MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program and the Studios at MASS MoCA give artists a range of support services, including residencies on the MASS MoCA campus, financial and business workshops, one-on-one coaching, and other professional development tools to help them achieve greater career success and financial independence.

Assets for Artists is also a major collaborator on the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts's ValleyCreates Artist Fund initiative.

Below are our current calls for applications. If you are looking for the Studios at MASS MoCA residency, that program accepts applications twice a year, and the application typically opens 2 months before that deadline (if the application is not listed below, then we are not currently accepting applications). See our department's Studios page for details.




 

CFWM logo

  

 

Valley Creates


Funded by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts' ValleyCreates Initiative and administered by MASS MoCA's Assets for Artists Program, the ValleyCreates Artist Working Capital Grant Program is a capacity-building and sustainability initiative for artists who currently live or have studio space in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampton Counties, Massachusetts. This program pairs a $1,000 mini-grant with opportunities for artist community-building, one-on-one coaching, and online financial and business resiliency workshops specifically focused on navigating a post-COVID cultural sector.


When joining the program, artists will have access to the following resources:

  • $1,000 mini-grant
  • Priority sign-up for free online workshops for Valley artists (which have limited enrollment in order to maximize peer networking and interaction with the trainer). Workshop participation is strongly encouraged, as it is the meat of this program and its learning process.
  • 1-on-1 support from A4A staff and trainers to talk about specific goals and challenges you face as an artist right now.
  • Social media promotional support for 1-2 projects per artist with CFWM's and A4A's social accounts.
  • Access to a strong ValleyCreates network of fellow artists.


To receive the $1,000 mini-grant, selected artists will:

  • Envision and share a basic plan of one's artistic and/or community goals for the next 1 to 2 years (don't worry, we'll guide you in getting that done easily).
  • Sign up for a 1-on-1 with an A4A staff member or trainer to discuss your current goals or challenges.
  • Participate in at least one ValleyCreates peer connection event in 2021 (most likely online meet-ups, with possible in-person cohort activities available later in the year)
  • All other opportunities with the program are optional and will be recommended based on the artist's specific needs and interests. 

Funds will be dispersed upon the completion of the above requirements. (Please note that for most recipients, the artist working capital grant will not be regarded as income for tax purposes, and will not result in a 1099 being issued, which would typically be considered taxable income.)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: December 7, 2020
(Remember, there's no tuition or application fees!)
 

TIMELINE

Dec 7, 2020 -- Applications due

Mid-Jan 2021 -- Cohort announced

March - July 2021 -- Online workshops, 1-on-1 coaching, & community-building opportunities



ELIGIBILITY

THIS APPLICATION IS BY INVITATION ONLY

Eligible applicants are artists aged 18+ of any discipline (painters, sculptors, installation artists, new media artists, craft artisans, designers, film-makers, photographers, performers, writers, musicians, thespians, dancers, etc.) who live OR have a studio address in Franklin, Hampshire, or Hampden Counties. A studio address can include access to shared studio space, such as at an artist collective. Artists who have previously participated in Assets for Artists programs, including the Studios at MASS MoCA, A4A Matched Savings, or Capacity-Building programs, are eligible to apply. Artists who received a 2020 ValleyCreates grant are not eligible to apply.


SELECTION CRITERIA
After meeting the above eligibility, applications will be assessed based on the following criteria 

  • Applicant's demonstrated financial need
  • Applicant's history of creative work (whether emerging or seasoned)
  • Applicant's commitment to working with their community

This program promotes equal opportunity and seeks diversity in its applicants and participants. Artists who identify as black, indigenous or a person of color and/or artists from especially rural portions of the Valley may receive priority.


QUESTIONS?
Contact MASS MoCA's Assets for Artists staff at assetsforartists@massmoca.org


OUR FUNDERS
The ValleyCreates Artist Working Capital Grant is a program of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts administered by MASS MoCA's Assets for Artists. It is made possible by the Community Foundation, the Groundwater Fund, CFWM’s COVID-19 Response Fund, Alfred L. & Sally Griggs Fund, Doherty Family Charitable Trust, and the Tuohey Family Fund.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program is an innovative support model that gives artists a range of financial and professional development tools to help them achieve greater business success and financial independence. Launched in 2008, the Assets for Artists program has served more than 1,000 artists in 5 states.

