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Application Instructions > Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines - FY 2019

Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellowships
We are proud to support Massachusetts artists with Artist Fellowships. The Fellowships are direct grants to artists creating exceptional original work. We hope the awards will foster the creation of new art in the Commonwealth.

The Artist Fellowships are $15,000 and the Finalist awards are $1,000 (amounts pending approval by the governor-appointed Council). We award 30-35 Fellowships and 30-35 Finalist awards each year. The exact totals depend on our annual budget, the number of applications, and the decisions of the grants panels.

 

Disciplines and Deadlines

Apply Now In:

Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres (images) or (video)
Online application available: August 15, 2018
Application deadline: October 1, 2018
Grants announced by February 2019

Apply Late 2018/Early 2019 In:

Film & Video, Music Composition, and Photography
Online application available: December 15, 2018
Application deadline: January 28, 2019
Grants announced by June 2019

Artist Fellowships categories come up for review every other year. Next year (2020), we will welcome applications in:
Drawing & Printmaking, Poetry, and Traditional Arts
Choreography, Fiction/Creative Nonfiction, and Painting

Read the Discipline Definitions. We want to support artists in a wide range of categories. If you have any questions about which category suits your work best, please contact us.

Eligibility
You may apply for an Artist Fellowship if you are:

  • 18 years or older.
  • A legal resident of Massachusetts for the last two years. You should also be a legal resident when the grants are awarded. We define "legal resident" as someone who meets the definition of a "full-year resident" in the Massachusetts tax code. Visit the Dept. of Revenue web site to learn more.
  • An artist who creates original work. If you are an artist who interprets or translates the work of others, this isn't the program for you. But we hope to support your work through other Mass Cultural Council programs and initiatives.

You are ineligible (for now) if you:

  • Received a Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellowship in the past five years. This includes 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Finalists from these years may reapply.
  • Are a high school or undergraduate student, or a graduate student in a related degree program (such as an MFA). We encourage you to apply for an Artist Fellowship after you have completed your studies.
  • Are a governor-appointed Mass Cultural Council member. Mass Cultural Council staff and family are likewise ineligible to apply.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible, please contact us.

Things to Know When Applying

Review Criteria
There are two review criteria for the Artist Fellowships: artistic quality and creative ability. The panelists make their evaluations based solely on the work sample(s) you submit.

Anonymity
Mass Cultural Council's Artist Fellowships review process is anonymous (with the exception of Traditional Arts). Your name should not appear in your work sample(s) or Work Sample Description. Please include your name only where requested in the online application.

We ask you to upload a resume/bio into the online application. But the resume is used for administrative purposes and is not reviewed by the grants panel.

Discipline Category
Select the discipline category that best fits your work. You may apply only once per category. You can, however, apply in more than one category. Please note that we will award only one monetary grant to an artist in a fiscal year. Also, we require that you submit different work samples for each application.

Collaborators
If you create art as part of a collaborative team, you can apply together. Fill out a single application and provide resumes for each collaborator. A collaborator may reside out of state, as long as the primary applicant is a legal resident of Massachusetts.

Review Panel
We invite a group of grant panelists to review applications in each category. Each panel makes recommendations for Fellows and Finalists. Those recommendations are presented to the governor-appointed Mass Cultural Council members for final approval.

The panelists are artists and arts professionals with expertise in the field. We try to assemble panels with a diverse a range of perspectives and backgrounds. If you have any recommendations for possible grants panelists, we would be grateful to hear from you.

Application Process
For applications in Crafts, Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, and Photography, please use the callforentry.org (CaFE) application system.

For applications in Dramatic Writing, Film & Video, and Music Composition, please use Mass Cultural Council’s online application system.

You need to submit a completed application form and any accompanying work sample(s) by 11:59 PM on the deadline day. We cannot accept late applications.

We will announce final grant decisions by email. We will send this announcement by February for the October deadline and by June for the January deadline. If you have unsubscribed from receiving emails from Mass Cultural Council, you will not receive the announcement. However, we will also publish results on Mass Cultural Council's web site.

Work Sample Instructions
Please make certain your work sample(s) follow our instructions. For tips on applying for an Artist Fellowship, please visit our blog, ArtSake.

