Now more than ever it is important to think globally, and act locally: with the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities likely to be eliminated (despite being funded by such a small percentage of federal money that it’s possible Melania Trump’s security costs twice the NEA’s budget) cash-strapped artists will probably soon have to turn to the private sector for money like never before. Don’t wring your hands in rage and curl up in a tear-soaked ball though (unless it is in the name of performance art): learn up on the grant and subsidy programs you qualify for.
One such program is prolific Brooklyn developer Two Trees Management Co.’s Cultural Space Subsidy Program (CSSP), which annually offers grants to professional artists and arts, education, and community groups for studio space in Dumbo at below-market rent (eligible groups are not limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations). It’s a damn good deal for those who are selected, since rent ain’t cheap and is often the most unaffordable aspect of any committed artist’s existence.
Applications open on April 1 for CSSP 2018 and will close on May 30. Those selected get three-year leases (meaning Trump will be out of or days away from being out of office by the time your studio situation enters crisis mode again) starting January 2018 at the reduced rate of $12 per square foot. Seeing as this discount will apply to a space in Dumbo, which is known for having some of the most expensive real estate in Brooklyn, this will still be unaffordable for many artists, but hey, it’s a start.
The studio spaces range from 700 to 2,500 square feet, all with, “natural light and high ceilings and access to freight elevators, communal conference rooms, and high-speed internet.” You’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal than that, even if rent is still steep at the reduced rate.
This year’s CSSP winners included a painter, sculptor and performance artist as well as art organization Meta Meta Meta and Brooklyn Boatworks, which specializes in the craft of boat making.
So peel your eyes away from breaking news about everything you love and need being defunded and apply for the private grants and subsidies that can get you through the next three (we’re rounding up for sanity’s sake) years.