Our 2021 Capacity-Building Grant program will enroll a group of artists who can benefit from peer networking, professional development support, and capacity-building working capital grants of $1,000. This year, we are focusing the program specifically on BIPOC artists across the Commonwealth

Assets for Artists' Capacity-Building program welcomes applications from artists and creative entrepreneurs at all career stages and working in any discipline—music, dance, writing, film, craft, design, visual art, performance art, jewelry, folk art, etc.—whose practice would benefit from the opportunity to improve their financial and business skills in order to make valuable investments aimed at strengthening their creative practice. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of artistic strength and readiness to benefit from our broad array of program services. Some preference may be given to applicants with greater financial need, but applicants in all financial circumstances are encouraged to apply. Learn more on our website.


PROGRAM DETAILS

Artists will receive their $1,000 grant after they complete the required components of the program. Once enrolled, artists will have approximately 10 months to meet the requirements.

Required:

  • Artists must write a basic plan that outlines their top creative and financial goals and how they will strategically invest their $1,000 grant toward those goals. (Don't worry! We have plan examples, related webinars, and coaching available to help you through this process, should you need it.)

Optional

  • A4A has an ongoing schedule of webinars on a range of financial and professional topics for artists (including one specifically on writing a plan). Webinars are optional but highly encouraged for grantees, and grantees receive priority registration.
  • You will also be able to request 1-on-1 coaching sessions with Assets for Artists staff to talk in depth about your financial or business goals. Some of our trainers also offer 1-on-1s in their expert field.


MORE ABOUT A4A

>>RECENT WEBINARS

>>MEET OUR WEBINAR TRAINERS

>>OTHER WAYS ASSETS FOR ARTISTS IS SUPPORTING OF ARTISTS OF COLOR


ELIGIBILITY

Applicant must identify as an artist of color and live in Massachusetts. 

For 2021, Assets for Artists will focus the majority of our Massachusetts programming on supporting artists of color in our state. In 2021, Capacity-Building applications will NOT be accepted from artists who identify as white. White artists are still welcome to register for our free professional development webinars and attend as space allows. 

We understand that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted all artists; however, we also recognize that for many reasons this moment is especially challenging for artists of color. Thank you for understanding why we are reserving this special consideration to those who have been historically marginalized and disproportionately affected by our country's ongoing health and racial epidemics.

BIPOC artists based in any part of Massachusetts may use this application. Please note that thanks to a special partnership with the City of Boston’s Office of Arts & Culture, at least 10 grants will be given to artists from Boston, with even more awarded statewide.


NOTE FOR A4A ALUMNI: If you received a grant from A4A in 2019 or 2020, you are not eligible for our 2021 Capacity-Building grant program (this includes the North Adams Project, ValleyCreates, Boston Capacity-Building, MA Statewide Capacity-Building & Creative City programs). If you are an A4A alum from earlier than 2019 and  can show that you'll be able to benefit from the program in new ways, you are welcome to apply.


Questions? Contact: assetsforartists@massmoca.org.

THE STUDIOS AT MASS MoCA WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTING FELLOWSHIP APPLICATIONS FOR THE SUMMER/FALL 2021 SEASON

Due to the number of residencies we had to reschedule as a result of COVID-19, we will not be accepting general applications to the Studios at MASS MoCA for the Summer/Fall 2021 season. Applications will only be accepted from those writers and artists who qualify for one of our specific, fully funded fellowships. 

You can learn if you qualify for one of these fellowships on our Financial Aid webpage.

If you are not applying for one of these fellowships, we invite you to either submit an Early Application for our 2022 session (deadline January 8, 2021 -- and note that Early Applications do not include financial aid/fellowship opportunities) or check back in May 2021 when the regular residency application (plus even more fellowships and partial financial aid opportunities) will be available for residencies occurring during the Winter/Spring 2022.

FOR RESIDENCY FELLOWSHIPS APPLICANTS ONLY:
MASS MoCA and its Assets for Artists program invites artists and writers to apply for residencies from 2 week to 8 weeks in length (although each fellowship has a different length of covered funding).

Residents (12 per session*) will receive:
 

  • A private studio in attractive space on MASS MoCA’s re-purposed mill campus, with generous natural light, 24-hour studio access, a work table and chair in each studio, and shared slop sinks and bathrooms. 
  • Housing across the street from the museum, in newly renovated apartments (private bedroom/Queen bed + shared kitchen and bath). These are lovely apartments, but note that it’s communal living (4 people to an apartment*) in an active downtown location -- sensitive sleepers be advised.
  • One communal meal per day, in the company of other artists-in-residence.
  • Free access to printmaking and weaving equipment in the Studios, offering shared use of a roller etching press, hydraulic flatbed press, 22-inch Harrisville loom, and 48-inch Herald loom.
  • MASS MoCA member benefits for the duration of the residency, including free access to the museum’s galleries and discounts on performing arts events and museum store purchases.
  • Optional one-on-one artist-focused financial and business coaching through the staff of MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program, helping artists and writers in all disciplines strengthen the business side of their artistic practice.

