In 1983, long before my mother’s dementia, she and I attended a writing conference at Avila College in Kansas City. At the luncheon, when a trophy was given for the best contest story written by an unpublished writer, one of the women at our table had to go up and accept it on behalf of the writer. The actual winner—a mother with several young children—paid the entry fee to enter her story and receive a critique, but she hadn’t been able to afford the cost of the conference and luncheon, plus child care and transportation, so she wasn’t present to receive her own hard-won prize.
Mom and I, as well as many women writers around us, felt strongly that the priorities were way off base. Instead of giving trophies that would gather dust on a bookshelf, wouldn’t it be more helpful to offer scholarships for mothers who needed financial help to reach their writing goals?
Oh, how I wish the heavy curtain of dementia would lift so Mom could see the assistance becoming available for mothers who are also writers and artists. And she’d be thrilled that it’s open to women everywhere.
The SUSTAINABLE ARTS FOUNDATION offers up to five awards of $6,000 each, and up to five Promise Awards of $2,000 each for writers and artists who have at least one child under the age of 18. Winners may use the funds for materials, conferences, equipment, classes, daycare assistance, or for anything that will aid them in reaching their creative goals.
Writers apply in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, long form journalism, picture books, graphic novels, or playwriting. Visual artists apply in painting, sculpture, drawing/illustration, printmaking, mixed media, or photography. Both groups submit a brief biography, an artist statement, a curriculum vita, and a $15 entry fee by February 26.
Go to this website for the required entry form and complete guidelines: www.sustainableartsfoundation.org
Please share this opportunity with friends, family, deserving neighbors, and the waitress who has been penning short stories or painting murals during her breaks and while her children are in school. Encourage creative hopefuls.
Albert Einstein said,“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”