Artblog Celebrating 20 Years!   Support Us Today!

Philadelphia artists! Apply now for Red Bull Arts $1,000 micro-grant

Red Bull Arts steps up to help artists get through this tough economic downturn caused by Covid-19 and the aftermath by offering $1,000 micro-grants in 20 US cities.

Small video of a mouth superimposed over a larger video of a face so that the two don't perfectly match up but sort of align
Akeem Smith, Untitled, 2020 (still). Multi-channel video installation with sound.

At a time when artists are reeling from show closures at galleries and museums and artists’ gig economy jobs are in peril or already gone, some organizations and funders have stepped up to help, although the need is far greater than the help offered. Now, Red Bull Arts has offered help with $1,000 micro-grants. The organization began a micro-grant program in Detroit, but seeing the urgent and widespread need due to coronavirus, they have grown the micro-grant opportunity into 19 additional cities, including Philadelphia.


The applications are ongoing and awards will be given out to two artists per city per month. They don’t say how many months the micro-grant program will be available, but the expansion begins in August and we’re hoping it will continue through 2021. It’s a highly competitive grant but worth going for. Application and details here.

Applications are easy and online. Eligible to artists 18 and older who reside in the 5-county Philadelphia region. Groups of artists may apply together for one $1,000 grant. The application asks for a CV or resume (not required) ; 1-4 examples of your work via images, video, PDF or model; and a statement of purpose (500 words) explaining the importance of the Microgrant to you now and how it will impact your work. Below is more information from Red Bull Arts:

Red Bull Arts Expands Artist Grant Program To Twenty U.S. Cities In 2020
$1,000 Microgrants Now Available in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Hudson, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, Providence, San Antonio, and St. Louis

Application Opens July 22 10AM EST
(NEW YORK, NY – July 22, 2020) — Today, for the first time, the National Red Bull Arts Microgrant Program opens to artists in the following twenty cities, including Detroit, where the microgrants program was initiated:

● Atlanta, GA
● Austin/San Antonio, TX
● Baltimore, MD
● Boston, MA
● Chicago, IL
● Cleveland, OH
● Dallas, TX
● Denver, CO
● Detroit, MI
● Houston, TX
● Hudson, NY
● Los Angeles, CA
● Miami, FL
● Minneapolis, MN
● New Orleans, LA
● New York, NY
● Oakland, CA
● Philadelphia, PA
● Providence, RI
● St. Louis, MO


Starting in August, Red Bull Arts will award two $1,000 microgrants in each city on a rolling monthly basis through the end of the year, working with selection committees composed of local arts professionals and activists in each city. The one-time expansion was expedited in response to the urgent need for financial aid for artists and communities critically impacted by the crises facing the country. Applicants must be able to receive taxable income in the United States regardless of their citizenship status.

The expansion of the Red Bull Arts Microgrants Program, which was initiated in Detroit, follows the arts organization’s spring announcement of plans to unify its programs with a new, national focus. Their first travelling exhibition, Akeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test, which was postponed due to coronavirus, will debut at Red Bull Arts New York this fall before traveling to other cities. The exhibition is the first major solo presentation of artist, creative director, and stylist Akeem Smith.

Group photo of five young female bodied people in patterned garments and brightly colored tight clothing smiling toothy grins at a party setting.
Photographer Unknown, chromogenic print, date unknown, OUCH Archive, Bequeathed to Akeem Smith.

ABOUT RED BULL ARTS Founded in 2013, Red Bull Arts is a national, experimental, and non-commercial arts program dedicated to creating new opportunities for artists and fostering public engagement in the arts. With physical spaces in New York and Detroit, Red Bull Arts aims to extend the boundaries of exhibition making; support the production of new work by emerging and established artists; participate in and respond to the needs of local arts communities; and contribute to ongoing dialogue around contemporary issues and thought.

Programs include Red Bull Arts Detroit’s curatorial fellowship, local microgrant initiative, and artist residency program, which provides housing and studio space each year for emerging artists. Past residents include Tschabalala Self, Tiff Massey, Joiri Minaya, and Lucia Hierro, among others. Past Selection Committee members have included Laura Raicovich, independent curator, and former President and Executive Director of The Queens Museum of the City of New York; artist, writer and curator, Michelle Grabner; writer, artist and Associate Curator of Exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Legacy Russell; and Deana Haggag, President and CEO, United States Artists, among others.

Notable Red Bull Arts New York exhibitions include Gretchen Bender: So Much Deathless (2019), RAMMΣLLZΣΣ: Racing for Thunder (2018), Sarah Meyohas: Cloud of Petals (2017), Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno (2017), Bjarne Melgaard: The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment (2017), and Mel Chin’s TOTAL PROOF: The GALA Committee 1995-1997 (2016). Recent commissions beyond the Red Bull Arts New York exhibition space include Sènsa, a live performance by artists Paul Maheke and Nkisi, co-commissioned with Abrons Arts Center for the Performa 19 Biennial.