Could You Be the Next Creative Sensation?

A career in a creative field isn't exactly romantic. Art supplies cost money, and, most likely, your first novel won't pay the bills. Though fighting your way to cultural recognition may be expensive, there are ways to fund your ambitious artistic career! Many museums, foundations, and, yes, even corporations offer awards for outstanding budding talent. Here are eight of the best.

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The National YoungArts Foundation Award

Why: YoungArts Winners get the opportunity of a lifetime: to participate in intensive workshops with the most renowned artists in their specific field. Previous mentors and teachers have included dancer and choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov, architect Frank Gehry, writer Salman Rushdie, and artists Jeff Koons and Carrie Mae Weems.

Who Can Apply: Emerging artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts between the ages of 15 and 18 or in high school, grades 10–12.

What You Can Win: Beyond extensive professional mentorship, finalists perform and exhibit their work in an additional competition to receive awards of up to $10,000.

Notable Recipients: Actors Viola Davis and Kerry Washington, artists Doug Aitken and Daniel Arsham, and violinist Jennifer Koh.

Applications are accepted through October 14.

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The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Why: The various awards promote the work of students with remarkable literary and artistic talent through publications, exhibitions, and even college scholarships.

Who Can Apply: Teens in grades 7–12.

What You Can Win: The 16 students who win the highest award, the Portfolio Gold Medal, each receive a $10,000 cash scholarship.

Notable Recipients: Winners have the honor of joining quite an impressive list of alumni: artists Andy Warhol and John Baldessari, writers Sylvia Plath and Joyce Carol Oates, actor and screenwriter Lena Dunham, and fashion designer Zac Posen.

Applications for the 2017 awards will be accepted starting this fall.

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New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship

Why: Artists at any stage of their career are encouraged to spend their winnings however they choose to achieve their vision for the next phase of their work. Talk about optimal artistic freedom.

Who Can Apply: Residents of New York State who are at least 25 years old.

What You Can Win: $7,000

Notable Recipients: Writers Jennifer Egan and Junot Díaz, artists Marilyn Minter and Barbara Kruger, and directors Spike Lee and Julie Taymor.

Applications for the 2016–17 cycle will open this fall.

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Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer's Fellowship

Why: To support photographers who have demonstrated artistic excellence in the field. Past judges have included artist Hank Willis Thomas and former visuals editor at The New Yorker, Elisabeth Biondi.

Who Can Apply: U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are at least 21 years old, excluding college students.

What You Can Win: Each winner receives up to $10,000.

Notable Recipients: Photographers Penelope Umbrico and Gregory Crewdson.

This year's application closed in May. Check back next spring for more information!

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The Future Generation Art Prize

Why: The Ukrainian philanthropic organization Victor Pinchuk Foundation created this award to nurture emerging artists, all part of businessman Victor Pinchuk's vision for a more free and open world.

Who Can Apply: Artists all over the world under the age of 35.

What You Can Win: The Main Prize winner receives $100,000, $40,000 of which must go toward the production of a new work. Up to five other artists can win a Special Prize of $20,000.

Notable Recipients: Photographer and video artist Cinthia Marcelle and painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Applications are accepted annually from January to April.

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Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

Why: Have the honor of adding the name of two art world legends to your résumé. Lee Krasner, widow of Jackson Pollock and renowned painter in her own right, established this award to back talented artists with considerable financial need.

Who Can Apply: Artists who are currently exhibiting work in gallery or museum shows.

What You Can Win: $5,000–$20,000, depending on the needs of the artist.

Notable Recipients: Artists Brea Souders, Alyson Shotz, and duo Aziz + Cucher.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

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The New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award

Why: Founded by actor Ethan Hawke, writer Rick Moody, NYPL staff member Hannah McFarland, and board member of the talent agency WME Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, this award recognizes and celebrates young authors.

Who Can Apply: Must be 35 years old or younger and have a novel or collection of short stories forthcoming from a publishing house.

Prize Winnings: The winner receives $10,000.

Notable Recipients: Novelists Anthony Doerr and Adam Levin.

Applications will be accepted through the end of the summer for works published in 2016.

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