NASAA Notes: June 2019

June 5, 2019

Showcasing State Arts Agency Ingenuity: Artist Fellowships

The majority of state arts agencies have an individual artist fellowship program to recognize and honor the creative achievements of their state’s residents. While these programs generally share broad goals—such as fostering the development of new artwork and advancing creative careers—they each are designed to respond to the particular needs of a state’s cultural ecosystem. (More can be learned about these programs in NASAA’s Artists Fellowships Strategy Sampler.) Some state arts agencies have designed fellowship programs that support overlooked cultural practices or encourage the exploration of new-media frontiers. This month’s edition of State to State highlights several examples of these more focused individual artist fellowship programs.

Sylvia Robertson, candidate for a fiscal year 2020 Folk and Traditional Arts Fellowship, creates intricately decorated hollow eggs in the tradition of Ukrainian pysanky. Image courtesy of Rebecca Snetselaar, Nevada Folklife Archives

The Nevada Arts Council (NAC) has added a folk and traditional arts category to its Artist Fellowship Grant to lift up and celebrate a vast source of cultural wealth in its state. Until this year, NAC’s fellowship program had focused on supporting individual artists working in contemporary visual, literary, and performing arts media and practices. The new folk and traditional arts category of the fellowship will award unrestricted grants of $5,000 to artists from communities defined by cultural connections such as ethnic heritage, language, religion, occupation and geographic area. More specifically, it will support artists working in material culture—such as traditional handcrafted objects, decorative arts and ceremonial costume—as well as those working in music, dance, verbal arts, ritual practices and other performing arts. To learn more, contact NAC Folklife Specialist Rebecca Snetselaar.

2019 Oregon Media Arts Fellowship recipient Mila Zuo. Image courtesy of the artist

The Oregon Arts Commission (OAC) not only has an Individual Artist Fellowship grant supporting visual and performing artists but also a Media Arts Fellowship program. The Media Arts Fellowship recognizes artists creating in film or video whose work shows exceptional promise. It supports the advancement of their artistic practices and careers through up to $10,000 in grant funding. Fellows also receive technical assistance enabling the creation of new artwork or the completion of works in progress. The program is funded by OAC and administered by the Northwest Film Center, the oldest regional media arts organization in the region, which encourages the study, appreciation, and utilization of new media and helps create a climate in which they may flourish. OAC Visual Arts/Public Art Coordinator Meagan Atiyeh can share more details about the Media Arts Fellowship.

Artistic Teaching Partner Marcia Pasqua working with a group of students in the Hawai’i State Art Museum. Image courtesy of State Foundation on Culture and the Arts

With a one-time special legislative appropriation for FY2019 designated for the recognition of individual artists working in Hawai’i, the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA) has launched a year-long Artistic Teaching Partnerships Fellowship. Though Hawai’i state code authorizes a state-funded individual artist program, SFCA has not offered an artist fellowship since 2009. With the special 2019 appropriation—and the fact that it has a robust Artists in the Schools (AITS) program and related Artistic Teaching Partners Roster—SFCA designed a program to reward excellence in teaching artistry, as teaching artists are critical to the state’s cultural well-being. Teaching artists in Hawai’i are productive in their own studios as well as in educational settings, where they foster the creativity of young people and help realize a number benefits both within and beyond the classroom. The new fellowship will award unrestricted grants of $5,000-$10,000 to artists on SFCA’s FY2019 Artistic Teaching Partners roster who have applied for at least one AITS grant and/or have conducted residencies at the Hawai’i State Art Museum through the Art Bento Program for the last five consecutive years. To learn more, contact SFCA Public Information Officer Mamiko K. Carroll.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Announcements and Resources

Legislative Update

Research on Demand

More Notes from NASAA

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