Arts Foundation of Cape Cod Selects 12 Artists for Inaugural Capacity-Building Grant Program

Total of 51 artists from the Cape and Islands applied for professional development program 

November 28, 2022 (Cape Cod, MA) – Twelve local artists representing a range of creative disciplines have been selected for the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod’s (AFCC) inaugural Capacity-Building Grant Program. Through the program, the cohort will spend the next nine months identifying practical strategies to help them achieve financial sustainability to grow their practice. 

The AFCC is partnering with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MASS MoCA) Assets for Artists, an initiative started in 2008 that has supported over 500 artists in five states across the Northeast. 

“Assets for Artists has a strong track record of helping artists think holistically about their business and strive to attain the goals necessary to strengthen their creative work,” said AFCC Executive Director Julie Wake. “We’re excited to partner with Mass MoCA and tap into their network of artist leaders and facilitators to help a diversely talented group of artists in our region who are looking to take the next steps in their professional careers. Both the AFCC and Mass MoCA know artists are key contributors to vibrant communities and thriving economies.”

A total of 51 artists covering the entire Cape as well as Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket submitted applications for the program which includes a $1,000 capacity-building grant. Applicants were reviewed by four professional artists working on Cape Cod to select the final 12 who represent 8 towns on the Cape and encompass a range of artistic practices, including abstract painting, fiber arts, dance, and music.  

“I was pretty excited to hear I had been selected,” said Olivia Leigh Curtis of Falmouth, a sculptor and glassblower who graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, in May. “I can make you a vase or a sculpture, but when I’m selling my work – I can do that, but I’m not sure if I should invoice someone for it, accept payment as a check, or get a 1099. Do I need a business account? How do I do my taxes? How should I have a web presence? I have an Etsy shop and a website, but what is the best way? What is the right way? You have all these questions about the business. I’m really happy they have this program to support artists in this way.”

A major focus of the Capacity-Building Grant Program is to guide artists in identifying their needs and coming up with a business plan to address them. 

It’s exactly what André Lima of Brewster, can use to grow Capoeira Besouro Cape Cod as well as his nonprofit, Movement Arts Cape Cod. A native of Brazil, Lima has been studying capoeira — an Afro-Brazilian form of martial arts that combines dancing, singing, movement, and music — for over two decades. He brought the discipline with him to the Cape when he moved here in 2013. He has been teaching capoeira classes at the Latham Center, Nauset Fit Co. in Orleans, and through the Orleans, Truro, and Wellfleet recreation departments. He has also organized capoeira performances, both for the general public and in schools throughout the Cape. 

“I don’t make a living from capoeira. Capoeira allows me to give back to the community,” said Lima, who is also an educational assistant in the special education department at Truro Central School. “My capoeira program is growing, but I am limited in what I can do. With the right support, I will be able to use it to benefit our community.” 

Artists chosen for the first iteration of the AFCC’s Capacity-Building Grant Program are: 

    • Margaret Clancy of South Dennis (fiber artist)
    • Melinda Nettles of Eastham (illustrator)
    • Natasha Frye of Mashpee (contemporary abstract painter)
    • Sam Holmstock of Cotuit (drummer, musician)
    • Myra Kooy of Dennis (visual artist)
    • André Lima of Brewster (dancer, martial artist, educator, artistic movement)
    • Julian Loida of Falmouth (musician, composer, producer)
    • Kim Moberg of Centerville (singer, songwriter, musician)
    • Mwalim of Buzzards Bay (musician, writer, storyteller, educator)
    • Dominique Pecce of Truro (printmaker)
    • Paul Rizzo of Provincetown (visual artist)
    • Laura Shabott of Provincetown (painter, sketch artist, collage artist)

Over the next nine months, they will attend a mix of in-person and virtual webinars that will include “Making a Plan in a Time of Uncertainty,” taught by sculptor and artist Laura Baring-Gould; “The Basics of Building a Grant,” taught by poet, writer, and educator Yara Liceaga-Rojas; “Taxes and Money Management,” taught by artist Hannah Cole; and additional workshops as determined by the needs of the cohort. Applicants not selected for the program can still attend these workshops to help strengthen their creative practice. 

The Capacity-Building Grant Program, which is part of the AFCC’s Creative Exchange, is funded through a $400,000 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) investment from the state the Arts Foundation received at the end of last year. The Cape Cod Foundation has contributed another $50,000 towards the Creative Exchange which recently received additional support from the Kelley Foundation. 


About the AFCC

Now in its 35th year, the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod’s (AFCC) mission is to support, promote and celebrate the arts and culture of Cape Cod. It fulfills its mission by funding grants, fellowships, and scholarships; by increasing access to arts and culture in the region for all on Cape Cod; by advocating for more awareness on the impact the Cape’s creative economy has on our region and beyond; and by building a strong arts community network through membership and its Creative Exchange program.