Creative Capital

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Creative Capital
Cc stacked sq-dashed-blue-square.png
AbbreviationCreative Capital
Founded atNew York City
HeadquartersNew York City
  • New York City
Executive Director
Suzy Delvalle

Creative Capital is a New York City-based, national non-profit which provides awards and advisory services to artists in 34 different disciplines, including visual art, performing arts, moving image and literature. Artists receive the Awards through an open application process.


Creative Capital was founded in 1999 with Ruby Lerner as the founding director, president and Executive Director. As of May 2016, the Executive Director is Suzy Delvalle.[1]

In its first year, Creative Capital accepted 1,810 applications.[2] It was founded in part to offer support to artists affected by the National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) cuts to funding for individual artists in the 1990s.[3]

Business model and artist services[edit]

The Harvard Business School published a case study of the Creative Capital business model on March 24, 2010 titled "Creative Capital: Sustaining the Arts." In a description of the study, authors G. Felda Hardymon and Ann Leamon wrote about Creative Capital’s use of a venture capital model, investing in their awardees with money as well as advice on managing their careers so that they can continue improving their careers after they’ve spent the award.[4] As part of that sustainability, Creative Capital's system stipulates that awardees whose projects make a profit return a portion of those profits to the organization. Also, many former awardees of Creative Capital become advisors for new awardees.

Creative Capital's approach to artist services centers on the idea that time and advisory services are as important to the creative process as money. As the awardee's funded project develops, Creative Capital staff meets with awardees to set goals and chart progress. Creative Capital provides funding at benchmark moments for each project, including initial funding, support to build the artist’s personal and professional capacity, follow-up support for project production, funding for the project’s premiere, and support for the project’s expansion beyond its premiere presentation.[5] Of this type of support, Sheryl Oring, a Creative Capital awardee, has said, "For mid-career artists like me, Creative Capital can help make the difference between whether we keep making art or give up."[3]


Creative Capital Award recipients[edit]

Notable awardees include[edit]

Emerging Fields

Moving Image


Performing Arts

Visual Arts


After each new round of awardees is announced, Creative Capital hosts a retreat for their artists, including the most recently announced awardees, those from the previous round, other awardees as consultants as well as people connected to Creative Capital in various ways who act as consultants, workshop leaders or observers. In various workshops and meetings with consultants, artists are taught how to plan the next five years of their lives, in terms of their artistic careers as well their own lives.[3]

Creative Capital hosts a variety of events for its awardees to meet each other and others within the artistic community. Paddy Johnson has written in her noted arts blog, Art Fag City, "These conferences offer grantees an amazing opportunity to connect with other artists and a wide range of curators, distributors, and artistic directors through mixers, meetings with consultants, and artist presentations. They also ask grantees to return to the conference every couple of years, which keeps them in touch with a constantly expanding network of creative art folk."[6]

Professional Development Program[edit]

In 2003, Creative Capital founded its Professional Development Program (PDP) which offers a series of evening-, one-day- or weekend-length workshops for artists on marketing, strategic planning, self-management, fundraising, web strategies. In both presenting these workshops in-person nationally and broadcasting some online in the form of "webinars," the program shares skills taught to Creative Capital grantees with other artists across the U.S. These workshops have been described as a “crash course in self-management, strategic planning, fundraising and promotion.”[7]


  1. ^ Barone, Joshua (10 May 2016). "Creative Capital Chooses Susan Delvalle as President and Executive Director". Retrieved 5 March 2018 – via
  2. ^ Dobrzynski, Judith (25 August 1999). "1,810 Artists Seek Grants From a New Foundation". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Murphy, Tim. "Bohemian Boot Camp". Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  4. ^ Hardymon, G. Felda; Ann Leamon (March 24, 2010). "Creative Capital: Sustaining the Arts". Harvard Business Review: 24. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Our Approach". Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  6. ^ Johnson, Paddy. "Expanding The Creative Capital Network". Art Fag City. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  7. ^ Johnson, Annie (3 June 2011). "Workshop brings 'creative capital'". Nashville Business Journal. Retrieved 10 October 2012.

External links[edit]