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Topic: Obtaining a Government Grant to Help Break Into Peforming
Message: Posted by: fhood (Feb 8, 2003 03:08AM)

Here is a question that I hope fits into this category here at the Magic Café. Does anyone know anything about magicians, performers, entertainers, musicians etc. obtaining a grant from either the federal or state governments to assist them in launching a performing career? How feasible is this idea? I guess it would sort of be like getting a small-business loan, but in this case it would be a grant. I have done a little research on the grant topic, and it seems as if there are such things available to entertainers.

Anybody have any experience with this or know anything about it?

Any information is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Message: Posted by: martini (Feb 8, 2003 09:06AM)
Frank, your first step is to obtain a listing of available grants for the performing arts, which can be obtained from your congressman. The tricky part is finding where you will fit into which grant. It is a long, long paper filing process that takes a lot of time, but if you can get one, it is worth it.

I applied for an educational grant for my Museum of the Really Strange traveling museum, and after filing out at least 30 forms and sending well over 100 letters, I was finally told I was applying for the wrong grant. I am now on a waiting list under historical archive grants, go fig?

Anyway, once you have the list of what is available, you can start the letter campaign to see which one fits your needs, then secure the application forms and apply. Do not get discouraged, as it is a long, time consuming paper process. I have actually had better success with getting corporate sponsorship for displaying my museum at schools and senior centers.

So contact your local congressman and get a copy of the list of government grants for the perforing arts, and start the process. If you have any questions along the way, I'll try to help answer which ones I know and try to steer you to whoever may help on the others.

All the Best
Message: Posted by: fhood (Feb 8, 2003 02:37PM)

I had read online that the application process is quite lengthy and formidable. One thing I've already figured out on my own is that it is NOT necessary to send money into one of these "online services" or "companies" that will do the grant research for you or give you a list of available grants. I'm sure most of those are just scams. Thanks for the info about contacting congress members.

Message: Posted by: Bilwonder (Feb 9, 2003 03:40AM)
I recently inquired of the Canadian Grants. You probably know Doug Henning got started with a grant demonstrating magic as an art. A friend has toured schools with a grant from Canadian Heritage council. I'm sure the state have similar programs... here's part of the letter I recieved from Canada explaining the process:

"In our "Grants to Theatre Artists Program" (individual grants), a magician could apply for a grant as a performer. The Theatre Section doesn't get many such applications, but once in awhile there will be one. In theory, a magician could put forward an application for a Production Project Grant to
assist with the development of a show that used magic, but the criteria for assessing all applications, regardless of the program, are based on elements of theatre practice (click on this link to access the program information:

In other words, magicians can have access to Theatre Section programs in terms of
eligibility criteria but with little likelihood of having success when it comes to decisions recommended by peer assessment committees or juries.

Regarding the funding of magic festivals: Council does not provide operational funding for festivals; that is handled by Arts Presentation Canada, a program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. In Quebec, CALQ (the provincial arts council) does have a category for "variety" artists that would be more responsive to demands from magicians. We have never had that category of specified artistic support here at Council.

For your information, I am providing you with links to Canadian Heritage
<http://www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/progs/pac-apc/index_e.cfm> ) and to CALQ
( http://www.calq.gouv.qc.ca/index_en.htm
<http://www.calq.gouv.qc.ca/index_en.htm> ).

I hope this is helpful to you.
Danielle Sarault
Agente d'information/Information Officer
Services aux arts/Arts Services Unit
Le Conseil des Arts du Canada/The Canada Council for the Arts
350 Albert, P.O. Box 1047
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5V8
1-800-263-5588 x 4075
1-613-566-4414 x 4075
fax: 1-613-566-4390
Message: Posted by: Faroshuffle (Feb 9, 2003 05:19AM)
Wow, see you really do learn somethin' new every day! Who'da thunk you could get a grant for doin' magic tricks. Piqued my interest! :stuckinbag:
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Feb 18, 2003 07:09AM)
Performing educational, motivational and inspiritational magic programs in schools is a good idea. You will need the equipment and transportation vehicle. One plus of getting the approval is having the office established in an enpowerment zone of a major city. Another good plus in receiving the grant is to make the company non-profit. A profitable business can be approved, but is less likely. The reason the government will likely give you a grant is because they will get their money back during taxes. Try Small Business Association. SBA.gov
Message: Posted by: BryanDreyfus (Apr 27, 2003 05:54PM)
I have explored the idea of grant money for magic.... here is what I have found over and over and over:

Magic is not taken seriously as a performing art. There are grants available for singers, dancers, bands, choirs, theater productions, etc, etc, etc... but mention magic and the doors slam shut.

What we have chosen to do is, at best, considered a hobby. I suppose if Copperfield, Siegfried and Roy or Lance Burton applied it would be different but then again... who knows.

Don't kill the messenger here folks... I don't like the sound of it any better than you. I have spent years (15 at least) trying to track down a grant that is available for a magician. I looked in the "Performing Arts" grants area and it is sad indeed that what I do for an audience isn't called art.

If anyone finds a place... let me know.. I don't apply anymore and I won't but I sure would like to know things are/have been changing.
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (May 3, 2003 01:36AM)
There are grants available, I know magicians that have received them, but in EVERY case, they find someway to get on the backs of somebody else that does most of the work. For example, you want to develop a gang or drug related magic show, then develop the show, get into partnership with your local police department AND school district and the three of you apply (the Police or School District will take the lead) and they will apply for the grant and then the Feds pay for you to do the shows and MAYBE you might get reimbursed (but FED money is almost never allowed for that) for development. You have to be in tight with the Cops and Schools to pull this off.

There are other opportunities and they are just as or more difficult. Not impossible, just difficult. And the reason you don't see many magicians getting these grants is ....

Message: Posted by: Chrystal (May 3, 2003 02:11AM)
Hi Fhood,

I did manage to obtain backing from the Federal Government when I decided to perform magic full time a couple years ago.

You may find something that will help under the Forum "Special Interest", Obtaining a Goverment Grant. I posted my experience and how I obtained the monies in that forum.

It was a bit of work but overall it was worth it. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Good Luck! :)
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (May 3, 2003 11:49AM)

Keep in mind that fhood is in the United States and not Canada. Henning got a grant to study at the Magic Castle from the Canadian Government.

I have never heard of the United States giving a similar type of grant to a magician. The only good thing I can think of is that Fhood does live in the Peoples Republik or Kalifornia; so things may change on the state level sometime in the near future.

Message: Posted by: Danatmosci (May 11, 2015 04:58PM)
A few months ago the United States Congress officially recognized magic as an art, so we should be open to apply for those types of grants
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 4, 2016 09:10AM)

I was "born too soon"!
Message: Posted by: EternalNameless (May 31, 2021 07:02AM)
Government around the world has an er mixed record...having some libertarian tendencies say avoid it government grants but hey if the money's there and you got a shot...