Click here for additional details on studios, housing and equipment.

Eligibility: Each fellowship has its own unique eligibility requirements. Please visit our Fellowships/Financial Aid page for details. The Studios at MASS MoCA welcomes applications from artists in all career stages, income levels, and disciplines (painters, sculptors, installation artists, fiber artists, printmakers, writers, performers, designers, photographers, filmmakers, etc.) whose practice allows them to work quietly (nothing is sound-proofed, so power tools and loud music are discouraged). Groups/collectives may apply to work on joint projects. The studios have light-duty ventilation, so an art practice generating strong fumes cannot be accommodated.

Cost: All listed fellowships are fully funded. No fees are charged, but the artist is responsible for their own travel, supplies, and food costs while in residence (one meal per day is supplied).

*HOW THE STUDIOS AT MASS MoCA RESIDENCY IS CONTENDING WITH COVID-19
Much remains uncertain about how we can safely conduct ourselves in what we hope to be the final months of the pandemic. After a period of shutdown, the Studios at MASS MoCA reopened on July 15, 2020 at partial capacity in order to allow for appropriate social distancing in the shared apartments. We will remain at limited capacity through the beginning of 2021, or until it is safe to resume our regular, full programming. Our scheduling for Summer/Fall 2021 will remain flexible. If you are accepted for a residency that later has to be canceled due to safety or health concerns, the Studios will honor that acceptance and find an appropriate date to reschedule your time at MASS MoCA if you wish to reschedule.

Application for Residency Sessions from January - June 2022

MASS MoCA and its Assets for Artists program invites artists and writers to apply for residencies from 2 week to 8 weeks in length.

Visit our website for full details on everything the Studios at MASS MoCA offers.

While our regular application process is used to schedule artists for residency sessions occurring within 5 to 11 months of the deadline, this "Early Application" option is for artists who, if given additional lead time, are likely to secure residency funding from sources such as university professional development budgets, or international or regional arts councils. Artists applying with this application will NOT be considered for MASS MoCA's financial aid budget, so you should only use this particular application if you need the longer lead time to position yourself for other institutional support to fund the residency at our already subsidized rate of $650 per week.


If offered a residency from the early application process (decisions announced around March 1, 2021), you will receive a formal letter of invitation to support your grant-writing effort, and you will then have until August 1, 2021, to secure the necessary financial support and pay a 50% deposit. MASS MoCA will hold the slot for you until August 1, 2021, and if you are unsuccessful in securing the funds you have sought to support the residency, then you can give up the slot without penalty while there is still time for us to award the slot to someone on our waiting list.

Residents (12 per session*) will receive: 

  • A private studio in attractive space on MASS MoCA’s re-purposed mill campus, with generous natural light, 24-hour studio access, a work table and chair in each studio, and shared slop sinks and bathrooms. 
  • Housing across the street from the museum, in renovated apartments (private bedroom/Queen bed + shared kitchen and bath). These are lovely apartments, but note that it’s communal living (4 people to an apartment) in an active downtown location -- sensitive sleepers be advised.
  • One communal meal per day, in the company of other artists-in-residence.
  • Free access to printmaking and weaving equipment in the Studios, offering shared use of a roller etching press, hydraulic flatbed press, 22-inch Harrisville loom, and 48-inch Herald loom.
  • MASS MoCA member benefits for the duration of the residency, including free access to the museum’s galleries and discounts on performing arts events and museum store purchases.
  • Optional one-on-one artist-focused financial and business coaching through the staff of MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program, helping artists and writers in all disciplines strengthen the business side of their artistic practice. 

Eligibility: We welcome applications from artists in all career stages, income levels, and disciplines (painters, sculptors, installation artists, fiber artists, printmakers, writers, performers, designers, photographers, filmmakers, etc.) whose practice allows them to work quietly (nothing is sound-proofed, so power tools and loud music are discouraged). Groups/collectives may apply to work on joint projects, but there will be per-person fees. The studios have light-duty ventilation, so an art practice generating strong fumes cannot be accommodated.

Cost: $650 per week per person

Financial Aid: Applicants selected through this "Early Application" process will not be given financial aid consideration. We assume that you will use the long lead time to secure other institutional support for your residency at the full cost to attend. Self-funding applicants who wish to be considered for MASS MoCA's financial aid should apply through the regular application, which will have a deadline in July 2021.

Learn more about how the Studios at MASS MoCA is contending with COVID-19

MASS MoCA's Assets for Artists Program