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NAME: Benjamin Gaylord

GRANT APPLIED FOR: Small Projects Program; city offers up to $1,000 “to make grant funds more accessible for small-scale arts projects.”

MONEY NEEDED FOR: photography lessons

BACKGROUND: According to his application, Gaylord “strive[s] to create photographs which contain awe and amazement.” “Much of what limits our understanding of others and ourselves is our predetermined notions about people and experiences,” he wrote.

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PLAN: Though Gaylord claimed to have “some experience…taking photographs” he admitted that he had “little understanding of the technical aspects of photography from the camera, printing, lighting, Photoshop, scanning, etc.” At the time of his application, he was taking his “first photography class.” He asked the city to kick in $985 to help him keep learning.

AMOUNT ASKED FOR: $985

STATUS: approved

UPSHOT: Gaylord says the city’s funds “definitely helped me out.” He’s not entirely sure why his application was approved, though. “My sense is that they wanted to encourage people who have potential,” he says, adding, “At least that’s what I’d like to think.” —Mike Kanin