FY23 Creative Support for Individuals Round 1 grantee

Awesome! What an awesome way to start out the year. After completing the Place via Sol sculpture, I was put on to the Minnesota State Arts Board "Creative Support for Individuals" grant opportunity. 

This grant, in particular, supports individual artists and culture bearers develop or sustain their creative practices and meaningfully engage with Minnesotans. Grantees may use funds to support their creative practice and meaningfully connect to and engage with audiences, participants, students, and/or communities during the grant period.

With this $10,000 award I intended to capitalize off of the attention received from The Phelps Basketball Court mural project to really solidify my presence in the local public arts scene. With that being said, I invested heavily in my website and SEO. 

Unfortunately, one of the hurdles I experienced in doing so was that I hired a company whose web capabilities were subpar. Instead of being able to customize my site the way I wanted, they were only able to use cookie-cutter templates and edit text. I was passed around to at least 10 different individuals that were supposedly handling my account and had to explain my desires to each of them.

At the end of the day I ended up canceling their services and decided to just use the remaining funds to implement the changes myself. Though the site is still in progress I was able to make significant changes in how my site looks, functions and ranks in SEO (thanks for nothing Townsquare Interactive).

I was also able to invest some dollars in things like video software and equipment to film my process and journey for social media and documents like mural outreach guides and contract documents.

I would say the greatest impact of the funding, however, was in the confidence I now had to network with. I was able to reach out to collaborators and hop on some of their projects to increase my portfolio. This, in partnership with the documents, mock-ups, images and videos has put my small growing public arts company in a much different place. I dare to say, JBA has arrived!


Jendayi Maji Berry is a fiscal year 2023 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.