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Art Grants Policies & Committee

How Do Art Grants Work

  • The budget will be 10% of the prior year's ticket sales.  Deviations from this must be approved by the Board before the announcement of the start of the spring grant cycle.
  • For all projects involving fire, the Fire Team must be involved in the review.
  • No funds will be dispersed without actual receipts with line items.  Credit card statements or cancelled checks are not an acceptable substitute (they are not specific enough).
  • Art grant receipients may recieve some funding ahead of their projects, so they can have money available to spend on materials. On rare occasions, some artists may recieve all funds up front, but that decision lies with the BOD president and treasurer.
  • If you have received money, but have not turned in receipts from a prior art grant, you may not receive any advance funds, nor will you receive any funds for the current cycle until all receipts from the prior project are turned in. If you have previously received an art grant, were not awarded funds, but did not submit receipts to receive your grant money, you many not receive any advance funds until such time as receipts have been successfully submitted on a grant.
  • No funds will be dispersed without a signed contract between PDF, Inc and the artist.
  • Grants are intended to cover materials and transportation.  They are not intended to cover labor costs or durable equipment.
  • The funding cycle runs for one calendar year.
  • Each calendar year will have two grant cycles, one for each event in spring and fall.
  • Each grant recipient will have up to two tickets reserved.  Additional reserve tickets are at the discretion of the Art Grants Committee (AGC)
  • Since the contracts constitute a legal agreement between the artist and the PDF, Inc 501c(3), the template for the contracts must be approved by the Board and is not subject to change by the AGC with the exception of calendar dates.
  • The contract template will be kept in an on line document repository (Google Docs currently).
  • Grant reviews require a quorum of the AGC.  The quorum will be half of the committee or four members.
  • If at any time the BOD member(s) on the AGC decide that the policy is not being followed, quorums are not being met or the schedule is endangered, then they will bring the entire BOD in to intervene.

Art Grants Committee Primer

The Art Grants Committee (AGC) is responsible for awarding money for art at Playa Del Fuego, a 501c(3) non-profit organization.

It is up to the AGC to determine which art grant applications are the most original, most community oriented, most interactive, best fall within our safety guidelines, and are cost-effective.

The AGC is made up of at least four volunteers who come from within the PDF community, including one member of the Playa Del Fuego Board of Directors, at least one lead coordinator, and a member of the Fire Team.

There are no term limits, nor has that ever been discussed, because members have naturally rotated out after a few years. We need at least four people for a quorum.  Anyone can be a part of the AGC and generally current AGC members have recruited people to join as other members leave.

We ask for art grant applications twice a year in advance of each Playa Del Fuego event, announcing them via, Facebook groups and email. Once submitted, the lead coordinators of the AGC compile & share them with the other AGC members. The entire AGC discuss applications via email and if questions arise that we need answers on, the lead coordinators reach out to the artists for responses.

A short time after reaching out to the artists, which tends to be after the application deadline, we hold a conference call to conduct final discussions of the applications and vote on them. Sometimes, we'll decide to grant full funding for a proposal, sometimes we'll give a percentage, and sometimes we won’t give anything.

Artists who are awarded grants are then notified by the lead coordinators of the Art Grants Committee via email. They then work with the placement lead to set up their projects, and can obtain a code to buy two reserved tickets to that upcoming PDF event. Their funds are earmarked for their projects by the PDF BoD president. Disbursement of funds occurs after the original receipts are mailed in. Copies of receipts are not accepted.

The Art Grants Committee also often does outreach to artists, talking to them about their projects and their experiences with the grant process, as well as future project ideas they may have. There is a meet-and-greet that takes place during each PDF event with artists and committee members for this purpose, and it has been quite informative to both parties.

We're including some additional notes here for the sake of transparency:

  • The committee is generally made up of volunteers who are not applying for grants. If anyone does apply or is very good friends with someone that applies, they are expected to recuse themselves from discussing and voting on that project.
  • There was also a time when we "blinded" the applications, meaning the names and contact information would be removed from applications by the lead coordinator, so the committee couldn't see them. But we determined a few years ago that the "blinding" process is cumbersome and time consuming, and wasn't serving us well, since people generally knew who the artist was, still, if they knew them at all. Since then, we've allowed committee members to see who's applied for what, and found it useful in that we could partially base our decisions on previous art grant submissions that had been made. That means if someone has done an outstanding job on a project in the past, we may give them a little extra consideration for a current application in the hopes that they'll do an outstanding job again.

All questions and inquiries should be sent to