I don’t do this often, but after I got the Space Grant rejection notice, I got an email from them with a link in it that announced the winners. I looked at who got it instead of me. And, perhaps predictably, it made me mad. I think I hoped to see other companies like mine, to see my peers, knowing what they’re working on and go, “Oh, of course. I’d have given them a space grant, too! They make great work and they’re working on that thing!”
But what, in fact, happened is that the list I saw included mostly well established theatres, many of which have spaces. Some of them have actual theatre spaces, which is hard to do around here. So it seems that theatres with premium spaces apply for more space and now have lots of space. And that’s awesome for them. They have a little less fundraising to do to support their big time operations.
Meanwhile, for me, having a space grant or not having a space grant can mean the difference between making a piece and not making a piece. It means having no resources for starting a project. Can I start one anyway? Of course. But having a space grant is like a little seed in the ground – both for creativity and for fundraising. People like to donate to things that are already supported.
But congrats to all the spaces with space grants. I mean, it’s not easy for ANYONE, even if, probably especially if, you have a space already. I get that as one’s budget grows, the difficulties can also grow and everyone could use the boost of a rehearsal space but I am sad that this is the direction this program is going. And I’m sad for all the other tiny companies like mine who used to be much more likely to receive such grants.
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