The creative arts industry is one of the most rewarding and exciting to be a part of but it can also be expensive to acquire the resources necessary to build and maintain a top-quality studio, refresh your demos, and learn new skills.
As freelancers, one of our challenges is finding the additional income and capital needed to grow our businesses besides the daily requirement of auditioning and marketing to find voice-over work.
Thankfully, Its' also a generous industry. Many individuals and businesses seek ways to give back to an industry that has rewarded them so handsomely.
Here is a brief guide to some of the scholarships, contests,and giveaways out there that can help expand your business.
The Ultimate VO Survivor Contest This is a voice-over competition where you apply to be on the show competing in different categories (1. Commercial/Promo- 2. Narration/Documentary/Audiobook -3. Animation/Gaming). The winners receive amazing prizes worth thousands of dollars. The final this year is down to 6 contestants and will air on the Get Mic'd website or Facebook page on Wednesday, November 24, 7-10 pm EST.
Voice Talent online has offered their scholarships now for 3 years. These are open to any enrolled university student worldwide. The scholarship entails writing a blog and this year, 3 individual scholarships are being offered for a combined total of $3000. The deadline is January 31, 2022.
SAG-AFTRA Members and family are eligible for a handful of scholarships available for study at accredited and licensed universities, colleges, adult specialty trade, and vocational schools. Their scholarship application opens on Dec 1 and closes on May 31, 2022.
VO Atlanta – Although it will be their last conference this spring, VO Atlanta usually hosts several scholarships in conjunction with VO peeps. Their scholarships are generally announced at the beginning of the year and limited to the first 50 applicants. Like many conferences and expos, there is usually a closing ceremony where lots of amazing voice-over prizes are handed out to the attendees.
LIVO Takeover Pay It Forward Scholarship Record a mp3/mp4 to nominate a deserving VO artist for this scholarship. Deadline this year is 12/03/2021.
SOVAS scholarship The prestigious SOVAs awards offers a chance at a scholarship to those who sign up for their November Expo. You can fill out an application yourself or nominate someone for this.
Marc Scott's 12 days of Christmas – Definitely worth joining Marc Scotts Facebook group VOpreneur to find out the latest details of these wonderful holiday prize drawings that takes place on Christmas eve.
Various microphone brands such as Aston, Roswell, Lewitt, and Soyuz have giveaways throughout the year. Pro-Tools and Sweetwater also have monthly giveaways. Most of the time all they want is your email address for a chance to win some gear. If you need something specific, it might be worth researching companies that sell the item to see if they are running any current sweepstakes or contests.
There are local grants in every town and city for the arts. The application process can be intense but the payoff can be worth it. Several years ago, I applied to a local grant through my cultural center where they matched what I could put in for new equipment. It proved to be a springboard for my business with the money being put towards a new website and other equipment.