Create & Connect

OVERVIEW

The Bed-Stuy Create & Connect Fund is a hyperlocal micro-grant program offered annually and directly managed by The LP. The Fund seeds and supports the creative ideas or civic actions of artists, cultural practitioners, community organizers, activists, and neighbors whose proposals aim to enrich community life in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. 

During the 2024 cycle, we will provide $1000 grants towards each funded project, for a total of up to 20 proposals. We are looking for creative initiatives or civic projects that are rooted in community, foster meaningful connections, and ignite socially conscious conversations. In other words, we aim to support community building amongst neighbors through community-led action.

We encourage both individuals and groups to apply if you have a new project or an ongoing initiative that positively impacts and engages a group, audience, or community in Bed-Stuy. We are particularly interested in proposals that nurture creativity, uplift local legacies, foster community wellness, or inspire collective advocacy. 

Proposals that show potential for both creative and civic impact in Bed-Stuy will be prioritized. 

View the full micro-grant guidelines here.

Grant

$1,000

Applications Open

April 1

Applications Close

May 1
The Create & Connect application is now open

Key Dates, Application Support, & Information

Applications: Open Monday, April 1, 2024

Info Session 1:
Date: Thursday, April 11, 2024
Location: Macon Library, 361 Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Time: 6:00–7:30 pm EST


Info Session 2:
Date: Thursday, April 25, 2024
Location: mi Centro BK, 1060 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Time: 6:15–7:30 pm EST

Applications: Close Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Decision: Notification Early June 2024

Learn more about the application process for the Bed-Stuy Create & Connect Fund from LP staff through this info session. The session will take place in-person at Macon Library. 

During the session, LP staff can answer any questions you have about the application process, provide tech support or troubleshooting with the Submittable platform, briefly review your drafted application for clarity, or provide feedback on your proposal idea.

Eligibilty

Applicants

Self-organized groups or collectives (i.e. sewing club, writers group, mutual aid groups); formal organizations (i.e. block associations, tenant associations); and individuals (at least 18 years of age) living, working, or otherwise committed to and invested in Bed-Stuy are eligible to apply. Please note the legacy of place is a core value of this fund, so proposals must be responsive to or centered within the Bed-Stuy neighborhood and its communities. 

We also see the allocation of this fund as a way to help counter structural, systemic injustices in Bed-Stuy. Therefore, we will prioritize:

Types of Eligible Proposals

Proposed projects must include a publicly accessible component that activates or takes place in Bed-Stuy (between summer 2024 and summer 2025) and provides Bed-Stuy community members with the opportunity to experience, interact with, or contribute to meaningful initiatives across creative and civic practice. 

Public components may be held in-person, virtually, or some combination of both. Public components can include, but are not limited to: panel discussions, presentations, webinars, IG Lives, recording sessions, exhibitions, performances, festivals, listening parties, screenings, readings, and creative workshops. 

Preference is given to public programs or initiatives that are free and held live in community spaces outside of The Laundromat Project (i.e. libraries, parks, gardens, senior centers, storefront shops, restaurants, laundromats).

Eligible proposals may include, but are not limited to:

Types of Ineligible Proposals:

View the full micro-grant guidelines here.

DEFINING ART

At The Laundromat Project, artists are community organizers and community organizers are artists. We believe that to be an artist is to be a creative problem-solver. Creative problem-solvers tap into community and utlize resources to create and manifest ideas. 

By The LP’s definition, we consider art as any cultural tradition, practice, object, or action made with creative intent and grounded in community. This includes the visual, media, literary, and performing arts as well as archival curation, scholarship, oral history, education, healing, gardening, community organizing, activism, and other modes of cultural production. 

You do not have to consider yourself an artist or community organizer to apply.

Consider the following list of types of art: (categories and language adapted from Leeway Foundation’s Art and Change Grant)

Craft & Textiles

Book art
Costume design
Crocheting
Doll making
Fashion design
Furniture making
Knitting
Puppetry
Quilting
Weaving
Woodworking
Zines

Folk Arts

Cooking or baking
Hair braiding
Gardening
Storytelling
Traditional dance
Traditional music

Literary Arts

Creative writing
Playwriting
Poetry & Prose
Short Stories

Media Arts

Animation
Audio
Film
Interactive design
Podcast
Sound art
Video
Web-based work

Music

Composition
Deejaying
Hip-hop
Instrumental performance
Jazz
Opera
Producing
Rapping
Singing
Songwriting

Performance

Acting
Dance
Movement
Oral history
Performance art
Spoken word
Theater

Visual Arts

Comics/cartoons
Digital art
Drawing
Graphic design
Illustration
Installation
Mixed media
Murals
Painting
Photography
Pottery
Printmaking
Screen printing
Sculpture

FAQs

We recommend all applicants review the program guidelines before submitting an application. View the full micro-grant guidelines here.

ELIGIBILITY

Do I have to be an artist or community organizer to apply?

No, applicants do not need to identify as artists or community organizers to be eligible. However, proposals must incorporate elements of art or creativity. At The Laundromat Project, we define art as visual, media, literary, and performing arts as well as curation, scholarship, education, healing, gardening, community organizing, activism, and other cultural traditions, productions, and practices.

Do I have to live in Bed-Stuy to apply?

No, you do not have to currently live in Bed-Stuy to apply, however longtime Bed-Stuy residents will receive priority consideration and all applicants must be committed to and invested in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood. Proposals will be evaluated based on the clarity of the application and the potential of the project idea to make positive community impacts in Bed-Stuy.

