Announcing Key Changes to the 2019 CreateWell Award:


CreateWell’s award program will now span over a two-year term for selected artists, beginning in Fall 2019 to Fall 2021. We’ve raised the minimum award request to $12,000 and the maximum request to $16,000. The awards will be disbursed every six months over two years-time as non-taxable “gifts.”

Please read below to find answers to potential questions about these changes:

  • What is the minimum length of an award term for selected artists?

    In the past, CreateWell has provided applicants options to self-select their award terms within a one-year maximum. Beginning with the 2019 Award Program, all selected artists will be expected to participate in a two-year term.

  • Why are you extending the length of the award term?

    We’ve extended the length of the award term to account for the following considerations: 1) we understand that most of the artists applying are not full-time artists; that most of y’all have day job(s), healthcare responsibilities, and/or family commitments. We want to  encourage your own artistic motivation and practice, rather than create additional time constraints to carry out the project; 2) We also hope a two-year term will provide more opportunities for deepened engagement and relationship-building with 2019 awardees; 3) And our hope is that a two year term allows for a more sustained wellness practice, including time to develop a transition plan for when funds are used up.

  • What if the artistic project I’m proposing does not require two years to complete? Will it still be considered?

    Yes, your project need not be large in scope nor have a longer timeline to be considered a good fit. We want to emphasize our interest in supporting the artist’s well-being and building relationships with awardees over finish dates.

    Just as an example, if a project’s scope is smaller, the rest of the term might be used on creating different iterations of the work, securing opportunities to share the work, or seeking ideas or mentorship from alum, while wellness care continues.

  • If I’m not selected this year, can I apply in 2020, or is the next award cycle 2021.

    The next award cycle will take place in 2021. Please sign up for our mailing list to stay tuned!

Who do we fund?

Individual Artists . . . Individual Artists
Individual artist refers to artists applying for funding as an individual artist and not on behalf of a 501(c)3 arts organization, a fiscally sponsored arts group, nor a 501(c)3 organizational partner. Individual artists working with individual co-creators, collaborators, assistants, et al, are eligible to apply. CreateWell's strict focus on individual artists without 501(c)3 entities tied to their artistic practice is designed in light of the national gaps in funding opportunities already available to individual artists, with or without fiscal sponsorship and 501(c)3 eligibility. For those without fiscal sponsorship or a 501(c)3 entity tied to their practice, funding opportunities are even more limited.

who are 18 years or older.

who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or Person of Color.

whose current economic situation can be described as cash-poor. cash-poor
We use the term cash-poor to refer to negative net wealth. The racial wealth divide in the U.S. is real and staggering. And the reality is that an artist of color who earns a decent income could still be cash-poor because of generational barriers to wealth, student loans, car loans, etc. As we understand and use it, “cash-poor” is an umbrella term that encompasses individuals who currently have negative monetary wealth, whose causes fall under a broad range of complex considerations such as income history, debt, and generational access / barriers that have been passed down. It is also a way to specify the resource that is lacking - cash. Not worthiness nor spirit nor character nor intellect nor wisdom nor compassion nor integrity, creativity, talent.

who reside in the Greater Boston Area. Greater Boston Area
We define Greater Boston area to include all of the following cities: Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Boston, Braintree, Brockton, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Dedham, Everett, Framingham, Lexington, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Nahant, Natick, Needham, Newton, Norwood, Peabody, Quincy, Randolph, Revere, Salem, Saugus, Somerville, Stoneham, Swampscott, Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown, Wellesley, Weymouth, Winthrop, Woburn

who need monetary resources to actualize an artistic project that honors their “authentic” artistry.

who need monetary resources to support their self-determined care. Self-Determined Care
We’ve adopted this term from adrienne maree brown’s amendment to the widely used term “self-care.” While still a useful term, “self-care” can imply that the care of an individual is an isolated responsibility and act, wherease "self-determined care" places the individual's agency and participation in the center but leaves room for the components of connection, community, and collective care. The latter of which CreateWell believes is integral, necessary and critical.
For more reading, How About a Beginning of Self-Determined Care? by Adrienne Maree Brown

who are committed to paying themselves for their own creative labor.

who have either lived in the area for most of their life, or if not born and bred in the area, have built or continue to build roots here, in cooperation with existing communities.

