Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Report on COAHSI Workshop

I attended the COAHSI worshop on Wed, Sept. 2 at 8 pm at the College of Staten Island. Here are my notes. Here is the url for COAHSI so you can explore further on your own:

Types of grants:

If we haven't ever received a grant from COAHSI before, we would apply for a Premier grant as a "Community arts and cultural organization that presents art and cultural programing through projects and public presentations." Request ranges to $3,000

If we have gotten funding before, we'd apply for an Art Fund Grant. Request range $750 - $5,000

They also have a "Creative Communities" grant, which specifically mentions "crafts", and specifies that projects must be open to the public and take place on Staten Island during the year 2010. request range $500 - $5,000

An individual can also apply for all of the above or for an "Original Work Grant".

COAHSI also has Arts & Education grants.

What happened at the meeting:

Ginger Shulick was the workshop leader and is the person with whom we can work in developing our proposal. She went over the main hand out which covered eligibility and non-eligibility, what activities wouldn't be covered for funding, what criteria should be covered, and what types of proposals are successful. (I have this handout and will bring to next meeting)

There were about 10 other participants. Participants included filmmakers, live theater directors and visual artists of all types. Two people seemed interested in ANG/EGA, and I ran into a college chum who runs Staten Island Out Loud.

I also picked up handouts of the grant guidelines; a sample budget; and a "grant writing basics" written by the Queens Council on the Arts. (I will bring all these to the next meeting. Maybe they are all available at the url above as well.)

What I learned:

I am sure we can think of a project or group of projects that qualify for a grant of one sort or another. Ginger recommends that we request the maximum amount possible. They will give 15 Premier grants and 5 Art Fund grants.

The deadline for submission is October 16 at 5pm. Submission must be on CD or DVD. Picture files should be relatively high resolution JPEG, properly labeled, etc. They will notify the winners in early December, and they should get the checks in early January 2010.

Criteria for grants (taken directly from handout):
  • Funding priorities: artist fees, marketing and publicity expenses, direct administrative expenses, supplies and materials. They want to see as high an audience/market "bang for their buck" as possible.
  • Quality and clarity of project including clear and realistic plan for implementation
  • Artistic merit of past works and activities of organization/artists involved in the project.
  • Cultural significance
  • Degree of public service offered, and demonstration of community interest
  • Need and impact on the artistic discipline, geographic area, or local population;: projects which address communities or artistic disciplines which are underrepresented or under-served will receive foremost attention
  • Demonstration of of managerial, planning, a,nd fiscal competence
  • Appropriate request level and realistic budget
  • Preference will be given to organizations using Staten Island-based artists
  • Project must be accessible to any member of the community who wishes to partake in the experience.
We should not consider anything in Public Schools, but we can do events or teaching /outreach in public libraries and other cultural institutions. If we want to do a project in the public schools, we should apply for an Arts & Education grant.

This blog is a perfect way for us to toss around some ideas for our project. We don't have all that much time, so we can get some things on the table before we meet. I'm sorry for taking so long in getting this up for you. I hope it's helpful.


  1. The challenge we face in any type of education project is getting past the perception that needlework is too difficult for most people to do. How many times have we had someone look at our stitching and say, "I could never do that!" Well, yes they could, but try getting them to believe it. If we did a class, my idea would be to teach a bookmark. They're easy, quick, and a practical project to make. We could do something very basic, a heart or an initial from a copyright-free alphabet. (I believe that the antique alphabets and motifs getting posted on the internet are free of copyright.) We'd have to write our own instructions and stitch diagrams. The stitches would be cross stitch and nun stitch to bind the edges of the bookmark. If the class were long enough, we could even teach how to make a tassel to go on the top. The ideal location for this class would be a public library or bookstore. ("Make a bookmark and then go get a book!") At any rate, this is just a thought.

  2. Great job Eve! I like Annies idea a quick and useful.


  3. We could also try to connect this to a literacy project adults can keep bookmarks or donate to us to give to a worthy cause or if we hooked up with an after-school reading group - as an activity for a break - stitching - stitch a book mark for yourself -

    we could also make relevant-to Staten-Island designs for the bookmarks to make them more marketable state birds, landmarks, I love to chart things!

  4. Good idea, Eve! I can't draw, and can't really create anything original. Anne


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