The legacies embedded in place is a core value of this fund, so proposals must be responsive to or centered within Bed-Stuy and impact or engage a group, audience, or community in Bed-Stuy.

 

Can I apply on behalf of my organization, like a 501(c)3?

Yes, any group, organization, or individual committed to or invested in Bed-Stuy is eligible to apply, however priority will be given to informal groups with less access to funding sources.

 

I’m a small business owner, can I apply with a project idea that has to do with my business?

Yes, any group, organization, or individual committed to or invested in Bed-Stuy is eligible to apply, however eligible proposals should focus on themes of community building, community wellness, or collective advocacy and must be free for participants.

We are looking for new creative projects or ongoing/long-term initiatives that positively impacts and engages a group, audience, or community in Bed-Stuy. Funds cannot be used for commercial purposes.

 

May I apply with an existing/ongoing project or initiative?

Yes.

If I applied last year and was awarded the Create and Connect Fund can I re-apply?

Previous Create & Connect awardees cannot receive funding from Create & Connect again, unless applying as a part of a new collective undertaking a new project.

We welcome all past LP Program participants, including previous Create & Connect Fund recipients, to apply for Create & (Re)Connect to complete a new project or event.

APPLICATION SUPPORT QUESTIONS

Why should I attend an information session?

These sessions are designed to clarify the grant application process and offer more tailored application support by placing LP staff in direct conversation with interested applicants.

The LP team will lead a brief presentation explaining the overall application process and then proceed to address individual application questions or give feedback on drafted responses.

We encourage you to attend a session if you want to know if your idea is eligible, what part of your proposal to emphasize, if your response to an application question is clear, or if you have questions about parts of the application or the application process.

What is the format of the sessions?

These sessions are casual walk-in sessions during which you should bring specific questions for The LP staff to help answer. However, we strongly suggest attendees RSVP, so we can account for any staffing needs. Questions can be sent in advance by emailing [email protected].

 

If I am applying on behalf of a group, does my entire group need to be in attendance for the application support session?

No. Anyone who is available is welcome.

None of the dates and times listed work with my schedule. Can I receive application support outside of these sessions?

Yes! Questions can be sent electronically and individual appointments can be made in advance by emailing [email protected].

SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION

When will my application be reviewed?

Applications will be accepted from April 1, 2024 until 11:59PM EDT on May 1, 2024. All applications submitted prior to the deadline will be read and reviewed in the order they are received. Because we can only fund up to 20 proposals, we highly encourage applicants to submit their proposals well ahead of the deadline to ensure thoughtful consideration as we often receive more applications than we can fund.

Can I submit more than one application?

Applicants may submit only one application per project idea. If you have more than one proposal, please choose the one you feel is the strongest.

Applicants for collaborative works or applicants applying on behalf of a group or organized body should select one member to submit an application for review.

If you are the project lead applying on behalf of a group, you may also apply with another, unrelated project idea as an individual.

Can I assist someone in the completion of their application?

Yes. Please be aware that communications regarding the status of the application will be sent to the email address associated with the Submittable account. Please make sure to create a Submittable account for the individual you are assisting.

 

I am a professional grant writer. Can I submit an application on behalf of an organization I am working for?

A grant-writer can assist with the application process in collaboration with the organization they are working for, but the contact information (including email and phone number) listed on the application and the Submittable account associated with the application must belong to the organization representative that will be carrying out the proposal if funded.The grant writer cannot be the main contact person for the application. The LP may reach out to the organization to confirm application details.

 

Notifications

How long will the online application process remain open?

The application opens Monday, April 1 and closes Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT.

When will I receive confirmation that my application was received?

You will receive an automated email response from Submittable confirming your application was received.

If I start an online application through the LP Submission manager (Submittable), can I save it and submit it later?

Yes, but we encourage you to save it often in case of any internet or technical difficulties. You can also draft your responses on a separate document, and copy and paste them onto Submittable when you are ready to submit.

How will I be notified?

You will be notified via the email you provided in your application.

When will I be notified?

We will send notifications indicating if proposals were accepted or declined by early June 2024.

 

DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS

How will applications be selected for funding?

LP staff members across departments will evaluate projects by their alignment with the goals of the Fund to foster community, relationship building, and collaboration in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood through creativity and community wellness. Projects and activities must be able to be developed, installed/performed by the applicant independently without production support from the The Laundromat Project, while taking into consideration current CDC and New York City health and safety guidelines.

How will funds be disbursed?

Award amounts are $1,000 USD each, payable by Check, PayPal, or ACH bank transfer.

 

How long will it take for me to receive the funds after I’ve been notified I am a recipient of the award?

Funds can take up to 2 months to be received following notification that you have been selected and the timely return of any requested forms or contracts. We plan to disburse all funds by the last week of July 2024. Please take this timeline into consideration as you plan your project.

 

How can the funds be used?

Please see the list of eligible proposals above. The funds can be used for any aspect of the proposal necessary for execution, including supplies, venue rentals, or compensation fees for the project lead (applicant) and additional artists/collaborators/laborers.

Do I have to pay tax on the funds received?

Yes. This is considered taxable income, please consult with a tax professional if you need guidance through this process. 

FURTHER QUESTIONS

If you have further questions, you can contact the LP community engagement team by email at [email protected].

View full micro-grant guidelines, here.

2023 RECIPIENTS