Commonly Asked Questions About our Grants

Q. How do I get an application form?

 A. Applications for the Individual Support program must be requested in writing.  If an applicant has applied before, he or she must send a new written request every year they wish to apply.  Requests should be sent to the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, 380 West Broadway, New York, NY 10012.  No telephone or second party requests for applications are accepted. 

 For the Emergency Assistance Grant program, either a written or telephone request is accepted.  No second party requests, except in the event of an extremely dire emergency circumstance, where the applicant is physically unable to do so for his or herself.  Applications are mailed from our office only.  Neither of the forms is available for pick up from the Foundation. 

 Please note – application forms are not downloadable or available on our website.

 Q. May I drop off my application in person to the Foundation?

A. We do not accept hand delivered applications and request that applications are mailed or are delivered by another parcel carrier (i.e. Federal Express) to the Foundation.  Since there is a deadline for the Individual Support program, we rely on the postmark on the package to verify that the package was sent on or by the deadline. 

Q. I have an Individual Support grant application form from a previous year. Can I use it?

A. No.  We update and change the application yearly. Also, applicants must send a written request for an application, even if they wrote for an application the year prior.   

Q. Does the Foundation give preference to a particular style or form of art, such as abstract art or painting over other styles or forms?

A. No.  There is no preference given to genre, media, or subject matter, so long as the work is painting, printmaking or sculpture or can be directly interpreted as such.    

 Q. Do I need to send a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) for application forms.

 A. A SASE, while helpful, is not necessary.  We do request that applicants clearly type or print their full names and complete contact information on their written requests.

 Q. Can I apply every year, or do I have to wait a year to apply? 

 A. For the Individual Support grant program, unsuccessful applicants may reapply every year.  Recipients of this grant must wait a year after receiving their grant before reapplying. 

 Emergency Assistance applicants may apply for and receive assistance only once per situation.  Unsuccessful applicants are not eligible to reapply for the same emergency situation.  However, in the event of a non-related and different catastrophic incident, artists may apply again for this program.

 Q. Do I have to live in New York to eligible for the grant programs? 

 A. The Foundation’s grant programs are open to both US based and International artists.  US citizenship or residency is not required.  

 Q.  How does the Foundation define a mature phase of art?

 AMaturity is based on a high level of intellectual, technical and creative proficiency that has been maintained over time.  It is less based on an applicant’s age than on the development and commitment of an artist’s work that has progressed over time.  For the Individual Support program we rely on slides to provide evidence of a 20 year mature phase through the development and consistency of a body of work as represented by slides.  For the Emergency Assistance program we contact several professional references, who can provide information about an artist’s body of work and career over time. 


Questions related to the Individual Support grant program


Q. Do I need to submit a slide list with my slides if I have labelled the slides with the required information?

 A. An additional type written slide list is not necessary, IF all the required information, including applicant’s name, title, dimensions, media and date, have been clearly labelled on the slides.  Some applicants choose to submit a slide list in addition to clearly labelling their slides.  Also, in instances where it is difficult to clearly list all the information directly on the slide, applicants may submit a slide list in lieu of completely labelling their slides.  However, in these cases, applicants should ensure that each slide has at least the minimum of their full name and assign each slide a number, which corresponds to the slide list.

 Q. How should slides be arranged?

 A.  Slides should be arranged chronologically, starting with earliest slide to most recent.

 Q.  How are slides viewed? 

 A.  Slides are projected and viewed one at a time. 

 Q.  If I don’t have slides of my work, what other form of documentation may I submit?

A. While slides are the most preferable form of documentation (a projector is used to screen slides), we will also accept standard color photographs.  CD’s, videos, color Xeroxes, color transparencies or other large format slides (other than 35mm) are not accepted and will not be viewed. 

 Q.  Can I submit extra support materials with my application?

 A.  Because of the number of applications we receive each year for the Individual Support program, we ask that applicants submit only what is requested in the application form.  Supplementary materials, including catalogues, brochures, reviews, press materials, and other forms of documentation will not be reviewed by the panel and should not be submitted.

 Q.  Who makes the decision to award a grant?

 A.  Each year, the Foundation selects a group of 5 artists and other art professionals, who are not affiliated with the Foundation, to serve as advisors to the Foundation.  The advisors acting as a group choose the recipients of this grant program.  This group of panellists changes from year to year.  


Questions regarding Individual Support Grant application requirements

Q. May I submit more than 3 pages for my narrative statement?

 A. We ask applicants to try to try to stay within the guidelines of the 3 page narrative.  The statement should be written in full narrative prose.  A curriculum vitae, exhibition résumé or point form is not sufficient and will not fulfill this requirement.  Most applicants use the narrative statement to introduce their art and their career to the review panel, highlight exhibition and career achievements, and discuss the development and key issues in their work. 

Q. When and how are applicants notified of the results?

 A.  The final reviews occur in late March or early April.  Applicants are notified by mail usually in late March through mid April depending on the scheduling of the reviews. 

 Q. My spouse and I file a joint tax return.  How do I reflect my income in this case?

 A. For the purposes of this grant program, we consider overall household income and a joint return is acceptable. In the event that an applicant files a separate tax return from his/her spouse or domestic partner, we will also require a copy of the spouse or domestic partner’s tax return. 

 Q.  I didn’t file a tax return last year.  What type of financial documentation should I submit?

 A. We recognize that it is not always possible to submit a copy of the most recent tax forms.  Alternative documentation may be submitted in lieu of a tax return.  However, applicants must check directly with and receive permission from the Foundation as to what alternative documentation is acceptable.  Applicants who fail to submit the requested forms of financial documentation will not be eligible for review. 

 Q. Can the grants be used for educational purposes, like graduate school?

 A.  The Foundation does not consider requests for funding of educational purposes.


Common Mistakes for The Individual Support Program


Tax Returns

A common mistake is not submitting a complete tax return.  Common examples include only sending the first couple of pages of a return and not all the accompanying schedules, or submitting a filing summary mailed back from the tax authorities and not the actual complete copy of the form that is sent to the taxation department.  Again we require a copy of the complete tax return; submitting anything less will result in the application being considered incomplete and ineligible for review.   

We ask that all documentation be submitted in English.  For International applicants, tax returns that are not in English must be translated into English and the translation must be notarized.  Some applicants fail to have their returns translated.  Hand-written English translations written or typed directly onto a copy of the tax returns by the applicant are not sufficient and will not be eligible for review. 

Blanks on Application forms

Blank spaces in the financial disclosure section of the application form are a very common problem.  Many applicants omit or forget to fill in a figure on the financial disclosure section of our application form.  If there is no income for a particular income category, a zero or nil should be written in.  Applications with a blank space on any line in the financial disclosure section will be considered incomplete and ineligible for review.


Slides should be clearly labelled.  Applications may be considered incomplete if slides are not labeled fully with the artist’s name, title, media, dimensions, and date.  If there is not sufficient space on the slide for this information, an accompanying slide list may be included.  In these instances, slides must be numbered and arranged chronologically and have the artist’s name on them!

Slides should reflect at least 20 years of work and show a progression over time.  If there is a gap, of more than a few years in the slide documentation, we request that the applicant provide a brief explanation of the reasons for the break in the visual documentation.  An application, with breaks in the documentation of more than a few years without this accompanying written explanation, may be considered incomplete.  We strongly suggest that applicants contact the Foundation if there are any concerns or questions about the slide documentation component of this application.

 When in doubt about any of the requirements please contact the Foundation for further information and clarification.