Art Grant FAQ

What is the purpose of Lakes of Fire’s art grant program?

These art grants are intended to help Great Lakes-region artists cover the costs of creating and presenting works of art Lakes of Fire.

Who is giving out these grants?

Great Lakes Experimental Arts, Inc. (G.L.E.A. Inc.) – a West Michigan-based 501(c)4 non-profit corporation that operates Lakes of Fire through its Board of Directors and advising Team Lead Committee – is responsible for administering this grant program. Funds have been accrued over the course of several successful Lakes of Fire events, dating back to 2009. This money comes ultimately from participants of Lakes of Fire. The Board members of G.L.E.A. and the Team Lead Committee members are the volunteers who lead all the various teams to help make Lakes of Fire happen. This is the Great Lakes Experimental Arts Statement of Purpose: “The purpose for which the corporation is organized is to receive and administer funds for charitable purposes and for the public welfare. The corporation’s focus will be raising funds for art projects and performances, which will be administered primarily through grants to artists or performers.”

If I get a grant, where can I show my work?

Your project must appear at the Lakes of Fire event in the year you receive your grant. Beyond that, your work is your own, and you may show it wherever you please.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

Anyone is eligible to to apply for an art grant. Grant award winners must have their own Lakes of Fire ticket for the year they received their grant, in order to attend, and show their work.

If I win a grant, the ticket to Lakes of Fire comes with my award, right?

If a grant awardee has not won a ticket in the lottery one will be made available for them to purchase so that they may complete their obligation to the community and GLEA. The project’s core crew members may also be offered tickets for purchase to facilitate completion of the project.

What if I don’t finish my project, and/or appear at Lakes of Fire?

If you can’t complete your funded project, or do not attend Lakes of Fire in the year you receive your grant, G.L.E.A., Inc./Lakes of Fire requires the return of the funds granted within 15 days after Lakes of Fire. If there are funds remaining after the project is completed, those must be returned to G.L.E.A., Inc./Lakes of Fire, to support other artists.

Can I re–apply for a grant if I didn’t get one last year?


How are grant applications evaluated?

When considering funding a project we look at the following aspects of your proposed project:

    • Creativity
    • Interactivity
    • Originality
    • Excitement
    • Theme Alignment
    • Feasibility: Planning, Budget, Timeline
    • Safety Procedures
    • Leave–No–Trace plan
    • Past Work
    • This program’s primary mission is to fund Great Lakes–region artists and accordingly projects from the states and provinces adjacent to the great lakes will receive greater points in this category

Do I need to have a budget?

Yes. The quality and detail of your budget will be used to assess the feasibility of your project. Download a sample grant application.

What are the sizes of the grants?

The grants awarded can range from just a few dollars up to $1000 or more! The amount of the grant depends on the number of applications received and the nature of the projects.

How is the funding distributed if selected?

If selected for a grant 50% of the amount awarded will be given to the artist after receiving a signed contract from the artist agreeing to GLEA’s grant terms. The remaining 50% will be awarded post-event, after the project has been successfully mounted at Lakes of Fire and the Art Grant Committee has received your afterburn report with actual receipts for expenses incurred.

Who owns the funded work?

Although G.L.E.A. Inc./Lakes of Fire does ask for publicity rights, the artist or collaboration that produces the work retains both ownership and copyright. G.L.E.A. Inc./Lakes of Fire is proud to help artists enact their work, and asks for no ownership of the produced work.

What does it mean when you say ‘G.L.E.A. Inc. asks for publicity rights?’

G.L.E.A. Inc./Lakes of Fire asks that all grant recipients place the phrase “Funded in part by G.L.E.A. Inc./Lakes of Fire” in any printed documents (and web pages) about the work. We also retain license to display images and descriptions of the work for publicity (such as on our web page) and for not–for–profit purposes.

What are the artist’s responsibilities?

Here’s a summary (there is a more complete description in the grant contract):

  • Complete your work.
  • Keep G.L.E.A. Inc./Lakes of Fire updated via progress reports.
  • Communicate your progress with your assigned Grant Facilitator. Let us know how things are going.
  • Abide by the contract. Save and submit ALL receipts.
  • Let us know where else you are displaying your work.
  • Provide credit for the support given in print and web materials.
  • Submit an afterburn report for the project and your experience with Lakes of Fire within 15 days of the event.


How is this related to Burning Man?

The Arts Grant committee is a sub–committee of Great Lakes Experimental Arts, Inc. (G.L.E.A.), an independent Michigan not–for–profit organization. Members of Lakes of Fire/G.L.E.A. Inc.’s Team Lead Committee include current Great Lakes region Regional contacts from Chicago, Detroit, Western Michigan, and Wisconsin. Lakes of Fire/G.L.E.A. Inc. also has longstanding historical affiliations with regional contacts and large numbers of participants from Toronto, Ontario more generally, and Indiana. Lakes of Fire/G.L.E.A. Inc. does align with Burning Man’s 10 Principles through our events and general ethos.

Does our art have to be interactive / participatory?

One of the 10 Principles is that everyone should participate. In keeping with this ethos, participatory art is encouraged and interactivity is a judging category. Please see the Art Grant policies page for further details on what types of projects or items will be considered and approved.

Will you be placing my art at Lakes of Fire?

Yes. Our Placement Team WILL be involved in helping you “find your home” at Lakes of Fire, the event. Your Art Grant facilitator can assist but you will need to fill out the placement form.

What parameters should I consider when I have art that contains a fire element?

Be sure to fill out the form for fire. If your art proposal includes propane or other flammable fuel intended to be ignited (i.e., a flame effect), you must note the type of fuel and describe the effect. Your proposal should describe the size of your art, where and how the flame effect will be used, and any interactive elements related to the flame effect. Please refer to the FAST team guidelines. FAST will be consulted during the application review process to be considered for an art grant.