With the Queens Arts Fund application now open, we reached out to past grantees to tell us about their grant projects, what they hope to accomplish with their funding, and tips for anyone thinking of applying.
We spoke to Eclipses Group Theater New York, a first-time grantee of the Arts Access Grant, about their experience applying to the Queens Arts Fund.
1. Tell us about your organization and what you do.
Eclipses Group Theater New York (www.egtny.com) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theater company that serves as a cultural bridge between Greece and the United States, promoting all forms of Greek drama, music, dance, poetry and literature. We focus on an exploratory approach of Greek and non-Greek classical and modern plays, presenting them to an international audience. We collaborate with Greek artists around the world and with artists of other ethnicities and cultures, developing a global, intercultural artistic dialogue.
2. What is your QAF project?
We are developing Hercules: In Search Of A Hero, a new theater piece that combines original material with elements of Euripides' plays Hercules and Alcestis. Through these plays' contrasting views of the quintessential Greek hero Hercules (who is alternately capable of glorious good and unspeakable evil), our production explores the meaning of heroism in our times.
3. How did you see this QAF grant helping you grow in your practice/for this project?
Needless to say, the financial support that QAF grants provide is invaluable for Queens-based organizations. In preparing our applications, we made a conscious decision to pitch an ambitious project that will challenge us to stretch as artists, taking some greater artistic and producing risks that, we hope, will also result in greater visibility for Eclipses. We are honored to be QAF-grant recipients, and we look forward to the challenge!
4. Were there any surprises you ran into while applying for the grant? Do you have any advice for organizations applying for a QAF grant?
Grant-writing can often seem onerous, but we found the QAF process to be quite reasonable and smooth. The grant requirements were well documented, the application asked engaging questions, and the QCA team was very helpful. To other organizations applying for a QAF grant, we would recommend that they read the guidelines carefully and not be afraid to ask questions if anything is unclear; aim to have everything drafted early so that they have time to review and revise; and not wait until the very end to submit, lest a last-minute technical difficulty derail their entire campaign! We would also encourage future applicants to test their limits, envision a challenging project and share that vision in their application.