All kind of artists including performing artists, painters, sculptors and writers can get help through sponsorship. This can take different forms. One is sponsorship that goes to art organisations and venues that are supported with grants to meet operational expenses so they can keep supporting artists such as with subsidised or free venues for shows. Another way to sponsor artists is by giving them grants directly. An example of this is sponsored writer’s retreats where writers get a place to say with or without a stipend so they can focus on getting a writing project completed.
Another way to sponsor an artist is to help publicise their work so they can create awareness about their work and make sales from it. This can be done by sponsoring their mainstream or social media ads or giveaways with purchases of their work.
In Ireland, artists who are eligible can apply for support from various organisations. One is The Culture Ireland that supports Irish professional artists, arts organisations and global presenters who represent or present Irish artists at important international venues and festivals. They are supported through grants. There is also the Dublin City Arts Office that partners with organisations and businesses to support all forms of art in Dublin. The Office works with Visual Artists Ireland, Theatre Forum’s, Create, Dance Ireland and the Arts Council of Ireland. The Dublin City Arts Office offers artists support in form of grants, clinics, professional training and development and rehearsal spaces. The Office also assists in form of a vacant space toolkit for access to buildings in the city, artists residential spaces and and an incubation space award.
There are also individuals, brands and organisations that offer artist sponsorship internationally. One is the International Folk Art Market. The travel and accommodation sponsorship enables textile, metal, ceramic and bead artists as well as two and three dimension artists to attend the organisation’s annual market to showcase their products and also attend educational programs in the U.S. The Global Arts Agency (GAA) is an award winning art fair organiser of that provides a forum for artists and art galleries to show and sell their work in major cities around the world. Another international organisation set up to support artists is the Florence Biennial, an international event of contemporary art held every two years in Florence, Italy. Here, exhibiting artists compete in different categories including performance arts, drawing and calligraphy, installation art, mixed media, ceramics, sculpture, textile and fibre art, photography, video art, jewellery art and new media art. The event includes performances, lectures and conferences and displays.
In supporting the arts, the UK Government has made a distinction between those who work in arts directly and those who support them in the background. Both classes of artists can apply for government sponsorship as long as they meet the given criteria for different programs.
On October 12, 2020, the UK Government announced it will be spending £257 million to save theatres, arts venues, museums and cultural organisations numbering 1,385 across England. Over 1,300 arts and cultural organisations are will benefit from the fund which is part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. There is also the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) that covers all of the UK. It excluded those who went into self-employment after April 5, 2019 or those whose income from self-employment was less than half of their total income.
Artists in North America, specifically artists, agents and presenters can get support from the International Association of Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY). The organisation based in Philadelphia aims to create education and professional opportunities for artists so that they can carry out their mandate of supporting important art events for the youth. Also based in the U.S and serving artists internationally is Creative Artists International. The organisation is dedicated to assist creatives and talented internationals in artists and other fields to relocate the the U.S to live and work there. Other sponsors are dedicated to creating awareness about artists and their art. The Art Newspaper is one such organisation. With bases in New York and London, the journal covers news and events in the world of visual arts.
Perhaps you find it intimidating or overwhelming to set up an organisation that supports selected or particular forms of art. You don’t have to. You can sponsor an artist by donating money to organisations that are set up to support them. Some ask for donations on their website and are happy to receive any amount. You can also donate your time and become a volunteer in an organisation that supports a form of art that you are passionate about or all forms of art. That saves money that can go towards more or bigger sponsorships for artists.