Last year we all cheered when New York’s Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation, which “aims to support the broad spectrum of writing on contemporary visual art,” included a blogging category in their program, and this year, I received several emails from colleagues urging me to apply. As an academic, I thought it seemed greedy to seek grant funding in addition to my salary when most bloggers are struggling to pay the bills. To be honest, I had good, grant-worthy ideas about expanding Two Coats of Paint in new directions, but I was too busy to complete the application. In addition, I was leery of adding new duties to my already overwhelming workload (teaching, writing, blogging, painting, parenting…). It turns out, however, that over 150 bloggers actually found the time to apply, but only one, Greg Cook (New England Journal of Aesthetic Research), was selected. In the LA Times blog, Christopher Knight wonders why.
“Twenty-six mostly N.Y. scribblers were the happy recipients of anywhere between $5,000 and $50,000, designed to help them ply their typically underpaid trade…. As writers on art, bloggers just don’t seem to measure up. Although the Internet has gobbled up the globe, just one blogger made the cut. The remaining 25 grantees mostly proposed projects for print, including books, magazines, newspapers and other dead-tree media. In fact, in the four years that Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grants have been awarded, only three have gone to writers who produce blogs. Given a total of 87 grants since 2006, bloggers have racked up less than 4%.That’s not a very good ratio.
“In fact, it’s dismal…. Maybe art blogs are generally a waste or only really bad bloggers submit applications or the jury doesn’t like the form. The bad news doesn’t stop there. Two successful applicants this year got grants to start blogs. That’s a nice vote of confidence in those established writers’ abilities, but it also suggests the jury’s rather sizable degree of dismay with existing bloggers who applied for assistance.”
Isn’t it obvious that with funding, existing bloggers could devote more time to their blogs and the quality would improve? Comments are welcome.