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.
Smol Grants smaller awards than a full Creativity Grant (between $40 and $150), and are meant to help cover expenses associated with projects of a small (or “smol”) size or scope. They are so named to emphasize the appreciation Firefly has for smaller-scale projects; in present-day social media, “smol” is a mispelling of the word “small” with very endearing connotations. They are particularly designed to encourage creation by new participants and participants who haven’t brought art to Firefly before, but everyone is welcome to apply!
Smol Grants will be evaluated and awarded on a rolling basis after other Art Grants have been awarded. (This means that if you apply for a grant that isn’t awarded to you and scale back your idea, you have another chance at getting some funding!) They’ll be awarded until the allocated funding for Smol Grants has been consumed. And because of the smoller nature of the projects and grant awards, the Art Grant Core anticipates being able to award Smol Grants quickly to many participants.
Some examples of smol projects which may be awarded a Smol Grant:
- A fiber art (knitting, sewing, weaving, knotting) project; grant covers the cost of materials
- A performance (costumed character acting, for example) project; grant covers some cost of crafting a costume
- An electronics (lighting, sound, etc.) project; grant covers the cost of some of the hardware
- A small construction or assembly project; grant covers the cost of materials or tools
- Another project where the artist has some materials already but needs a few more to prepare it to be installed at Firefly (say, a waterproof case for electronics, new paint, etc.)
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?
Advice for Prospective Artists
After many years of reviewing Grants and seeing what succeeds in the woods, the Art Grant Committees have collated the following tips:
- We do not fund art intended primarily to be enjoyed by the camp showing the art. Make sure to explain how your project can be experienced by everyone at firefly, not just your camp.
- We are not inclined to fund ball pits unless the design is significantly creative, impressive, and different from what has been done before.
- Please note that electronic and mechanical projects have a high rate of failure in the woods. If your project involves soldering, software, or moving parts, please put extra effort into convincing us the project will succeed.
Smol Grants may be awarded in amounts amounts between $40 and $149.
Most of the questions on the application should be self-explanatory, but here are some notes with extra details just in case.
- Personal Information: We need to collect personal information so we can send you money!
- Placement: Artists are responsible for coordinating with Placement Core to find a place at the event to put their art. If your art is truly Smol you may not need official placement assistance, but if the specific location of your piece is important to you it’s a good idea to check.
- Weatherproofing: The weather at the event is often cool and occasionally rainy. Art should be able to withstand torrential downpours and wind gusts of >30mph, or you must have a plan to deal with your art such that it does not harm anyone nearby or create massive amounts of MOOP.
- Leave No Trace: Firefly is a Leave No Trace event, which means your project should leave no physical trace on the land after it is removed. If this is a new concept to you please do some research to understand what this means! In general this means your project should not involve glitter, feathers, or any other material that creates tiny particles of waste that are impossible to fully clean.
- Fire: Projects that incorporate fire carry extra risk and need special attention from Fire Safety (FAST). Because of this extra requirement they are not eligible for Smol Grants. Instead please apply for a Creativity Grant.
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!