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Ignite Fund

Crowded Fire’s Enrichment Fund for Theater Designers

Applications are now closed. This information will be updated in advance of our 2023 round.

View our FAQ session on Twitch! 

Launched in 2016, Crowded Fire’s Ignite Fund seeks to support the growth of and enhance the working lives of theater designers and technicians in the Bay Area with an eye towards supporting the plurality of race, culture, class, gender, and age in our local design and technical community.

Crowded Fire believes in the development of all artists and technicians, yet there are a limited number of grants for theater designers and technicians. We understand that growth in and innovation of design comes from designer’s and technician’s investment in tools and training. We believe in your, the designer’s and technician’s, vision and want to support the richness you bring to our local theater ecology.

Crowded Fire’s Ignite Fund provides grants for professional development workshops and training opportunities, to purchase design tools and equipment, and to strengthen the economic sustainability of an arts practice.


Each year a total of up to $10,000 will be granted through the Ignite Fund. In 2022, grants will range between $1,000 and $2,000.



  • Applications will open on June 1 for 2022. 
  • Applications close July 7, at 11:59pm.
  • Notification of applicants (via email) by August 15th, 2022.
  • The earliest start date for granted activities is September 1, 2022, with completion of activities by September 1, 2023.



  • Smaller grants so that we can support more individuals
  • Looser requirements around residency (though a commitment to the Bay Area still needs to be demonstrated)
  • Reminder that these grants can be used to strengthen your economic stability

Applications will be reviewed by a panel composed of local theater designers, technicians, and/or community members, as well as Crowded Fire staff members. Panelists will review eligible proposals and select recipients based on the information provided in your application by using the following selection criteria:

  • Designers and technicians practicing in the following areas will be considered: scenic, lights, sound, costumes, props, projection, video, puppetry, and stage management.
  • All applicants must demonstrate a proof of commitment to the Bay Area. In past years this was proof of working on four local, Bay Area theater productions in the last two calendar years; this year, it could be a short statement sharing your previous residency or future plans/commitment.
  • Designers and technicians may apply for grants in the amount of $1,000 to $2,000 in support of:
    • professional development workshops and training opportunities,
    • purchase of design tools and equipment, and
    • strengthening the economic sustainability of an arts practice.
  • Priority will be given to applications that support a designer’s or technician’s career growth and/or bolstering a designer’s or technician’s individual tools and equipment.
  • Priority will be given to designers and/or technicians who reflect a potential to significantly impact and advance the local theater community.
  • Priority will be given to applicants who exhibit a track record of innovative, exploratory, and quality work.
  • The panel will review the applicant pool with an eye towards supporting the plurality of race, culture, class, gender, and age in our local design and technician community.
  • Applications must clearly articulate a plan to implement the proposed activities and an appropriate proposal budget must support that plan.
  • Only one application will be accepted per applicant. Collaborators may also apply as a team. 
  • We do not require applicants to have previously worked on a Crowded Fire show.


Applications are now closed. This information will be updated in advance of our 2023 round.

You’ll be able to write your answers, or upload a video submission answering the following questions:

1. Please note that the online form allows you to save your application mid-way through your process, so that you can save your progress and return to the form at a later date. Please be sure to click the “submit” button at the bottom of the online form to finalize the submission process, as we cannot access incomplete applications. Questions to prepare include:

  • Proposal Title & contact info
  • Artistic Statement: Describe your artistic vision and philosophy. (500 words or less)
  • Identity: How does who you are influence how you experience the world?
  • Timeline: Describe your proposal activities and the timeline of those activities.
  • Immediacy: Why this proposal right now? How will support from the IGNITE Fund further your artistic growth and career?  
  • Community: What is your commitment to working in / advancing the local theater community? If applicable, how will this IGNITE fund help?

2. Submission of the following documents in the application:

  • PDF Resume of primary applicant. [File name: LastName_FirstName_Resume]
  • Proposal Budget: a detailed breakdown of the total proposal cost and the total requested from the IGNITE FUND. [File name: LastName_FirstName_Budget]
  • 3 examples of your work or description of a past technical project submitted as a link, jpeg, or pdf file.

If you are more fluent in non-written communication, we are now also accepting video submissions in lieu of written responses to the prompts above and file attachments. Please upload the video file or include a link to your video in your application and be sure all required information in the above bullets is discussed/displayed in the video.

3. Applications for 2023 will be announced in the summer.


  • Only electronic submissions will be accepted.
  • Please do not submit any materials beyond what is required in the application.
  • Only complete applications will be considered.
  • Please do not call or email Crowded Fire Theater Company to check the status of your application.

For questions regarding the application process, please email: