What does it take to get an arts grant from the D.C. government? In 2003, 588 hopeful applicants sought cash from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for various projects. Sometimes they got what they wanted.
Name: Stuart Gosswein
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: costs associated with applicant’s design for the World Trade Center memorial in New York City
Background: According to his résumé, Gosswein received his master’s in painting from George Washington University after receiving a bachelor’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He’s also the co-founder of the Downtown Artists Coalition. He’s exhibited numerous times over the past 30 years.
Plan: Gosswein’s application combines the qualities of artist and soothsayer. “On September 10, 2001, I had a vision for the World Trade Center Memorial,” Gosswein wrote in the first sentence of his project description. That premonition included, according to the bullet points of a publicity pamphlet submitted with his application, “Glass Representations of Twin Towers and Pentagon,” a “Blue laser beacon [that] projects from each tower, visible from great distances after sundown,” and an “Eternal flame, tomb for unidentified remains, and space for contemplation.”
Amount Asked For: $1,000
Upshot: “I don’t recall why they turned me down,” Gosswein says. “I’m not sure that I followed up.” Even though the District turned down this application, he presented his plan to officials
in New York City. But Gosswein didn’t fare any better with the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. than he did with the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. —Mike Kanin