How to make a Caldo!
Tips and pointers on submitting your Frijol Feasts grant application.

A little worried about that application you haven’t submitted YET? Well, worry no more! Caldo has had a lot of questions and concerns come in from local artists about the grant writing process. We’ve broken it down nice and easy for all of you. We’re available to help fine tune ideas and push your proposal to the next level. We’re just an email away!

Here's a little kick start: Keep in mind as you go along- your grant should leave no questions unanswered. Our jurors will be trying to know as much as they can within a very limited word count. The best way to think about a grant is to put yourself in the grant provider’s shoes and ask yourself “If it was my money I was giving away… what would I want to know?” Check out our pointers below… if you’re still a little stuck, shoot us an email so we can help your idea makes its way onto paper!
(The examples below were taken straight from a grant received by one of our co-founders. The examples are the artist's creative property and are shared to help explain how exactly one might make a Caldo!)

Download your Frijol Feasts Microgrant Application here.

Step 1:
Find that idea that’s been sitting inside of you, unable to make its way out, for lack of funding or opportunity!

Step 2: Develop your idea into a project outline and get started on the description of the project.
Now, we only give you 200 hundred words to do this, so keep in mind that any word that doesn’t describe your project should be left out! While we would love to hear about you as an artist, it’s best to save that material for your resume! Use this section to describe the work you intend to create!
5-8 sentences will do the trick for this section! You should be covering 4 W’s and the H. (Leave out the “WHEN”- we give you an entire section to talk about that!)

Sentence 1: WHAT- in a single sentence, articulate the concept of your project and the outcome. (Leave any description of your aesthetics out of this section. You’re providing images of your previous work along with the application. Those images will be used to see what your aesthetic style might be. Judges use these images to get a feel for your ability to produce this kind of work.)
ex. “Eight performative body pieces will be made for the series “heroine”, which intends to address identity in women on the border and the invincible nature we are born with.”

Sentence 2: WHY- in a single sentence, articulate why this work is important in El Paso.
In the call, Caldo makes clear that we have TWO requirements for the Frijol Feasts grant. The first is that your idea must have a measurable impact on the community. The second is that your idea must contribute to the evolution of a new visual language on the border. It is in your best interest to frame your “WHY” around one/both of these two critieria.
ex. “The work aims to celebrate women by using the powerful practice of body work (which is not a common art practice in El Paso) to depict their ability to use cultural implications to stand apart in El Paso.”

Sentence 3: WHO-in a single sentence, articulate who will be involved in the project.
It is NOT a requirement, but Caldo encourages collaboration across disciplines and practices. Will you be collaborating with musicians, dancers, painters, sculptors and/or any other type of artist? Will you take the work to the next level and transform the community into a collaborator? You can also find a way to identify why the collaborators are essential to the success of the work in this sentence.
ex. “In order to make the work real and alive, these eight body pieces will be based on eight women who were born and raised on the border and can contribute their life stories to the content of the work.”

Sentence 4: HOW-in a single sentence, articulate how you will create and exhibit this work.
This is one of your most important sentences… so make it a gem! Focus on your artistic practice, how you generate content for your work and how you make that content a work of art.
ex. “The work will morph and reflect ideas of “costumes for a heroine” and will be created based on interviews with these women that will allow me to step into the women’s shoes, feel their experiences and understand how and why they are heroines in their own rite.”

Sentence 5: WHERE-in a single sentence, articulate where you plan to exhibit/share your work. If the location of your exhibition/sharing is unique or central to your idea make that clear in the sentence.
ex. “The work will be taken out of the gallery setting and made totally accessible to the public by being installed, with photos displayed via projection, on the outer walls of a women’s home.”

And there you have 200 very purposeful words!

STEP 3: Identify how your project is beneficial to you and your community.
This is a section that most artists have felt apprehensive about. Caldo wants to make clear that we WANT to know what you think you need, and how this project helps you get it! We don’t see that as a negative, rather we see that as a realistic understanding of your artistic practice and improvements that can be made!So let it all out! If you feel you need exposure, say that. If you feel you just need that one opportunity to show your work, say that! If you feel you can take your work to a whole new level with just a little moola, say that! If you feel this funding will allow you to kickstart a professional career, say that! If there was ever a time to be clear about what you need and PROUD of what you’ll do if you get it… now is that time! Add a little bit about what you HAVE been able to do… then elaborate on what you wish you could do… and just how this funding will help you do it!
ex.: “To date, I have had the opportunity to initiate several projects, both independent and collaborative, in the El Paso area. These projects have been successful without funding, through a hunt for found objects, materials and alternative venues. There has been no marketing or supply budget. With this funding, I will be able to market the project. I will also be able to elevate my artistic practice through the use of more purposeful and refined materials, which I have been unable to access in the past. This will also be an opportunity to market myself and the work." 

