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BU Arts Initiative grants cater to creative student needs

The Boston University Arts Initiative is now offering grants to BU students, faculty and staff seeking the means to tackle art projects in the BU community.

With a monetary limit of $2,000, these grants will be awarded to members of the BU community as part of the Arts Initiative’s goal to support intellectual growth through creative endeavors, said Arts Initiative Managing Director Ty Furman.

“To encourage the continued development of an intellectual community around the arts and arts practice at BU and enhance our student-life experience, the BU Arts Initiative offers grants to faculty, students, and staff for projects that directly engage students in the arts,” Furman said.

Although there are no specific criteria required for receiving a grant, Furman said the Arts Initiative is focused on awarding them to people with artistic ideas but limited resources.

“We’re just looking to find the people who have had an idea and just need a little boost or support,” Furman said. “If they have an idea we can also help to guide them through the process. We want to find faculty students and staff who have an idea but just don’t have the resources.”

Arts Initiative grants are being offered to individuals, as well as groups of people who are looking to work on collaborative projects, Furman said. The BU Arts Council will review all grant proposals.

“The primary goal of these grants is to engage the BU community in the arts and to encourage the continued development of an intellectual community around the arts and arts practiced at BU and enhance our student-life experience,” Furman said.

Taylor Mortell, a College of Fine Arts sophomore, received a $2,000 grant from the Arts Initiative last May, enabling her to to kick start her Still Running project in response to the Boston Marathon Bombing.

“It’s a greater Boston community art project myself and another BU student founded in response to the Boston Marathon Bombing aimed at bringing the community together through a series of free art-making events and giving artworks to first responders,” Mortell said.

Mortell said she relied on the funding from the Arts Initiative for initial expenditures, and the credibility from receiving the BU grant opened the door for her to receive additional grants from other organizations.

“It was the first grant we received and covered all of our initial costs for purchasing art materials to use at events,” she said. “It also helped us secure grants from other organizations and donations from companies to fund the growth of the project further. None of what we do would have been possible without it.”

Because her project carried weight during the months following the Boston Marathon bombing, Mortell said her project was beneficial to both BU and Boston, making it a project worthy of the Art Initiative’s support.

“We were awarded the funding because our project was very relevant to the BU community and the greater Boston community at the time,” she said. “We were also still looking for seed funding for the project at the time we received this grant, so I think the Arts Initiative could see our strong motivation to get everything going.”

Kate Snodgrass, a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences professor of playwriting, will also receive funding from the Arts Initiative for the work she conducts with the Israeli Stage Company.

The funding she received from the Arts Initiative has been crucial the company’s success, Snodgrass said.

“The BU Arts Initiative grant has been enormously helpful in supporting our students and faculty with these readings and production by one of Israel’s foremost playwrights,” she said. “The collaboration between the various departments at BU and the Israeli Stage Company is a wonderful example of collaboration and organization.”

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