Iowa State University of Science and Technology

Focus: Artist Grant Program

Focus is an organization that fosters ISU students in the visual, literary and performing arts. Individuals or groups of students may apply for grant funding for creative projects done outside of the classroom. An exhibit of visual projects is displayed in the Memorial Union each spring, and performing and literary projects are highlighted at a public reception. Focus has been funding projects at Iowa State since 1972.

Students -- undergraduate and graduate in any major -- are encouraged to apply for up to $600 in funding for projects to be displayed, performed, projected, or read. 

Funding for FOCUS grants is made possible through the Government of the Student Body; awards are determined by a committee of students, faculty, and staff representing a broad range of the arts.

Grant applications are accepted twice a year: April (First Round) and October (Second Round), both for the following March's exhibit.

Funded projects may not to be used to receive credits in a course. To do so would disqualify the project. All work for the project must be done outside of the classroom.

Each proposal requires a faculty member(s) as project advisor(s). The advisor must provide a written recommendation stating the student's capabilities as well as an assessment of the validity of the project and minimum budget requirements.

Funded projects must be completed according to the schedule provided by the Focus Committee. The committee may ask for a refund of the money expended toward any project not completed on time.

Focus Grant recipients will receive a Purchasing Card from Campus Organizations Accounting (COA) for all grant-related expenditures. A separate agreement must be signed with COA to receive your card. 

Please read the Focus Grant Application Guidelines for all eligibility requirements and rules for submission.  

Evaluation of Proposals

Proposals that are thorough, clear, and written by individuals from different academic areas and with different artistic interests and backgrounds will be most successful.

The FOCUS Committee will evaluate proposals based on the following points:
Extent to which the applicant presents a convincing rationale for funding the project. The proposal should demonstrate discipline, imagination, and creativity.
Extent to which funding the project will contribute to the artistic development of the applicant.
Extent to which the methodology proposed will result in the successful completion of the project. The project should be realistic, given time and budget constraints.


Hearings with each applicant are scheduled to allow the committee time to ask questions about the proposal and see examples of the individual's (or group's) work. The hearings last 5 - 10 minutes and artists will need to bring examples and/or images of previous work to share with the committee. Hearings will be scheduled after the grant proposal is received.

Timeline for 2017-2018 Grants

September 10, 2017            Written Progress Reports Due for First Round Students
September TBD, 2017         First Round Student's Visual Progress Reviews
October 1, 2017                   Applications for Second Round Grants Due 
October TBD, 2017              Grant Hearings & Award Announcements for Second Round Grants
January 25, 2018                 Written Progress Reports Due for First and Second Round Students
February TBD, 2018            Final Visual Progress Reviews for First and Second Round Students
March 1, 2018                      Artwork and Artist Information Due
March 20, 2018                    Artwork Drop-off for Visual Projects in the Pioneer Room
March 23-April 30, 2018      Focus Exhibit on Display in The Pioneer Room

April TBD, 2018                   Focus Exhibit Reception
May 1, 2018                         Visual Artwork Pick-Up from Exhibit

2018-2019 Grants

April 1, 2018                        Spring Applications for First Round Grants Due 

Focus: Artist Grant Program Committee Members

Letitia Kenemer, President
Jennifer Drinkwater, College of Design Representative
Archana Edmond, Former Grant Recipient
Carole Faber, College of Design Representative
Cindy Gould, College of Design Representative
Caleb Hinkelman, Student Representative

Brent Holland, College of Design Representative
Brenda Jones, College of Design Representative
Jordan Luckow, Student Representative
Sara Merritt, Educational Specialist at Reiman Gardens
Dan Neubauer, College of Design Representative

Claire Smith, Student Representative
Paula Streeter, College of Design Representative
Barbara Walton, College of Design Representative
Amber Zewert, Student Representative

© 2017 Iowa State University of Science and Technology. All rights reserved.