I’m Douglas Detrick, the founder and principal of Substrate Arts Consulting. I’m a musician and writer with over a decade of experience in arts fundraising and administration. Of all the skills that that work has required over the years, I’ve chosen to specialize in arts grant writing and coaching, helping clients build a strong foundation for their creativity over time. Why? Because while many are intimidated or mystified by the grant writing process, I find a true joy and satisfaction in it.

The grant seeking process is complex. It demands long-term planning, collaboration among multiple artists and other partners, precise accounting of budgets and project details, and a concrete yet imaginative expression of the mission. I chose to build a business around this process because I find joy getting down in the “dirt,” the substrate from which great art blooms, helping my clients achieve their goals. Read more about the inspiration for the name of the business here.

I currently or formerly have worked with the following organizations:

  • Oregon International Ballet Academy
  • Fear No Music
  • Montavilla Jazz
  • Oregon Mozart Players
  • Orchestra Next
  • SoundsTruck NW
  • Third Angle New Music
  • Alliance of Black Nurses Association of Oregon
  • Viroqua Chamber Main Street
  • numerous individual artists

Hands-on experience as an Executive Director with a small arts nonprofit.

I was the Executive Director of the nonprofit Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE) from 2013 to 2022, leaving the organization as part of planned transition to an expanded new leadership team. During my tenure, the organization’s budget expanded by 600%, taking it from an all-volunteer to professional organization that is “a real cultural force in Oregon.” (Tom D’Antoni, Oregon Music News)

As the lead fundraiser and artistic director, I designed projects that were twice awarded the Creative Heights grant from Oregon Community Foundation, as well as other grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Arts Commission, James F & Marion L Miller Foundation, Multnomah County Cultural Coalition and others. I have also built successful partnerships with Oregon Historical Society, Montavilla Jazz Festival, Vanport Mosaic, Portland Center Stage, and many individuals through the Portland metro area. My clients have also included PDX Jazz, Fear No Music, and numerous individual artists from all disciplines.

An experienced artist who crafts unique and award-winning projects.

As an individual artist, I was awarded the Oregon Individual Artist Fellowship in 2017, and won the prestigious Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grant in 2011. Before my tenure with PJCE, I led an improvising chamber group called AnyWhen Ensemble, which released three albums of my music and toured throughout the United States at venues including the Stone, the Phillips Collection and residencies at many universities.

Grant funding has been an integral and transformative part of my personal arts practice. I received a practical foundation as a grant writer by taking classes at the Foundation Center while I lived in New York City from 2010 to 2013. I love to share that knowledge with artists and administrators who might find grant writing to be confusing, intimidating, or too removed from the actual making of their art. To me, building an engaging arts project is an art in itself—it’s a problem-solving journey that requires equal parts planning and creativity.

How I work

I’m an introvert. I love to meet with my clients for short, focused bursts in a quiet environment to generate ideas and gather information. Then I work on my own to digest those ideas, and distill them into clear and compelling language for grant applications and other documents. 

I try to send organized and clear messages to clients with all requests gathered into one document in order to avoid interrupting their concentration. I don’t answer phone calls or emails on weekends or evenings in general, and don’t expect my clients to either. However, I’m happy to schedule times to talk on evenings or weekends if needed with advance notice. 

I use project management software to organize my work, and work with my clients to integrate into their systems. When I have all the information I need, I can write a proposal very quickly, especially compared to those who are inexperienced or uncomfortable with grant writing. Clients will find this can be less expensive than hiring a full-time employee, and provide better results that are tailored to your goals.

I now live in Viroqua, Wisconsin, and frequently travel to Portland, Oregon and other locations as needed. I work with clients most often via video chat. Book time with me here.

Substrate Arts Consulting is a Business Affiliate Member of Nonprofit Association of Oregon, and a member of Grant Professionals of America.