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In 2005, 528 hopeful applicants sought cash from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for various projects. Sometimes they got what they wanted.

Name: Linn Meyers Lewin

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 publishing a 28-page catalog for an exhibition held at the Margaret Thatcher Projects in New York City

Background: Meyers says she bases her art on “simple systems.” “Sometimes I count the lines or dots as I draw them,” she writes, “simply to maintain the focus of my attention on the work at hand.”

Plan: Meyers brought out the big guns for her proposal. First, she announced that the catalog would be designed by Lyn Bell Rose of the Yale Center for British Art. She then informed officials that it would “include a 2000 word essay by Lorraine Adams, a Pulitzer prize winning journalist (formerly of the Washington Post) and novelist”—which she appended to the application. In it, Adams quoted well-known surrealist Marcel Duchamp and compared him with Meyers: “‘In the creative act, the artist goes from intention to realization through a chain of totally subjective reactions…’But Meyers is aware of the difference between the intention and the realization.”

Amount Asked For: $1,000

Status: approved

Upshot: Meyers credits Adams for writing a “beautiful” essay but has no idea if it put her over the top. And she cautions against reading too much into her New York–centric project. “I’m a D.C. artist,” she says.

—Mike Kanin