Criteria and eligibility
WHO SHOULD APPLY?
We prioritize applications from unaffiliated and under-recognized DC-area artists. We encourage unconventional forms of presentation in non-traditional venues. Activities could include but are not limited to exhibitions, lectures, performances, screenings, panel discussions, workshops, public art, and print or digital publications.
YOU'RE ELIGIBLE IF...
- You live within the I-495 Beltway or the project/ideas must be relevant to local discourses, practices, or conditions.
- You are an artist, cultural producer, or are applying on behalf of an unincorporated collective or space.
- All projects, including digital projects or publications, must have a public component that takes place at a physical venue or site within the I-495 Beltway.
- All projects must be completed within twelve months of notification of the award.
- All participants must be paid. WPA encourages using W.A.G.E. standards as a guideline for payment amounts.
- For collaborative projects, one person must serve as the applicant, be responsible for the receipt, management and distribution of the funds, handle all communications with WPA, and be responsible for grant reporting.
- Applicants with ongoing projects may apply, but the request must be for a specific activity or series of activities, not for general support.
- Program grants are not for individual artists to create their own work or to present solo exhibitions or monographs of it.
- Full-time undergraduate or graduate students are not eligible to apply.
- 501(c)(3) organizations and for-profit organizations (LLC, corporations, partnerships, etc.) are ineligible to apply.
Successful applications will excel in one or more of the following:
- Artistic Strength/Impact: The project is experimental, imaginative, innovative, or unconventional, and advances the practices of the applicant as well as others participating in the project.
- Context/Public Engagement: The project is considerate of its context and is inclusive; it seeks to connect thoughtfully to potential audiences.
- Feasibility: The applicant demonstrates the ability to carry out the proposed project within the grant period.
Key dates and contact
Information Sessions: May-July 2020 (locations to be announced soon)
Online Application Portal Opens: July 2020
Online Application Portal Closes: Sept 2020
Adjudication Panel Meets in DC: Oct 2020
Award Notifications: Nov 2020
Press Release Sent: Dec 2020
Awardee Reception: Dec 2020
Awardee Orientation & Funds Dispersed: Jan 2021
Wherewithal Grants are a new funding source for public-facing alternative and experimental visual art projects inside the nation's Beltway. Generously funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as part of its regional regranting program and managed by Washington Project for the Arts, they are intended to both sustain and stimulate artist-organized culture.
The DC region has long been home to rich pockets of D.I.Y., self-organized culture. Its homegrown music scenes, including Go-Go and Punk, are legendary. In the visual arts, DC has had an equally rich, if less visible, history of independent artist collaboratives and artist-run spaces. Today, locally based artists and cultural producers face challenges that earlier generations did not. These include rampant gentrification—resulting in rising rents, widespread displacement, and wholesale demographic change. Because funding is often limited for independent practices, it is increasingly difficult for artists to remain in the DC area.
Wherewithal Grants provide project-based support for public-facing research, production, presentation, or critical reflection. The grants are competitive and awarded by a panel consisting of arts professionals from around the country. We anticipate giving between ten to fifteen grants annually, ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 each.
Washington Project for the Arts (WPA)
WPA supports artist-driven projects, advocacy, and dialogue so that artists can live, work, and flourish. Since 1975, we have supported experimental art and artists in the nation’s capital. In 2016, we became the first arts organization between New York and Miami to receive W.A.G.E. certification, meaning that WPA has a history and a commitment to voluntarily paying artist fees that meet W.A.G.E.’s minimum payment standards.
Wherewithal Grants furthers WPA’s commitment to supporting artist-organized projects. WPA holds intentional space for artists to convene, collaborate, and create projects that elevate their visions and voices as critical thinkers, idea generators, and organizers, providing artists with funding and administrative support along the way. WPA’s program model addresses the complex challenges faced by artists and cultural producers in the DC region today—rising rents, widespread displacement, and wholesale demographic change—and is focused on helping artists remain in the DC area as WPA believes that a thriving arts community is essential to the enduring health of our society.
The Andy Warhol Foundation
Established in 1987 in accordance with Andy Warhol’s will, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ mission is the advancement of the visual arts. The primary focus of its grant making activity is to support the creation, presentation, and documentation of contemporary visual art, particularly work that is experimental, under-recognized, or challenging in nature.
The foundation’s Regional Regranting Program, launched in 2007, aims to support vibrant, under-the-radar artistic activity by partnering with leading cultural institutions in communities across the country. The program allows the Warhol Foundation to reach the sizable population of informal, non-incorporated artist collectives and to support their alternative gathering spaces, publications, websites, events and other projects.
The regranting programs are facilitated by 516 Arts in Albuquerque; Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation in Baltimore; Gallery 400 and Three Walls in Chicago; DiverseWorks, Aurora Picture Show, and Project Row Houses in Houston; Charlotte Street Foundation and Spencer Museum in Kansas City; Locust Projects in Miami; Midway Contemporary Art in Minneapolis; Antenna and Ashe’ Cultural Fund in New Orleans; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art in Portland (OR); Spaces Gallery in Portland (ME), Southern Exposure in San Francisco, and Washington Project for the Arts in Washington, DC.