McKay Grants for Artists

2020 Dave McKay Parade Art Grants

The Dave McKay Parade Art Grants support the development of art and performance for the Fremont Solstice Parade and Celebration. The grants provide design and creation funds for art projects which transform the street into theater with social commentary and the unexpected.

In 2020, grants up to $1,500 will be awarded from a total pool of $8,500.
Proposals Due: April 5, 2020

The 2020 Fremont Solstice Parade is Saturday June 20, 2020

In an age of mass culture, a special kind of courage is needed to bring creative self-expression into the public arena.  Dave McKay embodied this courage.  He was a celebration artist who brought his master costume-design skills, thoughtful intention, and deep attention to detail and craftsmanship to all his art, especially in his work with the Fremont Solstice Parade and other celebration art events. He believed art and art making should be a part of everyone’s life.

The Dave McKay Parade Art Grant Fund supports artists in their efforts to bring engaging art to the streets of Fremont, and to enhance community creativity and collaboration. Awards are granted for artist proposals for the development of parade ensembles.  Parade ensembles are groups of five or more people, working within a common theme, performing in procession.  Proposals for parade-related art installations (Gas Works Park, gateways, etc.,) and other crazy ideas that elevate the artistic quality of the event are also accepted for funding consideration.

Grant Funds

Grant funds may be used for artists’ fees, materials and supplies, equipment purchase or rental, travel and transportation. Existing artwork can be re-mounted for parade exhibition.

Grant funds may NOT be used to stage fundraising events; for project expenses that occur prior to or after the project dates; or for operating costs not directly associated with the parade project.

New Projects: Proposal Ideas

Get Big! Get Bold!
Nothing says “Summer Solstice” like a giant puppet or a large float rolling down the streets of Fremont! We are seeking proposals that GO BIG. Artwork may seem huge in your front room or garage, but once it’s out on the street the scale can be surprisingly small. Take your idea and magnify by 10x!  FAC has float bodies (platform trailers with push bars fore and aft) free for you to reserve.

Bicycle Puppets!
Bicycles transformed into rolling creatures or crazy contraptions. These are usually designed as paper sculpted attachments (heads, paws, parts) attached to a bamboo rig on a normal road bike. Anyone up for creating an outrageous posse of rolling artwork? All ideas for making fun bicycle-centered artwork will be considered.

Spectacle Fashion
Remember the outrageous paper dresses of the Ice Queen ensemble? How about Nick Cave’s Soundsuits? We are seeking proposals from artists and fashion designers who want to bring to life wearable creations.

Who Can Apply?

Any artist or artist group who has a vision for something awesome they want to bring to life in front of thousands of people should send us their idea.

The Fremont Arts Council (FAC) is a community-based celebration arts organization. The FAC is welcoming, inclusive and values diversity. We value volunteer-ism; community participation; artistic expression; and the sharing of arts skills. The Fremont Solstice Parade is the primary event of the FAC.  We celebrate the longest day of the year through profound street theater, public spectacle, and a kaleidoscope of joyous human expressions.  We welcome the participation of everyone regardless of who they are, or what they think or believe. The FAC, however, reserves the right to control the content presented in the Fremont Solstice Parade.

The rules of the Fremont Solstice Parade, which make this event distinct from other types of parades, are:

· No written or printed words or logos
· No animals (except service animals)
· No motorized vehicles (except wheelchairs)
· No real (or real looking) weapons or fire.


Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of FAC members, Fremont stakeholders, and the FAC Leadership Teams. This is an open competitive process and, unfortunately, not every applicant will receive funding.

Special consideration given to:
Including people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and identity
First time applicants
Creating the project in our community art studio
Leading a public workshop in the production of artwork
Large-scale projects that use the 360 degree space of the street theater
Use of repurposed materials
Directly engaging the audience along the parade route
Kinetic movement
Thought-provoking and innovative ensembles
Cross-disciplinary collaboration (i.e., dance and visual arts).

To Apply


Application for 2020 can be found here

{Photo by R. Falk 2015}