7 Ways to Improve Your Support Material

Support material is the one of most important parts of your grant application. The assessment panel, who decide whether your project will be funded, will view these examples of your work to see the type and quality of art you create. These materials can include writing samples, images, videos, audio recordings, and more.

Here are some tips to help you choose the best support material for your grant application.

1. Read the Support Material webpage

Here you’ll find all the technical information you need on support material, including how many files to upload, the item system, file types and descriptions, and more.

2. Stay under the limit

Assessing grant applications is a considerable time commitment. To respect the time of our peer assessors, we ask that you respect the limits on the amount of support material you submit.

Anything you submit over the maximum amount of support material won’t be reviewed by the peer assessors.

For example, if you submit a 12-minute-long video, the assessors will only review the first 10 minutes. If you submit 20 images, the assessors will only review the first 15.

TIP: A few high-quality samples are better than a lot of poor-quality samples!

3. Choose relevant samples

Assessors will consider both the quality of your support material, and how well it shows whether you have the skills required to fulfill your project plans. So, for example, if you are applying to write a screenplay, it’s helpful to submit other screenplays or scripts you’ve completed. If you are applying to host a workshop, consider submitting photos or lesson plans from previous workshops you’ve held.

If you’re working in a new medium or genre, choose the strongest samples of your previous work that show the highest artistic quality.

4. Submit high quality samples

This includes high-resolution photos and videos, audio recordings with good sound quality, properly formatted writing samples, and more. High-quality support material can help assessors make better-informed decisions based off your work.

Make sure to test your support material before submitting your application to make sure there are no technical issues with your samples.

TIP: It’s very important to professionally document your work. For many grant applications, you can include the cost of photographing, recording, or otherwise documenting your project in your budget.

5. Credit your collaborators

If your support material involves the work of other artists or collaborators, you must list them and detail their involvement in the work. For some grant applications, it might be appropriate to include a collaborator’s work that you weren’t involved in – so long as it’s relevant to the project you’re proposing, you give proper credit, and you explain for assessors how it relates to your project.

6. Describe your work

When submitting your support material, there is some important information you should include in the file description. The information you should include can change depending on the file type or artistic medium. For example:

  • Images: date produced, title of work, applicant’s role, file name, dimensions, medium
  • Audio/Video: date produced, title of work, applicant’s role, file name, running time
  • Text: date produced, title of work, applicant’s role, file name, number of pages

7. Explain your samples

Don’t assume the assessors will immediately understand why your support material is relevant to your application – tell them! Explain why you’ve chosen this support material, what it says about your arts practice, and how the work you’re showing relates to your project.

We hope this blog has given you some useful tips on improving your support material!

Have an idea for a topic we should cover on our blog? Let us know by emailing esaurette@artscouncil.com.

If you have any questions, contact the MAC Helpdesk.