“Don't pursue a career in the Arts unless you love the Arts truly, madly, deeply. And do not have any delusions about what awaits you both in educational settings, and in the job market. …If you think you're gonna get a break because you have a disability, think again. …You better be the best you can be at what you do, and do not allow yourself to use your disability as an excuse NOT to work continually and consistently towards total professionalism and high standards of quality.”
-- Jaehn Clare, professional theatre artist, from "A Career as an Artist Ain't an Easy Row to Hoe," keynote address for The Art of Employment: Careers in the Arts for People with Disabilities on March 25 & 26, 2002 at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN.
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Indiana Arts Commission
This state agency awards Individual Artist Program grants for artists' career development in all disciplines. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and reside in Indiana for one year preceding the application date.
Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Eligible persons may receive services and assistance for employment-related needs, including support for vocationally-related education.
Arts Council of Indianapolis
Click on Grants for Individuals. The Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship program "offers artists and arts administrators the opportunity to renew and refresh their creativity." The Council also annually awards two Robert J. Beckmann Jr. Emerging Artist Fellowships of $3,500 and hands-on mentoring opportunities to qualified and talented Central Indiana visual, literary and performing artists.
Alliance of Artists Communities
Click on Residencies to search for artists’ communities and residencies (also known as artists’ colonies or retreats.) Identifies which programs have accessibility features.
Lists art contests and competitions, art jobs and internships, art scholarships, grants and fellowships, art festivals, calls for entries, etc.
Foundation Grants to Individuals Online
The Foundation Center's site offers a database to search for scholarships, fellowships, loans, internships and professional support. There is a fee but one can sign up for a month at a time. Information for users with disabilities is provided.
Funding List Compiled by The Fund for Women Artists
An extensive list of funding sources (many for men as well as women) in the fields of visual, literary, and performing arts.
A free, national, online directory of awards, services, and publications for artists of all disciplines, from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Creative Capital Foundation
A national grantmaking organization with an open application process that supports individual artists across all disciplines.
Their Fiscal Sponsorship program can help projects and individual artists to solicit and receive grants and tax-deductible contributions that are normally available only to 501(c)(3) organizations.
The DeVos Institute of Arts Management
Affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC), the program offers fellowships and internships.
National Association of Latino Arts and Culture
The NALAC Fund for the Arts provides financial support to Latino artists. Click on Grant Programs.
National Endowment for the Arts
Awards grants to individual artists in a very limited number of categories.
VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, offers several programs that recognize the artistic accomplishments of young and emerging artists with disabilities through awards of excellence and achievement.
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The Association offers financial aid and scholarship programs from infancy through post-secondary education.
ChairScholars National Scholarship Program provides eligible applicants, who have serious physical challenges and may or may not use a wheelchair for mobility, up to $20,000 for college tuition.
College Funding for Students with Disabilities
A directory of scholarship resources compiled by the University of Washington
The Friends in Art Scholarship
Applications are sought from blind or visually impaired students currently attending college or planning to enter college in the fall and majoring in the fields of music, art, drama, or creative writing.
HEATH Financial Aid Information
A free guide published by the online clearinghouse on post-secondary education for individuals with disabilities.
The Joshua O’Neill and Zeshan Tabani Enrichment
Co-sponsored by the National Down Syndrome Society, for young adults with Down syndrome to enroll in post secondary programs or take classes to develop essential life skills.
Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program
A targeted population is college-age youths and adults with physical disabilities in Indiana.
Organization for Autism Research offers scholarships for students with autism (including severe) diagnoses
Through the Looking Glass
Scholarships are awarded to students who have at least one parent with a disability.
See profiles of a few of the many accomplished individuals working in diverse fields of the arts who also have a disability.
Go to People in the Arts
Gina Soo Golden is a painter from Indianapolis, Indiana. “I like to mix realism and surrealism.” “I aim to give a visual definition of feelings one could never quite describe with words,” she has written in her artist statement. Pictured above: The Gray Room.
read more about Gina Golden
Nicolas Lyford-Pike is an artist from Columbus, Indiana. Pictured above: Toyota Avalon.
read more about Nicolas Lyford-Pike
Warren Miller is an artist from Indianapolis, Indiana. Pictured above: Rub-a-Dub.
Wug Laku is an artist from Indianapolis, Indiana. "My art is about ideas and finding the purest, simplest ways of expressing them," he says. Pictured above: Earth Poems.
read more about Wug Laku
Stu Johnson specializes in Central Indiana subjects, from black and white shots
of architectural landmarks, to picture-postcard fall landscapes, to
prints of trucks and buses digitally enhanced with tie-dye colors.. Pictured above: The Ruins.
read more about Stu Johnson
Louisville, KY artist Susan Gorsen has exhibited her art in New Albany and served as Artist-Facilitator for ArtsWORK New Albany. Pictured above: Blue Moon.