CRAFTS - Deadline: October 1, 2018
Apply to the Crafts category using CallforEntry.org (CaFE). Upload five JPG images into your CaFE Portfolio. When filling out Mass Cultural Council's application in CaFE, select images in the order (1-5) that you wish them to be viewed.

Preparing Your Digital Images
Images must be in JPG format. The pixel dimension should be at least 1200 pixels on the longest side (horizontal or vertical). The maximum file size is 5 MB.

The panel will review your work samples anonymously. Your name should not appear anywhere in your work samples or in your Work Sample Description. The title of your first work sample will be the "name" we use for your application. We appreciate efforts to avoid identifying information like commissions, awards, or organizations.

Please submit work completed 2015 or later. Works in progress are eligible.

DRAMATIC WRITING - Deadline: October 1, 2018
Apply to the Dramatic Writing category using Mass Cultural Council's online application form. You may submit either a manuscript of 30 pages or fewer OR a combination of manuscript and audio or video file(s). Please note that we cannot accept more than 10 minutes of audio or video, and the total pages and minutes should add up to 30 or fewer.

You may submit up to four works or excerpts. We will disregard any additional pages or minutes beyond the limit. The panel will review your work samples anonymously. Your name should not appear anywhere in your work samples or in your Work Sample Description. The title of your first work sample will be the "name" we use for your application. We appreciate efforts to avoid identifying information like commissions, awards, or organizations. Please submit work completed 2015 or later. Works in progress are eligible.

Upload your manuscript into the Mass Cultural Council's online application form. Manuscripts must be:

  • Formatted using standard script format.
  • On 8 1/2"X11" pages.
  • Typed in Times, Helvetica, or equivalent font, no smaller than 12 point in size.
  • Formatted with at least 1" margins on all sides.
  • Uploaded as .doc, .docx, .pdf, .txt, or .rtf. (For best results, please be sure the file names contain no punctuation marks.)
Audio/Video:
We accept MP3, WMA, FLAC, MOV, MP4, MV4, or WMV file formats. The maximum file size is 1 GB. You will receive an email containing the link to submit the file(s) via Dropbox when you have submitted Mass Cultural Council's online form. Please name each file with the title of the corresponding work sample.

SCULPTURE/INSTALLATION/NEW GENRES - Deadline: October 1, 2018
Apply to the Sculpture/Installation/New Genres category using callforentry.org (CaFE). You may submit either five digital images OR up to three video files. You will need to select either the images call for entry or the video call for entry in CaFE. We cannot accept applications in both.

Please submit work completed 2015 or later. Works in progress are eligible.

Instructions for images
Upload five JPG images into your CaFE Portfolio. When filling out Mass Cultural Council's online application in CaFE, select images in the order (1-5) that you wish them to be viewed.

Preparing Your Digital Images
Images must be in JPG format. The pixel dimension should be at least 1200 pixels on the longest side (horizontal or vertical). The maximum file size is 5 MB.

Instructions for video
Upload up to three video files into your CaFE Portfolio. The total length of your video(s) should be 5 minutes or fewer.

The panel will review your work samples anonymously. Your name should not appear anywhere in your work samples or in your Work Sample Description. The title of your first work sample will be the "name" we use for your application. We appreciate efforts to avoid identifying information like commissions, awards, or organizations.

FILM & VIDEO - Deadline: January 28, 2019
Apply to the Film & Video category using Mass Cultural Council's online application form. Submit up to four video files (accept MOV, MP4, MV4, or WMV file formats). The running time of the video content should total 20 minutes or fewer.

You will receive a link to submit the file(s) via Dropbox when you have submitted Mass Cultural Council's form. The maximum file size is 2 GB. When submitting your work sample(s), please name each file with the title of the corresponding work sample.

The panel will review your work samples anonymously. Your name should not appear anywhere in your work sample(s) or in your Work Sample Description. The title of your first work sample will be the "name" we use for your application. We appreciate efforts to avoid identifying information like commissions, awards, or organizations.

Please submit work completed 2015 or later. Works in progress are eligible.

