among one another in order to complete a project, create something new or reach some other creative goal. SBMA realizes that funding for your creative business/artform is important, but when those funds are lacking or limited, we support creating and identifying alternative methods of support. This is just one of them.
We looked into different methods of gathering and organizing people based on corporate skill swap methods and added our own creativity. Participants will be led in an initial ice breaker to identify common and unique needs in the room. Then an activity will take place to lead the group in skills swap that participants can feel comfortable knowing their offer will be valued, bartered fairly and the overall swap will be deliverable in a specified time.
We've never seen uber-creative people come together and some level of resource sharing not take place. While participation is at will and does not mean that you will make a swap, we guarantee that all participants will receive at least 3 valuable tools by participating in this event:
  1. the opportunity to identify available skills, resources and knowledge present among participants and make initial connections
  2. a list of helpful resources compiled by the host arts organizations including referrals from fellow participants
  3. a "how-to" form to help facilitate swaps on the day of the event and for future use

Event starts promptly at 9am and participants must be able to attend for the full event time. Open to creatives from all artistic disciplines and greater Philadelphia-based organizations.

SBMA Connects Philly Artists to Resources



photo collage market east series2

Small But Mighty Arts Grant provides artists with small grants and additional resources at critical points in their creative careers that will serve as a catalyst to further their work so they continue to live and create in Philadelphia.

Here are some of the ways we supported artists throughout 2013  to create, connect and thrive in Philadelphia...


Micro-grants are increasingly important to artists.  Many artists have been $200 - $1,000 away from the next significant step in their creative careers.  By awarding artists with much needed funding and doing so more immediately, we can help to maintain the momentum of an artist's creative work. Thanks to the generosity of our 2012-13 donors, we were able to run a pilot of our grant program awarded 5 artists up to $500 in January 2014 to complete or make significant progress on a project (grant recipients made public on January 27, 2014).


We shorten the distance between an artist and existing resources in Philadelphia that could (and do) help to enhance artists' creative careers. One of those opportunities included the Market East Arts Series in partnership with Witty Gritty Marketing, Market8 and PHLCVB. SBMA booked artists for first fridays during the series. Many of those artists went on to book additional dates and make great connections to new audiences.


SBMA is serious about artists who are serious about their craft and creative careers.  We have co-promoted professional workshops and conferences and participated on panels like CFEVA and Corzo Center's panel on granting. The SBMA newsletter has also been an effective way for us to share resources, including professional development opportunities, with artists.

Small But Mighty Arts Grant Among Knight Arts Challenge Winners

Small But Mighty Moment #1
Awards Night for the Knight Arts Challenge

Some people say it's the small moments that really count.  I think all moments count, though Monday night proved that sometimes the small things indeed bring about really big, awe-inspiring stuff.

Dennis Scholl, Vice President/Arts for Knight Foundation told the crowd that he read each and every one of the 1,260 submissions for the Philadelphia Knight Arts Challenge, which were narrowed down by a voting committee to 55 finalists and finally, 35 winners who gathered at The Philadelphia Art Museum Monday night to receive their awards.

I was among them, wearing a name tag bearing a "2012 Winner" ribbon for my idea submission to start the Small But Mighty Arts Grant program, a mini-grant to serve as a catalyst for artists to further their creative work and gain artistic momentum.

Though I'd been keeping the hardest and happiest secret about winning the grant for about a month, my win hadn't really hit me as I sat in the company of fellow winners like Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and Asian Arts Initiative and among leaders of the Philadelphia arts community.

I was quoted in a recent article by Flying Kite writer Sue Spolan, saying that I could not believe that I won.  And it is true, at first I couldn't believe that my seemingly small idea was about to expand into something much more.

After the ceremony, The Philadelphia Art Museum opened up the Van Gogh exhibit for the awards attendees.  As I walked through the exhibit I couldn't help but notice the difference of experience when I stood up close to one of his works compared to the perspective when I took a few steps back.  Up close, each stroke seemed so small and wild, but by stepping back you could capture the depth, dimension and movement in his pieces.

As winners of the Knight Arts Challenge, we are a lot like those paintings, each of us a small, wildly creative part of the growing Philadelphia artistic scene, bringing our strokes of genius to the city's palette in such array.  When you step back in the coming weeks, months and following year, you will see what Knight Foundation saw in all of our projects...a collective masterpiece.

I am incredibly honored to receive this grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to establish a mini-grant program to help Philadelphia artists add to the vibrant creative landscape one small, but mighty grant at a time.


  1. Sign up to receive SBM Arts Grant updates and news in the Contact Us section.
  2. Sign an artist's email list (and stay on it).
  3. Next time you buy a gift for friends or family, shop local, purchase something from a Philadelphia artist!

PRESS RELEASE: Small Grant Receives Mighty Boost to Support Philadelphia Artists!

April 24, 2012


PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia artists will soon have an opportunity to apply for micro-grants of $200 to $1,000 that could help them complete, continue or begin an artistic project.  Thanks to support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, local artists could utilize these small grants to gain artistic momentum and share more of their work within the community.

Many grants are highly competitive and geared toward larger organizations, providing fewer small grant funding options for individual artists.  Many independent artists rely on funding from their jobs or savings to support their artistic endeavors.  This often leaves artists without adequate funding to move their creative projects forward.

The Small-But-Mighty Arts Grant will launch with a $60,000, two-year grant from Knight Foundation to provide small grant funds to independent artists.  Read more