Unfettering Artists' Productivity and Impact
SCI Artist-Innovator标志

The 2021 application period has closed. 

The spinal cord injury (SCI) community is abundant with out-of-the-box thinkers, 黑客, 问题解决者, and individuals 有创意的ly tackling challenges. Through the SCI Artist-Innovator基金, the Center for Cultural Innovation offers artists, 创新者, 发明家, 制造商, and entrepreneurs financial capital for social-impact oriented, 有创意的 entrepreneurship projects.

Recent statistics show that self-employment rates in the US are higher among disabled people than non-disabled people (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). 然而, there is limited funding dedicated to developing entrepreneurial capabilities of disabled artists and 创新者 that would provide pathways for financial independence. 除了, these programs assume that disabled people are driven to become entrepreneurs primarily as a result of barriers in other sections of the workforce. CCI challenges these assumptions and recognizes that the spinal cord injury (SCI) experience brings a unique perspective to innovation, which can be a force for good when driven by artists and all those with 有创意的 practices and 文化 self-expression


The SCI Artist-Innovator Grant will offer 10 grants of up to $7,500, 一共75美元,000年的资助, to individual artist-entrepreneurs with spinal cord injuries who are inspired to innovate by opportunity-based entrepreneurship – in other words, by the possibilities and benefits that are offered through the experience of a 有创意的 practice and living with spinal cord injury. CCI recognizes that having an underserved perspective, living with challenging circumstances, and applying 有创意的 practice can yield important solutions for not only the innovator but for the benefit of society. This opportunity to recognize the powerful combination of SCI populations, craftsmanship and 有创意的 practice, and positive social impact is made possible by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation whose founder lived with SCI and whose legacy is as an entrepreneur.


To be eligible for consideration, applicants must:

  • Be an individual living with spinal cord injury. CCI uses the definition used by the program’s funder, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation: We consider those with SCI to be individuals with neurological and functional impairment due to traumatic SCI, degenerative disease primary to the spinal cord (transverse myelitis), or damage to the spinal cord due to tumors and surgery. Individuals with spinal dysfunction, 麻痹, or pain syndromes caused by other disorders are not eligible (e.g., 多发性硬化症, 肌萎缩性侧索硬化症, Chiari malformation and other developmental disorders, 主要骨科疾病, 周围神经损伤). (SCI applicants may be part of a team, but only if the applicant is the primary owner or lead);
  • Live and work in the USA or its territories; and
  • 自我定义为uedbet在线注册家, 制造商, 有创意的, 或文化载体, or whose project reflects deep and sustained refining that reflects a craft, 文化, 或uedbet在线注册实践.


  • are a product, service, or innovation inspired from your SCI experience;
  • can be in the “idea phase” ready to come to life or  a work-in-progress needing funding to move forward;
  • have the potential to develop into self-sustaining, revenue-generating activities;
  • enable the applicant to deepen an artistic, 有创意的, artisan, or 文化 practice; and
  • have a positive social impact upon a specified place-based and/or identity-based population.

Priority will be given to entrepreneurs with demonstrated need for capital, with compelling projects backed by feasible business plans, and with clear intentions of how to popularize their innovation. The program also prioritizes projects that hold promise for improving applicant’s financial sustainability; artistic, 有创意的, or 文化 practice; and social impacts and, as a secondary-level consideration, that hold promise for shifting popular perception of those with disabilities positively.


The 2021 application period has closed. 

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SCI Artist-Innovator基金 awardee at White House for the anniversary of the American Disabilities Act: Associated Press (July 26, 2021)


This program was made possible with support from: 


克雷格·H. Neilsen Foundation’s funding is dedicated to supporting both programs and scientific research to improve the quality of life for those affected by and living with spinal cord injury.