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Awards to USA, Canada, and International Parent
Writers and Artists to Recognize Creative Excellence

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Sustainable Arts Foundation

Deadline Date:

02/26/21 5:00 PM ET


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Awards of $5,000 to USA, Canada, and International writers and artists who have a child under the age of 18 to recognize creative excellence. The program evaluates artistic merit based on the applicant’s portfolio. Requests will be accepted from visual artists in areas such as sculpture, illustration, photography, jewelry, and painting, as well as writers in categories such as poetry, young adult fiction, graphic memoirs, and creative nonfiction.

Writers may apply in one of the following categories:

  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Early and Middle Grade Readers
  • Fiction
  • Graphic Novel/Graphic Memoir
  • Illustrated Children's Books
  • Illustrated Children's Books (Text Only)
  • Long Form Journalism
  • Poetry
  • Young Adult Fiction

Visual artists may apply in one of the following categories:

  • Book Arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing
  • Fiber Arts and Textiles
  • Illustration
  • Installation
  • Jewelry
  • Mixed Media
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Wearable Textiles  

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175490

Number of Grants:

The Foundation will make awards to twenty artists and writers with children. Additionally, the Foundation will name twenty finalists.

Estimated Size of Grant:

This year, the Foundation will make awards of $5,000 each.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Sustainable Arts Foundation supports artists and writers with children. To be eligible, the applicant must have at least one child under the age of 18. Parents of older children with a disability or special needs may also be eligible.Artists and writers with a strong portfolio of polished work are welcome to apply. Work produced within the last 2-3 years would qualify. Please also only submit work that has been produced since you’ve had children.

The Foundation has no geographic restrictions on their applicants. This applies both to U.S. citizens living abroad as well as to citizens of other countries.

Collaborators may apply if they have an ongoing artistic partnership and submit a portfolio of work done together. (The program is not designed to support a future project by collaborators who have never worked together.) All members of a collaborative application must meet the eligibility guidelines; each must have at least one dependent child under the age of 18. Collaborators should submit a single application with one applicant listed as the primary contact.

The Foundation is inspired by anyone who is making creative work while raising a family. Given the intense demand for these awards (the Foundation typically receives over 3,000 applications), and the fact that the awards are based on demonstrated excellence in your discipline, the Foundation does not recommend that artists or writers who are beginning their creative careers apply to this program.

While the Foundation does not require that applicants have published or exhibited their work, the rigor and critique involved in that process can certainly benefit the portfolio. Portfolios of writing or artwork created in a more personal vein for sharing with friends and family are not suitable.

The Foundation seeks to reward excellence. The portfolio is the primary factor they consider in evaluating each application. It should only include work created since becoming a parent and within the last 3 years. They are also interested in hearing what your plans are, and how this award might assist you in attaining your goals.

As of Fall 2016, the Foundation makes half of its awards to applicants of color.

The Foundation invites you to view the list of previous awardees and follow the links to their work to get a feel for their level of craft.

The Foundation no longer accepts portfolios of plays. They also do not accept portfolios of self-help books, academic writing, reviews (of art exhibitions, films, or books), motivational writing, cookbooks, travel and/or other kinds of guidebooks. Blog posts and short newspaper articles are also not accepted.

At this time the Foundation is not accepting applications in the performing arts, film/video/tv (including screenplays), and music/composition.

Pre-Application Information:

2021 Awards Timeline:

- Online application available: February 1, 2021
- Deadline to apply: February 26, 2021, 5pm ET

The application fee is $20. 100% of this fee goes to the jurors, who are all parent artists and writers themselves. Charging this fee insures that at least two jurors will review each application and be compensated for their work. The fee is a modest one, but the Foundation is aware that you may be applying for many awards and grants and these costs can add up. Please contact the Foundation if you need assistance with the fee, or if you would like to contribute to a fund to cover other applicants’ fees.


Portfolio requirements:

Application Checklist:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply online:

Sustainable Arts Foundation
1032 Irving Street #609
San Francisco, CA 94122-2200

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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