This summer is speeding along like crazy but I wanted to give a quick shout out about the many opportunities for Lucas County artists. Starting with the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, who have really stepped up their game supporting local artists of all kinds, here are some financial and performance/exhibition opportunities:
Eligible categories of support include: facilities costs, health and safety costs, supplies, and marketing costs related to your creative practice. Artists applying to Cycle 2 may request grants in the amounts of $750 or $1500. Keep in mind, these are only available to individual artists with a residence or a creative studio within the city of Toledo or within Lucas County. Application deadline August 7th.
Accelerator Grant Cycle 4 opened July 25 and application deadline is August 28. Cycle 5 opens August 29 and application deadline is September 26. "The Accelerator Grant is a competitive program offering financial support with a quick turnaround for local artists to advance their creative projects and their careers. Eligible categories of support for this program include equipment, supplies, professional development, and project support. Grant amounts are not to exceed $1500.” I was able to pay Uncloistered Poetry performers for a year from a grant I was awarded in 2017, and later to create the "Pop-Up Poetry" and “Black Lives” publications in 2020 and 2021 which raised money to support community efforts.
Momentum (September 15th and 16th)… the hottest place to be this summer is downtown Toledo! This summer, Momentum gets personal - focusing specifically on Toledo-area artists, in fact boasting all spaces for local artists! Poets, get out and get your spot at Momentum! "The Arts Commission is seeking local artists to participate in the Momentum Festival on September 8, 15, and 16. Artists of any medium are encouraged to review the Call to Artists and apply online. Exhibition space will vary depending on building location, all spaces will be on the first or ground floors to ensure accessibility. Applications will be reviewed on July 24, rolling applications will be accepted through August 7 at 11:59PM (as space allows).” Mind you, the application mentions “exhibition” space - if you want to do performance only, no worries - just say what you want and any equipment needed.
Let’s get everyone discovering something new or rediscovering the poetry they love… set a course for the Sealey Challenge, a community challenge to read one book of poetry every day for a month! Every day in the month of August, grab a new book (or chapbook or anthology, journal, or zine) of poetry and read. If you can read the whole thing, more power to you. If you only have time for a few pages, that’s good too! To borrow the words of wise Toledo poet Arnie Koester, set “not a resolution but an intention” to read from a new book of poetry every day in August. Share which books resonate with you, which inspire, even ones that maybe make no sense… the fun is in discovering new poets and new forms of poetry, and in rediscovering the poetry that sets your heart beating and your mind reeling. Don’t limit yourself to the printed word… if you know a poet who prefers performance, find their youtube channel, Soundcloud, or whatever streaming or hosted platform their work is on. Make some days online or in-person poetry days too.
Get out there and go after those opportunities!