What does it take to get an arts grant from the D.C. government? In 2004, 402 hopeful applicants sought cash from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for various projects. Sometimes they got what they wanted.
Name: Patrick Burritt
Grant Applied For: Young Emerging Artists Program; city offers up to $2,500 in support of “innovative art projects.”
Money Needed For: costs associated with producing the film Flashbang: The Rise of Synth Punk
Background: “Starting in 1998 with bands like Le Tigre, Fischerspooner, Adult and the Rapture,” wrote Burritt in his application, “music seemed as if it was finally charting a new, raw, and exciting territory.” According to his artist’s statement, Burritt was then in college at SUNY Purchase bonding with his “best friend at the time” over “a competitive search for the coolest 80’s album.”
Plan: The Electroclash “movement,” as Burritt interprets the success of such bands in his application, so inspired the filmmaker that he decided to make a documentary about it. He asked the city for almost $2,500, $1,787.20 of which would go toward plane tickets for travel between D.C. and San Francisco and between New York and Europe.
Amount Asked For: $2,476.70
Upshot: Burritt thinks his project was turned down because he failed to focus on the District. “The piece was not localized enough,” he says. “While I completely understand the need for such projects, I feel like that’s the only thing they [want].”