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Grants to USA and Territories Individual Artist Entrepreneurs with Spinal Injuries for Innovative Projects

SCI Artist-Innovator Fund


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Center for Cultural Innovation
Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), and Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

Important Dates
Deadline: 06/13/23 12:00 PM PT Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $8,000 to USA and territories individual artist entrepreneurs with spinal injuries for innovative projects. Funding is intended to support creative projects that have the potential to grow into a business that will improve the financial stability of the applicants.

Eligible projects:

  • Are a product, service, or innovation inspired by your SCI experience;
  • Can be in the “idea phase” ready to come to life, or a work-in-progress needing funding to move forward; 
  • Have the potential to develop into self-sustaining revenue-generating activities; 
  • Enable the applicant to deepen an artistic, creative, artisanal, or cultural practice; and
  • Have a positive social impact upon a specified place-based and/or identity-based community or population.

Priority will be given to entrepreneurs with a demonstrated need for capital, compelling projects backed by feasible business plans, and clear intentions for popularizing their innovation. The program also prioritizes projects that hold promise for improving the applicant’s financial sustainability; artistic, creative, or cultural practice; and social or end-user impacts. As a secondary-level consideration, we will also consider how projects may hold promise for shifting popular perception of those with disabilities positively.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for consideration, applicants must:
- Be an individual living with spinal cord injury. CCI uses the definition used by the program’s funder, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation: We consider those with SCI to be individuals with neurological and functional impairment due to traumatic SCI, degenerative disease primary to the spinal cord (transverse myelitis), or damage to the spinal cord due to tumors and surgery. Individuals with spinal dysfunction, paralysis, or pain syndromes caused by other disorders are not eligible (e.g., multiple sclerosis, ALS, Chiari malformation and other developmental disorders, primary orthopedic disorders, and peripheral nerve injury). (SCI applicants may be part of a team, but only if the applicant is the primary owner or lead);
- Live and work in the USA or its territories; and
- Self-define as an artist, maker, creative, or culture bearer, or whose project reflects deep and sustained refining that reflects a craft, cultural, or artistic practice.

Who can apply:
- Artists (a person who practices any of the various creative arts such as visual artists, musicians, dancers, media artists, sculptors, filmmakers, etc.);
- Cultural practitioners (one who is continuing to keep a cultural identity and/or tradition alive);
- Makers (creators of new devices or reimagining existing ones, DIYers, self-made life hackers in fields ranging from food to crafts to technology); or
- Someone who does not self-define as an artist but whose innovation reflects sustained refining much like a craft or artistic practice would and whose practices are a form of creative self-expression.

Funds are not eligible for:
- Organizations or nonprofits.
- Enterprise development or businesses without a social impact purpose.
- Anyone living and working outside the United States and its territories.

Pre-Application Information
- Application Opens: April 4, 2023, at 9 a.m. PT
- Application Deadline Extended!: June 13, 2023 at 12 p.m. PT (Noon)
- Funding Notifications: August 1, 2023, by 5 p.m. PT
- Grant Period of Support: August 1, 2023 - July 30, 2024
- Grantee Virtual Gathering: Early September 2023

Application webinar recording:

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants

Estimated Size of Grant
Up to $8,500

Term of Contract
Grant Period of Support: August 1, 2023 - July 30, 2024

Contact Information
Apply online:

CCI staff are here to help! Please email us at with the subject “SCI Artist-Innovator Fund” or call 415.288.0530 for support.

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