Apply for Artist Fellowships

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.

NEW: The RAC Artist Fellowship Application is only available through our new system. Please access the application through the “Grants Login” button to the right. All applicants must create a new account.




  • 06/26/2017 08/10/2017

Amount Awarded

$20,000 each


Ten St. Louis artists working in varied disciplines are chosen by an Advisory Committee 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 for Grant

  • Artists of all disciplines living in St. Louis City or St. Louis County for the past two years or more with documentation*
  • Artists at any stage of career development―emerging, mid-career, and established
  • Artists who have exhibited, performed, presented and/or published artistic work in a public context within the last three years
  • Artists who are not enrolled as full-time undergraduate or graduate students
  • Artists at least 25 years of age

Please note that eligibility for the Artist Fellowships and the Artist Support Grants differ.

Disciplines Include: Architecture, Craft and Traditional Arts, Dance, Design, Literature, Media Arts, Music, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts. (Artists may only select and apply in one primary discipline.)

Note: These 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.


Grant Schedule

  • RAC Artist Fellowship Applications OPEN: Monday, June 26, 2017
  • HOW-TO-APPLY Workshop – Monday, July 10 at 5:30 pm at Central Print – RSVP
  • HOW-TO-APPLY Workshop – Tuesday, August 1 at 5:30 pm at RAC – RSVP
  • RAC Artist Fellowship Applications DEADLINE: Thursday, August 10, 2017
  • RAC Artist Fellowship Applications REVIEWED: September – December 2017
  • 2017 RAC Artist Fellowships ANNOUNCEMENT: January 2018


Grant Review Criteria

Artists must demonstrate, through the online grant application and documentation of their work, the following:

  • Artistic excellence
  • How the Fellowship will benefit the artist creatively and professionally at this point in their career
  • History of deriving income from those skills as a working or teaching artist
  • History of active engagement in creating artwork and presenting it to the public
  • Artistic education or training (formal or informal)

Attachments must include:

  • Detailed artist’s resume / CV
  • Good visual, written or aural documentation of the artist’s work depending on the discipline

Artist Fellowship Award

$20,000 each to ten St. Louis artists – to be distributed with 80% at the time of the award. The artists will make a mid-way “check-in” with RAC staff and will then receive the final 20%. Each artist will sign a contract agreement and be responsible for any taxes due. (Please note that all awards and grants to individual artists are taxable income.)

Review Process

Fellowship requests are first reviewed by staff to confirm eligibility. Peer expert readers from each discipline will make recommendations to the Fellowship Advisory Committee. With these recommendations in mind, the Fellowship Advisory Committee then chooses the ten Fellows in an open meeting to be approved by the full Commission.


*If awarded an Artist Fellowship, the artists will be required to provide their social security number and proof of residency. The following are acceptable forms for proof of residency:

  • Signed and dated tax form
  • Utility bills with your name on the bill
  • Personal Property tax receipt
  • Lease agreement signed by the applicant and landlord, with the landlord’s contact info

Throughout the Fellowship year, the artists may be asked to participate in public presentations regarding the Artist Fellowship program and will provide content and documentation for the web site. Fellows may also be asked to meet periodically with RAC staff. These meetings and presentations are intended to expand the scope of the Fellowship experience.

At the end of the one-year period, each artist will provide a one page narrative of the artist’s creative achievements within that year and where that may lead. They may also be asked to participate in a public presentation.

Please note that grants and awards are taxable income.


How to Apply for this Grant

Please review ELIGIBILITY and REVIEW CRITERIA for the Artist Fellowships BEFORE applying. (Note that eligibility and criteria for the Artist Fellowships are different from those for the Artist Support Grants.)

Artists can register and fill out the grant application online. If you have previously applied for an Artist Fellowship, please note that there is a NEW online grant application website and you will need to create a new account. Please be sure you are using your most up-to-date email address, as this will serve as your account login and provide your most up-to-date contact information. If you have previously applied for an Artist Fellowship and would like to access your previous application, you may do so by following the instructions provided on the new grant application website.

Part of the application requires an artist’s statement. An artist’s statement is a written document that serves as a basic introduction of you as an artist, explaining why and how you make your art. It may also put your work in the greater context of your field or discipline including your influences. An artist’s statement may pertain to a particular body of work or to your entire body of work.

Documentation of your work will demonstrate its excellence which is one of the primary criteria. If you do not have good, clear, and easily accessible documentation of your work in your discipline, please consider waiting until you do to apply for an Artist Fellowship.

FREE HOW-TO-APPLY Workshops:       In the workshops, learn how to access the application, what to include (and not) in your artist’s statement and work documentation, and get some answers to your questions.

  • HOW-TO-APPLY Workshop on Monday, July 10 at Central Print – RSVP
  • HOW-TO-APPLY Workshop on Tuesday, August 1 at RAC – RSVP

Click here for instructions on our new Grants Application Website.