What We Do

Creative Capital supports innovative and adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel and career development services. Our pioneering approach—inspired by venture-capital principles—helps artists working in all creative disciplines realize their visions and build sustainable practices. Creative Capital provides each funded project with up to $50,000 in direct funding and career development services valued at $40,000, for a total commitment of up to $90,000 per project.

Since 1999, we have committed $30 million in financial and advisory support to 419 projects representing 529 artists, and our Professional Development Program has reached more than 8,000 artists in 375 communities.

Our Approach

Over the past 15 years, Creative Capital has developed a four-part approach to supporting artists:




Support the Project

Support the Project

Throughout the development of each project, Creative Capital provides funding at strategic moments and helps direct the project to its most successful completion. Our Artist Services staff meets regularly with awardees to chart their progress and to connect them to resources that help their projects advance.

Support the Individual

Support the Individual

Creative Capital helps artists acquire skills that enhance their capacity for creative and professional success through access to advisors, consultants, business and financial planning and other career development opportunities offered through our Artist Services.


Build Community                           

Build Community

Through the Artist Retreat, Creative Capital brings together more than 250 artists, arts professionals and supporters for the exchange of ideas and expertise. Read more about the full program of Artist Services for our awardees.


Engage the Public

Engage the Public

We offer our artists a range of promotional opportunities to maximize the impact and reach of their Creative Capital-supported projects. Artist news and events are featured on Creative Capital’s website and our blog, as well as in our email announcements, newsletters and Year-End Reports. Join our email list to receive news about Creative Capital and the artists’ projects we support.

Our StoryOur Story

In 1999, under the leadership of Ruby Lerner, Creative Capital embarked on a mission to reinvent cultural philanthropy and to support innovative artists pursuing adventurous projects in all disciplines. Creative Capital began as an experiment to see how artists could benefit from the kind of opportunities afforded to entrepreneurs in other sectors. Our pioneering system of supporting artists is inspired by the venture capital principles of building a long-term relationship with a project, providing funding at strategic moments, and surrounding the project with critical resources, counsel and advisory services.

In response to the National Endowment for the Arts' termination of the majority of its grant programs for individual artists, Creative Capital was founded with a fierce commitment to freedom of expression. We aim to support the latest thinking in the field and to provide early support for projects that initially have challenges receiving funding from other sources. Our open application process attracts a range of diverse artistic visions and practices, and our 529 awardees create exceptional projects that challenge cultural and aesthetic conventions and push boundaries in a range of disciplines.

Our artists have premiered their Creative Capital-supported projects at the Sundance Film Festival, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center, Site Santa Fe, Art Basel Miami Beach, The Kitchen, the New Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Los Angeles Film Festival and IFC Center; they have presented their work at the Kennedy Center for the Arts, Tate Modern, the Venice Biennale, the Public Theater and on Broadway; and their literary works have been published by Knopf, Henry Holt and Co. and University of California Press, among others.

In 2003, we launched the Professional Development Program to share with a wider community of artists some of the tools and strategies for improved self-sufficiency that we initially developed for our awardees. Creative Capital has since become the leader in professional development for artists and the only national organization that has made a long-term commitment to artists’ professional development.

See our Milestones and Reports for details on Creative Capital’s history and accomplishments.

 

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