MUSIC COMPOSITION - Deadline: January 28, 2019
Apply to the Music Composition category using Mass Cultural Council's online application form. Submit up to four audio files (we accept MP3, WMA, and FLAC file formats). The running time of the audio content should total 30 minutes or fewer. You will receive a link to submit the file(s) via Dropbox when you have submitted Mass Cultural Council's form. When submitting your work sample(s), please name each file with the title of the corresponding work sample.

The panel will review your work samples anonymously. Your name should not appear anywhere in your work samples or in your Work Sample Description. The title of your first work sample will be the "name" we use for your application. We appreciate efforts to avoid identifying information like commissions, awards, or organizations.

Please note: if you do not have recorded copies of your work due to accessibility or financial issues, please contact us so we can find a solution.

You have the option of uploading a file of a manuscript of up to 15 pages of scores, lead sheets, or other performance notes that correspond to the work sample(s) you are including. Written materials must be:

  • On 8 1/2"X11" pages.
  • Formatted with at least 1" margins on all sides.
  • Uploaded as .doc, .docx, .pdf, .txt, or .rtf. (For best results, please be sure the file names contain no punctuation marks.)
Please submit work completed 2015 or later. Works in progress are eligible.

PHOTOGRAPHY - Deadline: January 28, 2019
Apply to the Photography category using callforentry.org (CaFE). Upload five JPG images into your CaFE Portfolio. When filling out Mass Cultural Council's application in CaFE, select images in the order (1-5) that you wish them to be viewed.

Preparing Your Digital Images
Images must be in JPG format. The pixel dimension should be at least 1200 pixels on the longest side (horizontal or vertical). The maximum file size is 5 MB.

The panel will review your work samples anonymously. Your name should not appear anywhere in your work samples or in your Work Sample Description. The title of your first work sample will be the "name" we use for your application. We appreciate efforts to avoid identifying information like commissions, awards, or organizations.

Please submit work completed 2015 or later. Works in progress are eligible.

Accessibility and Non-Discrimination Policy
Mass Cultural Council is committed to ensure that all programs, services, policies, and practices are formulated and conducted in a manner which will ensure equal access for all people and prevent discrimination not only as a matter of law, but also as a policy designed to encourage the participation of all segments of the Commonwealth's population in Mass Cultural Council programs and services.

Mass Cultural Council is dedicated to creating a workplace, programs, and services that welcome, respect and value people of all races, color, age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religions, creeds, ancestry, national origin, disability and veteran status, and does discriminate on the basis of these attributes.  We strive to reflect diversity in all activities, programs and services by removing any barriers to accessibility.

Mass Cultural Council is happy to offer alternative formats, auxiliary aids, and services necessary so that any individual can participate in Mass Cultural Council's programs and services. Contact Staff for help. To facilitate your request in a timely manner, please contact us at least two weeks before any Mass Cultural Council event or grant deadline. Please read the full Access Policy for more information.

Conflict of Interest
To ensure that all Mass Cultural Council review panels are free from conflicts of interest and/or the appearance of such conflicts, panelists are required to disclose any current or prospective affiliations they or their immediate family members have with an actual or potential applicant. "Affiliations" applies to employment, board memberships, independent contractual relationships, advisory or policy relationships, substantial contributor relationships, or other financial relationships. In addition, panelists are required to disclose any past or current adversarial relationships with actual or potential applicants of a professional or personal nature. Mass Cultural Council members are not permitted to participate in discussions or votes relating to any applicant with whom they have an affiliation or relating to any applicants competing with that applicant.

Reconsideration Policy
An applicant may request reconsideration of a Mass Cultural Council decision on his or her application if the applicant can demonstrate that the Mass Cultural Council failed to follow published application and review procedures. Dissatisfaction with the results of a review does not constitute grounds for reconsideration, however.

The first step in the reconsideration process is to consult with the appropriate Program Staff to discuss the review process that concluded in Mass Cultural Council's decision. If the applicant wishes to pursue a reconsideration, a request must be sent to the Mass Cultural Council's Executive Director, in writing, within 30 days of the Mass Cultural Council's notification to the applicant of its decision. All requests will go to the Mass Cultural Council members for reconsideration no earlier than its next scheduled Council meeting.

 
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