Ends on November 6, 2017

The deadline for The Idea Fund Round 10 application is MONDAY NOVEMBER 6, 2017.

What types of projects will be funded?
The Idea Fund is committed to new, risk-taking forms that help to define new practices in contemporary art. A panel of professionals will select between 12-14 projects submitted by individual artists, curators, performers, collectives or collaboratives that must be completed by December 31, 2018.

Who can apply?
The Idea Fund supports individual artists, curators, collectives, collaboratives or partnerships. If applying as a group, the artistic group can be long-standing or created specifically for this project; however, the lead member of the group must be living and working in the greater Houston area.

Review Process and Selection Criteria

All proposals are evaluated based on the following criteria:

The artistic and creative strength of the proposed project

The overall vision of the applicant(s)

The capacity of the applicant(s) to realize the project

The accessibility of the resulting project to the public

The project’s demonstration of community support and commitment to serving a local constituency

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of jurors composed of artists and arts professionals.

Funding Priorities
Please keep in mind that The Idea Fund favors projects that exemplify unconventional, participatory or social practice, conceptual, innovative or entrepreneurial, or activist artistic practices that occur outside of the traditional frameworks of support. Works that are eligible for conventional sources of funding are highly unlikely to be awarded.

What kind of projects are eligible for funding?

The work of an individual artist, collective or temporary association of artists

A project of a temporary or permanent artist run space

Curatorial projects that focus on unconventional artistic practice

An exhibition that has a strong public component (i.e., projects which involve the public via process, production, or presentation)

Publications of creative writing, including printed matter, and online publications

A public event, performance, or intervention

A screening, lecture or workshop series

A temporary public art project

Site specific installations

Web-based projects

Audio, video and photo projects

Interdisciplinary, emerging fields and new media projects

What kind of projects will not be funded?

Projects proposed by a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Projects in which the lead artist lives outside of Houston

Projects in which all artists reside outside of Houston

Projects that do not have a public component (i.e., projects which do not involve the public via process, production, or presentation)

Projects that are not accessible and presented to the public

Projects that do not exemplify innovative practices in contemporary art

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions that are not addressed below, please email info@theideafund.org or contact Rachel Cook, TIF Administrator, at 713.223.8346.

When does my project have to end?

  • Your project needs to reach some sort of conclusion by Dec. 31, 2018. This means you need to have an exhibition, performance, opening, workshop, etc. by Dec. 31, 2018.

Where do I submit my application?

I’m a Houston artist, but I want to work with some artists or do some of my project outside of the city, can I still apply?

  • YES! But please note, that something (an exhibition, a performance, a workshop, etc.) MUST happen in the greater Houston-area. The Houston artist must also be the lead artist. We also would prefer that you remain living in Houston during your project.

When will I find out if I got the grant?

  • Grant recipients will receive phone calls by mid-December, while rejection emails will go out during the same time. Make sure to submit all your contact information so that we can contact to you.

How many project proposals can I submit?

You can submit as many as you like. Groups or collectives can submit one and each member can submit multiple individual projects. Just note that the likelihood that a project with the same lead artist of a group/collective and an individual project to be funded is slim. But if the projects are compelling then they can both be funded. This is up to the decision of the panel of jurors.

If you have questions, please come to an information session. For more information, check out some of the previously funded The Idea Fund projects. If you have questions about whether your proposal is eligible for The Idea Fund, please email info@theideafund.org or contact Rachel Cook, TIF Administrator, at 713.223.8346.

Artists must apply to be considered for a Diverse Discourse studio visit.

The application deadline for the Fall 2017 Diverse Discourse series is 
Monday, October 30, 2017.

**Artists who applied in Spring 2017 do not need to reapply, but may update their applications if desired. Please email Rachel Cook, Curator, at rachel@diverseworks.org to reopen your application. Artists who applied prior to Spring 2017 need to reapply and can email Rachel Cook to reopen their application.**

Diverse Discourse brings national curators, artistic directors, and critics to Houston to present a free public lecture and conduct studio visits with selected Houston-area artists, performers, and writers. Diverse Discourse provides a significant opportunity for area artists in all disciplines (including performance) to have their work reviewed by a variety of distinguished arts professionals, fostering a cultural exchange across the nation between artists and cultural producers.

Eligibility requirements:
  • Must reside in Harris County
  • Must NOT be currently enrolled in a degree-granting program (ie BFA or MFA)
  • Must be a DiverseWorks member at any level (artists who participated in the 2017 Luck of the Draw are current DW members; click here to join today)
Please note: Artists are chosen for studio visits by each visiting lecturer. You will be notified directly if you are selected for a studio visit.

To apply you will need:
  • A resume or C.V.
  • Artist statement (no more than one page or 500 words)
  • Documentation of your work (see application for specific formatting requirements)

Christopher Lew, Nancy and Fred Poses Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art
Mia Locks, Independent Curator, New York

Christopher Y. Lew is the Nancy and Fred Poses Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Lew oversees the emerging artist program at the Museum and, most recently, was co-curator of the 2017 Whitney Biennial (with Mia Locks). He has organized the first US solo exhibitions for Sophia Al-Maria, Jared Madere, and Rachel Rose. Lew also organized Open Plan: Lucy Dodd (2016) and was co-curator of the group show Mirror Cells (2016). Prior to joining the Whitney, he was Assistant Curator at MoMA PS1 and organized numerous exhibitions there. Lew has contributed to several publications including Art AsiaPacific, Art Journal, Bomb, Huffington Post, and Mousse.

Mia Locks is an independent curator based in New York. Recent exhibitions include the 2017 Whitney Biennial, co-organized with Christopher Y. Lew at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Greater New York (2015), co-organized with Douglas Crimp, Peter Eleey, and Thomas J. Lax at MoMA PS1, as well as solo exhibitions of work by Samara Golden, Math Bass, and IM Heung-soon. Additionally, she organized The Little Things Could Be Dearer (2014), which included the work of Carina Brandes, Melanie Gilligan, Ulrike Müller, and Michael E. Smith; and Cruising the Archive: Queer Art and Culture in Los Angeles, 1945–1980 (2011) at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative. Locks is currently on the faculty of the MA program in Curatorial Practice at the School of Visual Arts, New York.