Please thoroughly read this page before filling out an Initiative application
Here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions:
What is an Initiative?
Initiatives are projects that the LEA puts its name and organizational resources behind, and are financially and legally liable for. Current LEA Initiatives are Freezer Burn, Decompression & Alberta Burning Man Film Festival. Any LEA member can apply to request to produce an LEA initiative.
How does the Initiative application work?
There are 2 types of applications for Initiatives, new and existing.
New Initiatives do not have any history with the LEA, so the application must demonstrate both the feasibility and potential for success of the actual project, as well as the qualifications and potential for success of the producer and production team.
Existing Initiatives (example Freezer Burn, Decomp) already have history and structure. In this case the application’s purpose is for the applicant(s) to become producer(s) of the project. They would work with the existing structure, and collaborate with the LEA and past team members.
How many initiative applications are selected?
There is a fixed amount of the budget dedicated to new initiatives each year. As most Initiatives are typically revenue generating or surplus generating, they are not as limited.
When may I apply for an Initiative?
Initiatives can be applied for year round. They are decided case by case.
When will I know if I’ve been awarded as a producer of an Initiative?
Final decisions for Initiatives are decided case by case. A board member of the LEA will be designated as representative to the Initiative and will be in contact with you.
How much should I apply for with a new Initiative?
This varies with particular projects. However, Initiatives typically are revenue or surplus generating, and cover their own production costs, so that should be accounted for in the budget. If you are applying for an Initiative that is not revenue generating, we pay for material costs, but not for time/labor. As a matter of policy, we also prefer that you develop various kinds of non-monetary resources to help support your project. We believe that such an effort on your part encourages collaboration and cooperation within our extended community.
Our annual budget for Initiatives is around $6000, but this amount fluctuates each year depending on surplus from other revenue generating Initiatives. We expect to fund between 1 or 2 new Initiatives each year. If you apply on the day of the deadline for your initiative with a hugely expensive project, your chances of approval are low. Make sure you apply with ample time and make sure your application is complete.
If you are looking for partial funding, YOU SHOULD APPLY FOR A GRANT, NOT AN INITIATIVE. Another option is to give us budget tiers. For example, a small, medium and large version of your project at corresponding prices. Please be really clear what it means if we fund one tier versus another one. Whatever your budget is, we will go through it line by line, and discuss each cost. Every dollar saved on one funded project is used to help other funded projects. We want to help as many Extraordinary Albertans as possible to make projects happen.
When and how will I receive money?
This will also vary from project to project. Once an initiative is approved, the proposed budget must then be looked at and approved by the board of the LEA. A separate schedule of payment is developed for each Initiative, typically with you paying for costs and then being reimbursed. There are some exceptions for large items. The treasurer of the LEA will work closely with your Initiative’s financial lead to get the bills paid.
You will also be required to sign a contract agreement prior to receiving any funding.
What are your criteria for awarding Initiatives?
- It fits the mandate and ethos of the LEA.
- Interactivity with participants and the environment. Interactive art is our particular obsession. Interactive work convenes society around itself. It generates roles. It provokes actions. It directs attention to the surrounding world. It transforms participants into active contributors to your creative process. It transcends the static conception of an art object that is contemplated by a detached audience.
Interaction may be achieved in variety of ways. Sometimes, the mere act of encounter is sufficient, as in the case of work spread out within a special field of space participants explore. Artwork may impart a gift or token. Likewise, works may be designed to receive something from people. Works may be activated by participants or by forces of nature, or they may function as social environments. Interactive artworks may also be made mobile, bringing an experience to passersby. Many times, when art is placed within the intensely interactive environment of Black Rock City or a regional event like Freezer Burn, participants will invent unexpected forms of interaction, and you should be prepared for this.
There will always be a place and time within the sphere of art for the perfect object– something so astonishing in itself that the simple act of contemplation is reward enough– and this, in a way, defines the essential nature and value of art. However, with planning, we have found nearly any form of conventional art can be engendered with an interactive aspect.
- The thoroughness of your proposal. We will not review and consider proposals that are not complete (e.g. they do not contain all the requested information). If you don’t include a detailed budget, or a construction schedule, or at least one drawing, it is difficult for the grant committee to fully consider your project.
- Impact of your project. We want as many participants to see and enjoy your project as possible. This does not mean we only fund large projects, but we do select installations that can have a large impact.
Some examples of what we fund as an Initiative:
- Interactive Art
- Events or activities
- Community building initiatives
- Civic minded projects (for charities, outreach programs, relief programs)
What we do not fund:
- DJs and amplified sounds
- Domes, tents, teepees or stages
- Theme camps
- Any wages for time, labor, shop time, etc
- Anything illegal
Be sure to photograph your work!!!
Any awarded Initiatives will be publicized on LEA websites and other social media outlets.
What is the process for applying for a Initiative?
Fill out the following form. The Board of the LEA will review the application and Initiatives (or producers of Initiatives) will be awarded case by case.
Before you apply for an Initiative, please pay close attention to these points:
- Are you ready to fill out the application?
- Have you had a meeting with your team (if applicable)?
- Have you reviewed the application in full?
- Have you completed a budget for your project (for a New Initiative)?
- For existing Initiatives, have you spoken with past producers, LEA Board members, or existing team members? Do you fully understand the scope of work required as a producer of such a project?
- Are you ready to produce an Initiative? If this is your first experience with an LEA Initiative, you may want to consider volunteering as a lead with an existing event first. Build up some experience, get to know the community. Then when you are ready, apply to produce an Initiative.
Please make sure your application is as complete as possible. If you don’t know how to answer a question, do your best. The more quality information you provide, the better your chances. Good luck!