The Pittsburgh Foundation

The Pittsburgh Region Artists Program

Julie Sokolow was already an award-winning, independent filmmaker in Pittsburgh before Aspie Seeks Love, a documentary of a middle-aged man’s journey to understand his Asperger’s Disease and better navigate life, caught fire nationally. Her jump to greater notoriety and accomplishment is one triumph of the Investing in Professional Artists: The Pittsburgh Region Artists Program, which has supported Sokolow and many other Pittsburgh area artists since it began in 2012.
Julie Sokolow was already an award-winning, independent filmmaker in Pittsburgh before Aspie Seeks Love, a documentary of a middle-aged man’s journey to understand his Asperger’s Disease and better navigate life, caught fire nationally. Her jump to greater notoriety and accomplishment is one triumph of the Investing in Professional Artists: The Pittsburgh Region Artists Program, which has supported Sokolow and many other Pittsburgh area artists since it began in 2012.

Sponsored by The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation, Investing in Professional Artists: The Pittsburgh Region Artists Program is guided by a shared belief in artistic excellence, creative development, and the need for continuous career advancement. Professional artists’ self-directed pursuit of new ideas, opportunities, and skills are essential to the region’s cultural vitality. This program provides resources to professional artists for the breadth of the creative process, from concept to completion. While the program does not require presentation of a fully realized work, it challenges artists to seek to produce the artworks that will define our times, our region, and our lives.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Support the creative development of professional artists in the region.
  • Create career advancement and recognition opportunities.
  • Incentivize creative partnerships between artists and local cultural organizations.
  • Increase the visibility of independent working artists in the region’s cultural life.

Investing in Professional Artists is composed of four major components:

  • Creative Development Grants

    Professional artists in any discipline/media and at any career stage may apply directly for grants up to $10,000 to further artistic and career goals.

  • Residencies at Arts Organizations

    Arts organizations may apply for grants up to $35,000 to host a residency with local, national or international artists.

  • Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Awards

    Two awards of $15,000 will be given annually to an established artist and an emerging artist in recognition of exemplary artistic achievements and promise for future work. Candidates are considered by nomination only.

  • Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Artist Opportunity Grants

    Artist Opportunity Grants advance the careers of individual artists by helping with expenses related to unique and concrete professional opportunities designed to impact an artist's work and professional development. Grants range from $250 to $2,500 and are distributed three times a year. The application and detailed guidelines can be found at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. For more information, email Anne Mulgrave, Manager of Grants and Accessibility, or call 412-391-2060, ext. 238.

The foundations will also promote grantees through media outlets and special events to heighten community awareness of the importance and achievements of artists in the region.  For more information about Investing in Professional Artists contact:  Marilyn Coleman, Project Consultant, at artistsfund@pghfdn.org.

All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. Applicants will be notified of results in May 2017. Please see the complete program guidelines below and apply:

Apply through Slideroom

Watch this video to learn more about Investing in Professional Artists: The Pittsburgh Region Artists Program.

News Release: $153,000 in Grants to Support Local Artists