Name: Sarah L. Smith

Grant Applied For: Young Emerging Artist Program; city offers “up to $2,500 for innovative art projects.”

Money Needed For: costs associated with sustaining Smith’s career as a collage artist

Background: In her application, Smith calls her work “a study of how humans, as living bodies, interact with their social and ecological environments.” “Being/having a body in contemporary American society,” she observes, “also means controlling it.”

Plan: Smith got her BFA in sculpture and then relocated to Washington to work on a museum-studies master’s. According to her application, her participation in the graduate program has “not afforded me many opportunities to continue my artistic practice.” So she’d like the city to kick in $2,460.75 to cover the costs of a year in her artistic life. That includes $17.90 for 10 archival glue sticks, $27.48 for a subscription to InStyle magazine—which she uses as source material—and $520 to cover the time she plans to put into her work. “I take myself seriously as an artist,” she writes.

Amount Asked For: $2,460.75

Status: denied

Upshot: When she received her rejection letter, Smith was so upset that she threw her easel in the closet—and didn’t take it out for about three weeks. “I was hoping that grant would keep me going,” she says. Smith says she’s now back on track but isn’t quite up to full speed. “I’m not working nearly as much as I wish I would,” she says.

—Mike Kanin