As far as benefit to community is concerned, now is the time to articulate your MEASUREMENTS. “Measurements” in a grant can be very simple to find. You want to provide the number of community members this grant will DIRECTLY impact. You can go on to include how many community members it might INDIRECTLY impact, as well. Then, include the number of instances the work might be exhibited or shared.
For the example above, the measurement would be: "Eight women from the community will be interviewed and integrated into the work, in order to make 8 body pieces based on their lives. Those 8 women will be asked to invite 8 other women who they admire for strength to the opening of the exhibition. At least 64 people will see the work."

Another example, for a different type of project might be:“I will work with 50 youth from central El Paso, over the course of three months, to teach them how to stencil, how to screen print and how to design a poster. Because these workshops will be held in the park, onlookers will be invited to observe the process closely. Over the course of three months, up to 100 youth will participate in or observe these workshops.”

Now include why the project benefits the community!
ex.: “The work will contribute to the generation of contemporary art practices on the border. Additionally, in a city where galleries are limited and access to them by general public is uncommon, this work will take itself directly to the people on the outside walls of someone’s home.”

BOOYAH! 200 more very purposeful words completed!

STEP 4: Get your budget ready!

Like any other budget section of a grant, Caldo asks that you be specific about what you need and how much it costs. Your ability to be clear about your budget shows how well you understand your project!The Caldo Collective promises a minimum of $500.00 generated from Frijol Feasts. Do not cater your budget to that amount, instead, be honest about what you need… no more, no less.

Some things that came up during Frijol Feasts Vol. 1:
-pay your collaborators! Write their rates into your budget. Audience was very supportive of projects that helped get other artists involved WITH COMPENSATION!
-pay yourself, as and where you can!
-be clear about the materials you need, how much of them you need, and how much they cost.
-include the cost of a venue if you are planning to work in a performance or exhibition space.

While we do not require a crazy detailed budget like other larger grants, we do intend to support projects we can stand behind with financial clarity when funding and donations are sent our way.

We are especially here to help you with this section of your grant application!

Ex: (figures do not reflect actual costs)
-artist fee:  $300.00
-collaborators rates: $25.00/hr x 15 hrs = $375.00
-venue: $200.00/day x2 d= $400.00

-fabric: $5.00/yard x 30 yd= $150.00
-silver: $15.00/ou. x 3 ou.= $45.00
-paint: $5.00 ea. x 13= $65.00
-found objects and materials: no charge

-projector: $425.00
-camera: no charge
-marketing materials:
-flyers: (design and printing) $50.00 + $75.00= $125.00
-blog: no charge
-printing cost of photos $200.00
TOTAL: $2,085.00

OH MY! THE BUDGET IS OVER!! Here are the exact words you use to explain a budget gone over in the next section of the grant application:

“This grant would provide me with SEED FUNDING for this project. I will gather additional funding by ___________________________.”

STEP 5: 
Explain how these funds will be applied to your budget.
This section is specifically used to tell us what your funding priorities are. If your budget is over the amount we promise ($500), where will you apply the funding you get. Will you apply it to artist fees, collaborators’ fees, fees for use of spaces, materials… etc.? If your budget is over, be sure to include the sentence about seed funding (found above) in this section.

Articulate your project time frame (THIS IS THE “WHEN” section of the grant).
Set clear dates for when you plan to be in the working phase of your project and the exhibition phase of your project. Again, your ability to be clear about these dates shows how well you understand your project!
ex: “Between the months of April and July, interviews and shadowing of the eight women will be conducted. In- progress images will be projected in public spaces to gauge the scope of the work in the public space. Work will be completed by August, 2014 and exhibited before the end of that month.”


Let us know how you plan to document your project- will you film the process, photograph the work, create a blog for community to follow or perhaps you will create a book or recording of images/work?
ex: “The work will be documented via photos, writings and a blog that organizes all content. An additional product of the work will be a limited edition of ten hand-printed books that document the work produced and the women it celebrates.”

And finally, give us a brief and basic plan for presenting at a future Caldo event. There will likely be opportunities to present at future dinners, in order to showcase the work you completed or help us promote the value of this grant.
ex. “I will make myself available for a brief artist talk on the project either before or after the exhibition, during a Frijol Feasts event, in order to share the benefits of this opportunity and to promote my work.”

And that, dear friends, is HOW YOU MAKE A CALDO!


To view "How To Make A Caldo" workshop schedule and other details, click here.