by Daisy Kates
The Bill Armstrong Grant, named after a late member of the NM Potters and Clay Artists, is an annual grant of up to $1000 that supports ceramic art education. Over the years awards have been given for funding workshop instructors, supplies, equipment, mural projects, etc.
For example, in 2015, the Dixon Elementary school received a grant award for a cultural enrichment, hand’s-on program, “Pueblo Pottery of the Region”, and the Silver City Clay Festival received assistance with staffing for a Jack Troy salt glaze workshop. In 2014 the award paid for a clay drum-making workshop for the q-Staff theatre group in Albuquerque, and in 2013 the grant monies contributed to the fabrication and installation of a tile mural at the Turquoise Trail Charter School and to the purchase of glazes for a high school ceramics program. In the past we have provided funds for a new potters wheel for a non-profit arts organization, workshops for special needs populations and many other worthwhile projects.
All applicants need to have 501(c)3 status or be an educational institution in New Mexico. The grant application process is not complicated and details can be found on the NMPCA website, nmpotters.org. Click on Programs…Grant. Site visits are made whenever possible to research the proposals and final decisions are made by the Board. A new deadline of March 15 is now in place, and the decision for the award will be made by June 30.
Please let any organizations or schools that you think might benefit from funding related to ceramic art education know about this grant. You can refer them to the NMPCA website for information.
Notes from the Editor:
Daisy Kates and Penne Roberts have served for many years as the Armstrong Grant Committee. Their role is to evaluate and prioritize the applications, and make recommendations for award to the Board and membership.
To give you an idea of the kind of programs supported by the Armstrong Grant, here is a list of several years of past awards.
The winner of the 2014 Bill Armstrong Grant was the q-Staff Theatre in downtown Albuquerque. They requested $500 for the materials, tools and firings needed to hold a workshop in making clay drums which will were then used in various theatrical performances. The drums were designed in such a way that they can also be used as wind instruments. The participants will be theatre group members as well as associated group members.
There were two awards provided for the 2013 Bill Armstrong Grant. The primary recipient was the Turquoise Trail Charter School (on North 14, south of Santa Fe). An award of $1,000 was given to the school for the fabrication and installation of a mural in an outdoor courtyard titled “Our Natural Environment.” A secondary award was granted to the Atrisco Heritage Academy High School in the South Valley of Albuquerque. They received $300 to assist with the purchase of glazes for their ceramics program.
3 organizations received awards in 2011 Tarnoff Art Center, Rowe, New Mexico for the purchase of a potter’s wheel. Off Center Community Arts Project, Albuquerque, New Mexico for a handbuilt clay class. Manzano Mountain Arts Council, Mountainair, New Mexico for a handbuilding class.
In 2010, no organizations applied for the Armstrong Grant. Instead, the organization sponsored two attendees to the NCECA Symposium on Critical Ceramics in the fall of 2010. One student and one adult were chosen from applications for the scholarships.
Grant Recipients were 1) Placitas community mural project entitled “Protect Our Wildlife Corridors” by Pathways for assistance with a large ceramic wildlife mural; 2) McCurdy School Art Department, and School for ceramic art supplies and equipment for their art studio; and 3) Potters’ Guild of Las Cruces for a workshop.
The 2008 Bill Armstrong Grant was awarded to Ghost Ranch for improvements to the ceramic workshop space. This grant was used to create a level flooring surface in the Pot Hollow work area.
The 2007 Bill Armstrong Grant was awarded to The Camino de Paz Farm School. The school was awarded $500 to hold a six-week (once a week) micaceous pottery workshop that was taught by local artist/potter Camilla Trujillo.
Access Art Studio at The Art Center at Fuller Lodge, Los Alamos
Pojoaque Boys and Girls Club for purchase of wheels. NMPCA coordinated purchase, receiving a special price on two new wheels.