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Artist Fellowships

The Regional Arts Commission’s (RAC) Artist Fellowship serves to foster and invest in the careers of St. Louis artists of all disciplines by providing funds to allow for more time and space to study, reflect, experiment, explore, practice, and create. The goal is to advance the individual artist’s creative journey. This annual Artist Fellowship recognizes artistic excellence and honors the work of seasoned artists, advances the work of mid-career artists, and nurtures the work of developing artists.

  • ABOUT
  • ELIGIBILITY
  • SCHEDULE
  • REVIEW CRITERIA
  • HOW TO APPLY

ABOUT

Amount Awarded

$20,000 each

Details

Ten St. Louis artists working in varied disciplines are chosen by discipline readers and a Citizen Review Panel of professionals, peers, and RAC Commissioners each year. These fellowships are investments in the careers of St. Louis artists as well as in the cultural vitality of the region. Artists make substantial contributions to our community’s vibrancy by boosting creative problem-solving, pushing boundaries, provoking thought, and animating our neighborhoods and cultural institutions. These Artist Fellowships are designed to call attention to the depth and quality of the art being created in St. Louis and to amplify the work of ten outstanding St. Louis artists in varied disciplines each year.

ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility for Grant

An individual artist in any discipline and at any stage of career development―emerging, mid-career, and established―is eligible to apply for an Artist Fellowship, provided that the artist:

  • Is 25 years or older.
  • Is not enrolled as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student and has no plans to enroll in a full-time undergraduate or graduate program in the next 15 months.
  • Is a current resident of St. Louis City or County and has maintained primary residence in St. Louis City or County for at least one year.
  • Has created and presented their own original works to the public or performed for the public in the past three years.
  • Has not received an Artist Fellowship in the past 10 years.
  • Is in good standing with RAC, with no delinquent reports or required grant documentation.


Grant Restrictions

  • Any non-current Artist Support Grant must be completed and required reports submitted before applying for an Artist Fellowship.
  • Artists who are granted Artist Fellowships must remain residents of St. Louis region for the duration of the Artist Fellowship period (12 months).
  • Artists who are granted an Artist Fellowship must wait one full calendar year after the fellowship period has ended to apply for the Artist Support Grant.
  • Artists may apply for and receive an Artist Fellowship every 10 years, not to exceed three lifetime Artist Fellowship Awards.
  • Organizations are ineligible to apply.

These Artist Fellowships are for individual artists and 501c3 status or fiscal sponsorship is not required to receive a fellowship. If you wish to apply to RAC as an organization, please see our Organization Grants.

Please note that eligibility for the Artist Fellowships and the Artist Support Grants differ. Artist Support Grant recipients may apply for the Artist Fellowship at any point. If selected as an Artist Fellow, the applicant will no longer be eligible for an Artist Support Grant in the same cycle.

For more information about the Artist Fellowship eligibility and restrictions, please see the Individual Artist Grants Guidelines (PDF).

SCHEDULE

Grant Schedule

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RAC’s revenues have been dramatically affected because of the significant drop in hotel/motel occupancy which generates the tax receipts that are RAC’s primary source of funding. Due to this reduction of revenues, RAC will have very limited financial resources over the next year. Both the Fall 2020 Artist Support Grants and 2021 Artist Fellowship applications scheduled to open in July 2020 have been postponed. Please check back periodically for updates. All artists who have previously applied via the grants.racstl.org website will also receive an update via email once new dates are available.

The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) remains steadfast in our mission to support local artists through these uncertain times. We are proud to announce the awarding of nearly $500,000 to over 500 local working artists through our Artist Relief Fund grants during the months of April through July 2020. We are grateful to our partners who made the virtual fundraising event, Arts United STL a reality, raising over $350,000 for the Artist Relief Fund.  Additionally, through our Artist Support Grants, we were able to support 21 artists with over $53,000 during our Spring 2020 grant cycle and commit full funding of $200,000 to our 2020 Artist Fellows.

As the largest funder of individual artists in the area, RAC is committed to supporting individual artists through our grantmaking and other programs. We hope to continue offering grant opportunities as soon as our revenues allow. We will update the RAC website as information warrants.

REVIEW CRITERIA

Grant Review Criteria

In the first round of review, discipline readers will evaluate the Artist Fellowship applications based on the following review criteria:

  1. Artistic Excellence
  2. Benefit of Artist Fellowship to Artistic Practice
  3. Income as a Working or Teaching Artist
  4. History of Creating Art and Presenting to the Public
  5. Artistic Education

In the second round of review, the Artist Fellowship Citizen Review Panel will evaluate the Artist Fellowship applications based on the following review criteria:

  1. Artistic Excellence
  2. Benefit of Artist Fellowship to Artistic Practice
  3. St. Louis Community Impact

Review Process

Artist Fellowship applications are first reviewed by staff to confirm eligibility. Each Artist Fellowship application is then read by two expert discipline readers from the appropriate artistic discipline.

Each application will be rated according to RAC’s review criteria. RAC uses a numerical rating system for the first round of review of the Artist Fellowship applications. After the discipline readers have reviewed and rated the applications, the top-rated applicants from each discipline are reviewed by the Artist Fellowship Citizen Review Panel. Applicants who have made it to the second round of review will be notified. The Artist Fellowship Citizen Review Panel will then review all selected applications, regardless of discipline, and select the ten Artist Fellows to be recommended to the Grants Committee and approved by the full Commission.

For more information about the Artist Fellowship eligibility and restrictions, please see the Individual Artist Grants Guidelines (PDF).

HOW TO APPLY

How to Apply for this Grant

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RAC’s revenues have been dramatically affected because of the significant drop in hotel/motel occupancy which generates the tax receipts that are RAC’s primary source of funding. Due to this reduction of revenues, RAC will have very limited financial resources over the next year. Both the Fall 2020 Artist Support Grants and 2021 Artist Fellowship applications scheduled to open in July 2020 have been postponed. Please check back periodically for updates. All artists who have previously applied via the grants.racstl.orgwebsite will also receive an update via email once new dates are available.

When the application reopens, the grant process has several steps.

  1. Artist Applies for grant via grants.racstl.org
  2. Discipline Readers read and rate each proposal using RAC’s review criteria.
  3. Staff reviews ratings and recommends the top applications in each discipline until funds are exhausted.
  4. The Grants Committee, a subcommittee of RAC’s Board of Commissioners, makes final recommendations to the full Commission.
  5. RAC’s Board of Commissioners votes on the recommendations made by the Grants Committee.
  6. Notification goes out to all applicants after the full Commission meets and approves the grants.
  7. Public announcement of grant awards will be made.

Previous to the application deadline, RAC also hosts a number of “How to Apply Workshops,” the schedule for which will be listed here once the application is ready to open again. These workshops are a valuable resource for grant seekers and give tips on how to present a strong grant proposal.

If you have questions regarding RAC’s individual Artist Grants, please contact Olivia Lahs-Gonzales, Associate Director of Artist Programs, at olivia@racstl.org.