9 Ways to Improve Your Support Material For Your Next MAC Grant Application

By Martine Friesen

Next to your project proposal, support material is the most important part of your grant application. This is material that you send with your application to show the kind of work that you create. It can be a sample of your writing, images and/or videos of your art work, audio recordings, catalogues, books and reviews.

It’s important to choose the best support material for your specific project. It will be shared with the peer assessors and will have a big impact on the success of your application. Here are some tips to help you.

1. Read the General Guidelines – Read through the General Guidelines to find out what MAC will accept in support materials. Each program may accept different kinds of support materials. If you have questions call the program consultant in charge of that program.

2. Don’t submit original work or the only copy you have.

3. Adhere to the maximum allowable amount – Either in pages, books, number of images or minutes of audio and visual material.

Anything you submit over the maximum allowable will not be distributed to the assessors; i.e. we will cut off your 11:34 video at 10:00 precisely; we will choose your first 10 of 35 images; we will cut audio mid-sentence if that is where it falls.  Make your best choices to best represent your work.

4. Adhere to the formats specified – If you send it in an alternate format, we cannot guarantee that it will translate faithfully into your vision. If you are submitting a vimeo link, please ensure that your video is downloadable and password-protected.

5. Select samples that are relevant to your proposal – If you are working in a new medium or genre then choose the strongest samples of your work that demonstrate the highest artistic quality.

6. Submit high quality samples only – Poor quality support material will hinder your chances of success. Preview and test your support material prior to submission to make sure there are no technical glitches or damages to your samples.

7. Make sure you obtain the permission of any other artists involved in the creation of the work – You must also cite the artists in collaborative projects, and those that appear or are heard in the samples provided.

8. Provide examples of work created in similar projects – Arts educators and artists applying to teach or work in the community should provide examples of work created in similar projects, e.g. workshops you may have led, sample lesson plans.

9. Explain why the samples you’ve submitted are relevant to your project or activity.

It’s extremely important to your artistic practice to professionally document your work. In most cases it is an allowable expense in your project budget. And as always, if you have any questions, contact the appropriate program consultant.