Artist Fellowships

Applications open summer 2020.

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.



Amount Awarded

$20,000 each


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 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).


Grant Schedule


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 for this Grant

The Artist Fellowship application process begins in July of 2019 and ends in January 2020. This process has several steps. See RAC’s Individual Artist Grants Guide (PDF) for more information:

  • The Artist Fellowship application will be available at grants.racstl.org on Monday, July 15, 2019.
  • Application-writing workshops will be held in July and August (see below to register).
  • Applications will be due on Thursday, September 12, 2019.
  • Applications will be read and rated by discipline readers.
  • The top rated 25-35 will be selected for further review.
  • Applicants will be updated on the status of their application on or near October 5.
  • A Citizen Review Panel will review and rate the top applications and recommend a diverse cohort of 10 Artist Fellowship applicants to be consider.
  • The Grants Committee, a subcommittee of RAC’s Board of Commissioners, will make final recommendations based on the Citizen Review Panel’s recommendations.
  • RAC’s Board of Commissioners will vote on the Grants Committee’s recommendations.
  • All applicants will be notified on or near December 14.
  • Public announcement of the Artist Fellowship recipients will be made in January of 2019.


  1. Confirm your ELIGIBILITY.
  2. Review the Individual Artist Grants Guide (PDF).
  3. Login or register at grants.racstl.org
    • Use your most up-to-date email address. Notifications will be sent to the email address that you use to register.
    • Unless you’ve applied for a grant after June 2017 you must create a new account.
  4. Complete and submit the Artist Fellowship Application.


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.

For more information about the Artist Fellowship, please see the Individual Artist Grants Guide (PDF).

View the slide deck from the workshop (PDF).

For more details instructions on how to use RAC’s new grant application website and technical instructions on how to complete the application, please see Individual Artists Applications Tutorial.

If you have questions regarding the Artist Fellowship application, please contact Oliva Lahs-Gonzales, 314.863.5811 ext. 1009.