As far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an artist. I spent my time growing up doodling, painting, and creating to my heart’s desire. Little did I realize a big change was sneaking up on me. My blissful bubble was about to burst. The villain called “responsibility” smacked me right in the face. I shuddered, reeling from the sting, and slowly began wasting away as my creative endeavors fell to the wayside. I toiled in what seemed to me as the depths of despair, helping to raise my two children while working alongside my husband to support our family.
Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t actually that bad, but I wasn’t following my passion. I had been denying a big part of myself for quite a few years. As my beautiful children grew less dependent, I started to gain some precious extra time. With this new-found freedom, I decided to finish my degree. While attending classes at Weber State, I was forced to take a hard look at my life. A question most of us haven’t thought of much past our teens and early twenties had to be answered: “What do I want to be when I grow up?” My handsome hubby thought I had lost my marbles when I told him I was changing my major in college to an arts degree. He was convinced that a Bachelor of Fine Arts would doom our little family to a lifetime of Wonder bread and ramen.
My husband, along with many others, is wrong in this sentiment. The term “starving artist” doesn’t hold as much weight as it once did. Work in the creative fields has blossomed in the past few years. In 2016, creative industries contributed $804.2 billion to our economy. That’s 4.3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). As this number continues to rise, we as citizens are reaping the benefits of a higher influx of arts and cultural happenings.
These benefits are also hitting close to home. Ogden City has been, and continues to be, a big supporter of the arts. One of the ways City Council and Administration does this is by offering art grants. Ran on a yearly cycle, the Ogden City Arts Grants are open to the public and offer non-profit organizations and every day “starving artists” an opportunity to access general and project support funds. These funds can be used for seasonal programming and projects that are arts-based and beneficial to the Ogden community.
Right now, the 2020-2021 grant cycle is open and accepting applications. Everything you need to know is in the guidelines of the Ogden Arts Grant packet; be sure to read it carefully. A small grant-writing workshop is held in early February to help inform potential artists and organizations on any questions they may have. If you have questions and can’t find the answers in the guidelines, please reach out through email. More information can be found by visiting ogdencity.com/artgrants.
Remember, you don’t have to be a starving artist unless that is your jam, which, by the way, is delicious on Wonder bread. Artistic opportunities are everywhere; open those creaky studio doors and venture out. The ramen out here has become quite delicious!