I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to further my art career. Unfortunately, there are some losers out there who are looking to take advantage of that. I did a little research online concerning an opportunity I came across that sounded too good to be true. Apparently that’s because it is. ArtistGrants.org is promoting their Biennial Competition with a $10K first place award- yes, 10,000 dollars. Aside from the fantastic prize money, I had to wonder about this since I’d never even heard of them before. I’ve heard of many artist grants organizations, but never this one. So I kept an eye on their site… interestingly enough, I discovered that their entry fee kept changing (increasing, of course) over the past couple of months. And the deadline has been extended three times so far (at least since I’ve discovered this “competition”). And who the hell are the jurors?
Well, further investigation has dug up some more interesting tidbits… According to Art Opportunities Monthly, ArtistGrants.org tried to get their Biennial listed in their classifieds. Turns out AOM discovered their domain had been registered for a matter of days before they were listing their competition. AOM also states that the address provided to them for the listing “was a private home which had been bought for well over the asking price just a short time ago (arousing a newspaper’s suspicions that a kickback and finagling with mortgage money was involved). And now, the house just appeared on the market as a HUD foreclosure, meaning that the extra money the buyers had borrowed will not be paid back.”
In addition, AOM also asked about their organization, judging, funding, etc. and never received a response. I found the same to be true for others’ attempts to contact ArtistGrants.org. So, after finding out all of this, I am steering clear of this “opportunity” and passing on this information to everyone in the blogosphere! Just goes to show that unless you are already familiar with an organization, you should always look into them before entering or sending them money. Many artist listings sites have a disclaimer that they are not responsible if it turns out a listing is a scam and that they do not do background checks, so to speak. So be sure to do your homework!