This spring, Erica Hawthorne and her micro-grant program, Small But Mighty Arts Grant, was one of 35 winners named in the second year of the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia. Erica’s winning idea — to give a boost to local artists by giving out small grants ranging from $200 to $1,000 each — received a $60,000 grant from Knight Foundation.
As Erica embarks on an online fundraising campaign for Small But Mighty Arts, with the goal of kicking off her project in the spring of 2013, she wants everyone considering applying to the challenge to know that one idea can have huge impact: “Almost a year and some months ago, I had an idea for the arts in Philadelphia — one idea, one moment to make Philadelphia’s arts scene richer — and with some nudging from friends and loved ones, I submitted my idea,” says Erica. “I thought it was too small, I thought it was too simple, maybe even a little impossible. But I also thought it was needed, and something that could change the lives of others.”
In a June 20 Philadelphia Daily News article on Erica’s project, the artist recalls a favorite quote that inspired her to apply to the challenge: “I love the Margaret Mead quote that says, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.’ I really believe in that. … It’s a collection of really small steps that make an impact.”
WIth this in mind, Erica has a few words of wisdom for those with great ideas of their own: “Now is the time — right now. Pull together your 150-word idea and apply! And if you’ve applied before, apply again. Your ideas and passion are worth it.” Read more about Erica’s project at smallbutmightyarts.org.
Applications for year three of the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia are now being accepted through Oct. 15. Give us your best idea and make this your year!