What are our funding priorities?

Our IDEAL applicants demonstrate commitments towards:

1. Creating a new original artistic project that honors one’s authentic artistry - particularly work(s) that an artist might want to make if they did not have to consider profitability, commercial viability, time-cost benefits against day job(s), funder restrictions, etc. Applicants must apply to fund the creation of a new work that is in its conceptualizing or pre-planning phase.* The work must result in either a cumulative product or a series of outcomes (i.e. performances, installations, media series, etc.) with the intent to share publicly. The project’s primary intent should be expressive of or aligned with the artist’s values, interests, intellect and aesthetics without the influence or weight of considering the work's commercial viability and profitability. All mediums and genres welcome. 

2. Accessing services and supports that enable or sustain a critical aspect of an artist’s overall well-being (physical, emotional, mental, and/or spiritual). Applicants must be able to document progress throughout the award term. For instance, if an awardee wants to eat healthier foods regularly, documentation may include grocery receipts and photos of cooking and eating healthier meals. Documentation can be creative or non-creative, private or public, depending on artist’s preference. See below for more examples.

*NOTE: We do not fund already-developed art projects, arts or community festivals, educational programs, arts programming for nonprofits, or capital for creative businesses. 

How to Apply

You can apply online. In addition to providing narrative responses, you will be asked to submit sample works and a budget.

We will share the link when the application period opens on Monday, June 3 @ 11am EST. The deadline to apply is Monday, July 29 @ Noon EST.

APPLICATION TIPS: We strongly recommend you draft and save your application responses separately from the application form, in case any technical issues arise. When filling out your application, if you are looking for examples of what we will fund, please see the lists below. If you have questions, contact us at


Accessibility and Mobility Supports Accessibility and Mobility Supports
Assistive Devices
Hearing Aids
Modfications to home
Personal Assistance

Alternative and Complementary Therapies Alternative + Complementary Therapies

Ancient Modes of Healing Ancient Modes of Healing
Herbal Medicine
Qi Gong

Basic Needs Basic Needs
Exercise (classes, membership fees)
Environmental and Housing Quality (i.e. air filters, water filters, safe drinking water, removing lead paint, mold and mildew removal, etc)
Food Grocieries
Herbal Supplements
Nutritional Services
Nutritional Supplements
Dental Care
Vision Care
Safety (i.e. self-defense classes, legal representation for victims of domestic violence related to divorce or child custody proceedings, etc.)
Sleep Hygiene

Mental Health and Neurodivergent Supports Mental Health + Neurodivergent Supports
Addiction Recovery
ADHD Coaching
Re-evaluation Counseling
Somatics Experiencing
Substance Abuse Services
Trauma Recovery

Physical Injury and Trauma Recovery Physical Injury and Trauma Recovery
Chiropractic Care
Occupational Therapy
Physical Therapy

Queer and Non-Queer Fertility and Maternity Care* Fertility and Maternity Care
Costs associated with Donor-facilitated IVF (i.e. legal agreements or compensation for donor)
Fertility Services and Treatment
Midwifery and Doula Care
Ritual or Memorial Costs for Perinatal or Childbirth Loss (i.e. Miscarriage, Elective Termination, Stillbirth, SIDS, etc.)

Social, Cultural, and Spiritual Nourishments Social, Cultural + Spiritual Nourishments
Chosen Family / Family Visits
Community Gardening Projects
Cultural Retreats
Martial Arts
Land Stewardship Classes
Medicinal Plant Identification Workshops
Spiritual Ceremonies
Spiritual Retreats

Supplemental Medical Expenses Supplemental Medical Expenses
Behavioral Health co-pays
Gender Reassignment out-of-pocket costs
Insurance Premiums
Medical co-pays
Out-of-pocket Medical Expenses
Prescription co-pays + out-of-pocket costs


A portion of the funds can be used on a range of things fitting into the areas of project costs. Selected artists can use funds for the following:

  • pay yourself for your labor, time and ideas

  • pay collaborators or assistants for their work.

  • pay for materials, equipment, gear.

  • pay for a practice space, work space, venue space.


updated May 2019.