Friends with Benefits is taking applications for three scholarships and three grants. This financial assistance will help those seeking aid for education and community working artists in musical, performing, or visual arts.
About Friends with Benefits
Founded in 2013 to help charities in the North Texas area, Friends with Benefits has given scholarships and grants since 2017. Originally, FWB introduced Educational Music Scholarships and Band Dolla$ to help musicians. They have awarded them annually for the past three years, totaling six $500 scholarships and six $250 grants to date. Additionally, this year includes visual arts and performance art aid, and each opportunity will be worth $500.
While FWB has focused on individuals for most of the funds, the Jette Blaque Performance Art Grant and Dorothy Bertine Visual Arts Grant are also open to groups.
Changes to scholarships
We reached out to President and Cofounder Mindy Arendt for some insights about FWB and the recent changes. Regarding the expansion of scholarships and grants, Arendt referenced the diversity of artistic communities that call Denton home:
“Denton is an artistic town – not just musicians. We wanted to test our organization with one concentration and then expand organically to make sure we didn’t try to grow faster than we could. With the amazing team we have, we wanted to expand to include visual and performance artists.”
FWB During COVID-19
With COVID-19 in mind, were curious about the present realities as well as future aspirations for FWB. Arendt says she is doing what she can individually and with FWB to support the local community in this struggle.
“I’ve been doing fundraisers, started a FB group to keep the community close, entertained, and supporting local…The FWB team isn’t just my group of volunteers that make sure every event runs perfectly – they are my close friends and family. It sucks being away from them. Right now – I want all my volunteers to put all their efforts into taking care of themselves and staying safe. There are a lot of projects on hold right now waiting for things to go back to normal. Public safety is number one in this cautious time, we will be back up and running again very soon – once we are allowed to!”
Future of FWB
As for FWB’s future, Arendt takes a calculating and optimistic stance. She is taking “each year as it comes” and scanning the community for needs that need fulfilled. Says Arendt, “We aspire to continue to put on fun events that raise funds and awareness for non-profits in our town doing rad stuff for others.”
The deadline to apply for all scholarships and grants is May 15, and recipients will be notified by July 1. You can support FWB by purchasing merch or donating through their online shop. Additionally, their Facebook page has links to future events and more information.