The Arts Fund is removing barriers to funding to streamline the entire granting process and make it more accessible. On September 10, the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund is going paperless with a new one-stage online application in time for the Fall granting deadline of October 16. From now on, local artists and arts organizations can apply for funding simply by going online to fill out an application.
“The streamlining benefits creators, and creators need our help,” said Arts Fund Chair Bill Chesney. The arts and culture sector faces an uncertain future and a staggering loss of income. In response, arts funders, local to national, have stepped in with a range of measures. In Waterloo Region, the Arts Fund extended deadlines, expanded its social media outreach, and overhauled its application system from the ground up. “It was time for a change,” says Chesney. “Now we can be more inviting and responsive.” The old two-stage system took months and relied on elaborate paper trails.
Arts Fund Vice-Chair Lindsay Golds, who worked with software company WizeHive to design the new process, says the goal with the new one-step online system was to make applying for grants as straightforward as possible. “We’re excited,” said Golds, “Local artists who tested the new system gave it two thumbs up.”
The Arts Fund was established in 2002, with a mandate “to make art happen.” Since then the fund has supported more than 700 projects, for a total community investment of more than four million dollars. Grants that support innovation and artistic creation, in turn, foster the vibrancy and well-being of Waterloo Region as a whole.
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