Over the years, the Firefly Arts Collective (FAC) has been proud to provide grant support to Firefly artists to enable them to express and fulfill their varied creative visions. These grants are intended to support and promote radically-expressive, community-based, interactive and/or collaborative projects that help define and shape the creative core of the event.
The Creativity Grant is our primary grant, and is designed to fund creative new projects to be shared with our community during the Firefly event..
Proposals will be evaluated based on the following factors:
Thoughtfulness: how well thought out is the project’s relationship with participants?
Creativity: how original and awe-inspiring is your project?
Feasibility: how feasible is this project?
Grants are currently available at the following tiers:
Please indicate which tier you are applying for in your grant application (you may apply for multiple tiers!). Unlike previous years, there is no partial funding model this year.
Summary of Deadlines
- Jan 5th: Creativity Grant applications open
- Feb 15th: Creativity Grant early applications due
- Feb 27th: Creativity Grants early applications awarded
- Mar 15th: Creativity Grant second round due
- Mar 27th: All Creativity Grants awarded
- TBA: Firefly Event
- July 22nd: Grant Documentation Deadline
IMPORTANT — New this year
We have divided the Creativity Grant process into two rounds. Artists who get their applications in by the first deadline will have their submissions judged first and, if accepted, will have their first checks sooner than ever possible before. Furthermore, those whose applications are not accepted during the first round will have an opportunity to revise their proposal and resubmit it for the second round! We are instituting this new process to give artists more time to create art, or the opportunity to refine their design and further address committee concerns.
February 15th, 11:59PM EST – Grant Submission Early Application Deadline
This is a strict deadline. Proposals submitted after the deadline will NOT be considered for Early Application. If you get your submission in before this deadline, either:
- If your application is accepted, you’ll get your checks sooner than everyone else!
- If your application is not accepted, it can be rolled over into the second round of Creativity submissions if you wish. You’ll have a chance to revise and engage more with the Committee to address their concerns.
If you miss this deadline, fear not, you can still apply for the second round as normal.
March 15th, 11:59PM EST – Grant Submission Second Deadline
This is also a strict deadline. Proposals submitted after the deadline will NOT be considered at all. If the committee has questions about your proposal during the second round there will still be time to respond, but the amount of engagement will be less than if you had applied for the first round.
February or March 27th – Notification of Receipt of Grant
All applicants will be notified via email. If your project is funded, we will send you a contract to ensure that you are willing to commit to using the funds as proposed and that you agree to follow through on your project. If you fail to send in the contract by the contract deadline, your art grant funds will be distributed to the next grant in the waiting list.
Grant Disbursement Schedule
- 75% – once the signed contract is received.
- 25% – after Firefly, confirmed site clean-up, and documentation received
Once the signed contract is received, you will receive 75% of your awarded amount; the remaining 25% will be distributed once the project is completed and documentation is received, (see question #13 of the Application). Your project will be considered to be complete once proof and documentation have been delivered to, and reviewed by, the Art Grant Review Committee.
If selected, your project must be set up no later than Friday, July TBA at 6 pm.
What do I need to know about Firefly? Check out the Survival Guide for everything you need to know about Firefly Arts Festival.
Will Firefly provide assistance transporting art to the event? Firefly has an Art Truck and will make an effort to assist in transporting all grant recipient projects to and from Firefly.
When do projects need to be installed by? All projects must be completed by Thursday of the event. Failure to complete your project by this time may result in a withholding of the grant deposit.
What do you mean by Leave No Trace? Firefly is a Leave No Trace event, meaning that we seek to minimally impact our environment. Don’t use materials like sequins, feathers, or styrofoam that break apart into pieces that are difficult to clean up. Make sure that every single part of your project comes back with you at the end of the event! In addition to the material you bring with you, please remember to leave the environment as you found it! This means treating the trees well (don’t cut them down or drill things into them!), filling up any holes that you create, and generally taking good care of the land. For more on Leave No Trace, read Burning Man’s LNT Guide.
Please submit your application as a PDF file via our grant application web portal.
There’s no standard format as long as you answer all of the required questions below! Please do NOT include any identifying information about the artist — our committee process is screened so that all applicants are anonymized. Your account provides all of the information we need.
Please specify on your applications that you’re applying for a Creativity Grant. Remember the three criteria, and convince us that your project meets all three! Make sure that the Review Committee can understand why your project is so awesome (and feasible!).
Be as visual as possible. Sometimes it’s extremely difficult to tell exactly what awesome thing you’re envisioning from text, and pictures go a long way towards making your vision clear. Scanned pencil drawings, photographs, or CAD models are all helpful in conveying what you envision.
- Experience Design: Tell us about your project. Please include the concept, the scale, how people are to interact with it (is it visual? aural? tactile?), and anything else relevant to the experience. Please include any relevant drawings, sketches, images, or inspirations.
- Technical Design: How will you actually build this? What sort of materials, hardware, tools, etc. will you need? How will it be constructed? Please include relevant sketches and diagrams. The more detailed, the better!
- Installation Plan: How will you get your project to its placed site? How will you weatherproof it? How will you make sure you complete it before Thursday? Convince us that you can make this project happen in the middle of the Vermont woods in July.
- Risk Analysis: Please perform a risk analysis. What safeguards do you have in place? How do you plan to protect the project or participants during the day or night and from the project’s correct function or error? What are the potential health hazards or danger to the environment? Please include a detailed safety plan if the project requires structural, combustible, or other qualities of risk. Some large-scale art, or projects utilizing fire, for example, may be subject to greater scrutiny/further questions from the Art Grant Review Committee. ANY Art that incorporates fire MUST be reviewed by the Fire Core. For further ideas about safety of public art, please see the Burning Man website.
- Project Timeline: Attach (as a table) a rough timeline for your project. We want to know that you’ve thought through how long this will take to build. Include the required dates included in the Summary of Deadlines.
- Project Budget: Attach a separate table with an itemized budget that lists all of your expected expenses (including material costs, equipment rentals, consumables, etc.) Please also list a separate table showing how you plan to cover these costs — what portion of the expenses will be covered by the grant? How much from other funding sources (fundraising, personal funds, etc.)? You may provide several proposed funding models, one for each grant tier you apply for. Remember — you can apply for multiple funding tiers!
- Project Placement: Where would you like your project to be placed? Priority will be given to returning projects, though final placement will not determined until Placement Weekend in June (exact date TBA).
- Leave No Trace Plan: Please describe your LNT Plan.
- Fire Plan: If your project incorporates fire or is even potentially combustible, please describe what safety measures you are taking. In general, we do not allow artists to burn projects as a way of dismantling their project.
A note about tickets
In addition to the donation of your time and efforts, all attendees and their helpers must apply for their own tickets to the event. If an artist or a mission-critical team-member is put on the waitlist, one (1) ticket will be allotted to the art project to guarantee that it can be realized at Firefly.
- Am I required to register for a ticket? Yes! All participants in the Firefly Arts Festival must register for a ticket.
- If my grant proposal is accepted will I still have to pay for my ticket? Yes! All participants are expected to pay for their ticket.
- What if my project needs more than one person to execute it? Will my entire group be guaranteed tickets to the event? If the grant recipient or a critical team member is put on the wait list, each grant recipient can request one (1) discretionary ticket. The ticket may be allocated to any individual on the grant team (not just the contact). Please contact email@example.com for discretionary tickets.
Art Grant review committee
In order to create an impartial review, applications will be blinded before they are submitted to the Art Grant Review Committee. The committee members will score each proposal based on the criteria listed above.
Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!