Doing art for a living is tricky; you want to spend your time creating, not dealing with proposals, artist statements and grant apps. But these aspects are crucial if you want to exhibit your work (and buy food and shelter). Thus, the ability to create a great proposal is an indispensable part of your toolkit.
We chatted with Xpace Cultural Centre director, Emily Gove, to find out how to write a proposal that will get you noticed (for all the right reasons):
1. Use simple, clear and concise language in your proposal. Be poetic if you wish, but make sure to still describe your project in a concrete way. Hemingway is a really useful, free, online tool to help identify run-on sentences and common errors, and it can help make your proposal read as smoothly as possible.
2. All killer, no filler! Read your writing over and remove any sentences that are repeating information or don’t need to be included. It’s great to include some information on your overall artist practice, but spend the most time on the project you are proposing.
3. Read and follow the submission instructions! They’ve been created to make the jurying process efficient and ensure that all jury members are able to view your writing and images/videos. Always double-check acceptable file formats and word counts before sending in your proposal.
Xpace Cultural Centre (2-303 Lansdowne Ave.) is hosting a free proposal workshop on October 22nd that will cover how to write artist statements, project descriptions, CVs and support material (documentation and file organization). Plus, staff will be available for one-on-one meetings after the workshop to provide feedback on partial or completed project proposals. To register, visit here.