FRFAF FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier (FRFAF) appear here.


Whom should I contact with questions?

Questions about FRFAF grants or the application process may be directed to:
studio-info [at] andrew [dot] cmu [dot] edu or 412-268-3451.


Where can I get more information?

Please be sure to check the following carefully:


What are some example scenarios of support?

A Project with a Variable Budget
Pat and Chris are a pair of Carnegie Mellon graduate students with a great idea for a genre-busting interdisciplinary artwork. They need at least $2000 to realize their idea, though it would be even better with $3000. They apply for FRFAF support in the usual way, for the common deadline. Their application includes two different budgets: one for the minimal version, and one for the fancy version. Their budget narrative explains why and how the extra funds would make an important difference to the project. The committee likes their project and, taking into consideration the availability of funds, decides to support one of their versions. The STUDIO sets up an Oracle account so that Chris and Pat can have expenses charged to this account.

Support for a Class Project
Anne, a CMU junior, is enrolled in an advanced studio course in interactive new-media art. For a class project, she would like to develop an interactive installation that uses an Arduino microcontroller ($30), a Kinect sensor ($120) and a Pico Projector ($90). She applies to the FRFAF Microgrant program with a request for $240, supported by a brief proposal describing her project, and a letter of support from her professor. If the amount is awarded, the STUDIO can (a) have a check for this amount sent to Anne, (b) purchase the equipment for Anne directly, or (c) reimburse Anne for the approved expenses, upon presentation of receipts. Since the same reporting and documentation requirements apply as in regular FRFAF grants, Anne presents documentation about her project (a Quicktime video, a textual description, and various photographic documentation) to the STUDIO within one month of her project’s completion.

Support for Directed Exploration
Bert, a CMU professor, wishes to conduct artistic experiments with a recently-released piece of equipment. He’s not exactly certain how he wants to use it — but he knows that this novel device, which costs $1500, offers a huge amount of artistic potential. Bert wants to experiment with this device in an an exploratory way. He submits a request for $1500, supported by a one-page description about why he’s interested in this device, and what kinds of things it will allow him to investigate. His application is supported by a CV with links to his relevant prior work. If the amount is awarded, the STUDIO can (at Bert’s option) purchase the equipment for him directly.

Partial Support for Large Projects
Cathy, a CMU professor, is developing a complex, multifaceted, long-term artwork, whose total costs are likely to be $65,000. She is preparing grant proposals for Creative Capital, the NEA, and other major foundations. But she knows that these funders are unlikely to fund the project completely. Additionally, Cathy knows that big foundations are more likely to provide some financial support when other funders have already demonstrated their confidence in the work. Cathy applies to the FRFAF for a grant of $10,000 (the maximum possible request), and furthermore, requests an extension beyond the usual 6-month reporting deadline. In support of her proposal, she includes a list of the other funding sources to which she is applying for funds. The FRFAF committee agrees to award Cathy $8000, which she then leverages to secure additional grants from the other foundations.