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Application Instructions > Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines - FY 2015

MCC's Artist Fellowships
The Artist Fellowships provide direct, unrestricted support to Massachusetts artists in recognition of exceptional original work, to foster the creation of new art in the Commonwealth. Artist Fellowships in a range of disciplines are awarded to primary creators of original works of art.

Awards
The Artist Fellowships provide competitive grants of $10,000 and finalist awards of $1,000. The number of awards per discipline category varies according to the number of applications reviewed, the recommendations of each panel, and program funds available.

Disciplines and Deadlines
Apply online in the following categories:

Deadline: October 6, 2014.

Film & Video, Music Composition, and Photography
Online Application Available: December 15, 2014
Deadline: January 26, 2015

Categories for the next (FY 2016) cycle will include: Drawing & Printmaking, Poetry, Traditional Arts, Choreography, Fiction/Creative Nonfiction, and Painting.

For more information, please refer to the Discipline Definitions.

NEW THIS CYCLE:

  • A new online system, CallforEntry.org (CaFE) is being used for visual arts disciplines including (this cycle) Crafts, Photography, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres.
  • MCC has changed "Sculpture/Installation" to "Sculpture/Installation/New Genres." The name reflects the category's inclusion of visual art work that is conceptually-driven, experimental, hybrid, and community-based.
  • The Finalist award has been increased from $500 to $1000.

PLEASE NOTE: the Artist Fellowships Program recognizes contemporary artists' work ranging from traditional practices to emerging fields. MCC encourages all eligible artists, in a wide range of disciplines, including cross-disciplinary forms, to apply to this program. Please contact MCC staff if you have any questions about the most appropriate category or grant cycle.

Eligibility Requirements
Any artist 18 years or older who has been a legal resident of Massachusetts for the last two years at the time of application is eligible. All Artist Fellows/Finalists must be legal residents of Massachusetts when grants are awarded.

The Artist Fellowships Program defines "legal resident" as an individual who fulfills the description of a "full-year resident" as defined in the Massachusetts tax code. See the Dept. of Revenue for more information.

Please note:

  • Any artist who has received an MCC Artist Fellowship in the past five years is ineligible to apply. This includes 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Finalists from these years may reapply. Work samples previously submitted in a successful application (resulting in a full fellowship) may not be re-submitted in a new application.

  • Students enrolled in a degree program directly related to the discipline or whose degrees are pending at the time of application are ineligible to apply. Undergraduate students and high school students are ineligible to apply.

  • MCC board members, staff, and their immediate family members may not apply for Artist Fellowships.

  • Applicants should create original work, as opposed to interpreting or translating the work of others.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible, please contact program staff.

Eligible applicants may apply in more than one category. Please note, however, that individual artists may receive only one grant in any given fiscal year. If an applicant is recommended for funding in more than one discipline, s/he will be recognized as a fellow in both categories, but will be awarded only one monetary grant. Applicants may not submit the same work in more than one category. Different excerpts from the same piece do not constitute separate work.

Collaborating artists interested in applying together must file and sign one joint application for a single Artist Fellowship 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 Criteria
There are two review criteria for the Artist Fellowships: artistic quality and creative ability as evidenced by original work submitted.

Anonymity
MCC's Artist Fellowships review process is anonymous, so neither your name, nor any information identifying commissions, awards, reviews, and/or presentations should appear within or upon your work sample(s). Please include your name and identifying information only on your resume and where designated in the online application. Work samples will be tracked by title #1.

Application Process

Application Process VISUAL ARTS CATEGORIES (Crafts, Photography, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres)
  1. Register with CallforEntry.org (CaFE), and follow the prompts to upload at least five images, or (in the case of Sculpture/Installation/New Genres when submitting video) up to three videos, to your portfolio. Read tips on preparing your images. Read tips on preparing your video(s).

  2. Then complete the online application and be sure to "Checkout" (click "finalize entry") by 11:59pm on Monday, October 6, 2014 (Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres) or Monday, January 26, 2015 (Photography).

  3. All work samples must be uploaded and submitted with your online application.

NON-VISUAL ARTS CATEGORIES (Dramatic Writing, Film & Video, and Music Composition

  1. Create an individual profile, complete MCC's online application and click "Submit" by 11:59pm on Monday, October 6, 2014 (Dramatic Writing) or Monday, January 26, 2015 (Film & Video and Music Composition).

  2. For Dramatic Writing: all work samples must be uploaded and submitted with your online application.

  3. For Film & Video and Music Composition: after submitting the online application, send your work sample(s) to the MCC. If you wish to hand-deliver your work sample(s), you must do so by 5:00pm on the deadline day. Mailed work sample(s) must be postmarked by January 26, 2015 (Film & Video and Music Composition) to:

Artist Fellowships
Massachusetts Cultural Council
10 St. James Avenue, 3rd floor
Boston, MA 02116-3803
[Indicate on envelope to which discipline you are applying.]
Faxed or emailed work samples will not be reviewed, nor will late and incomplete applications be reviewed.

Applicants will be informed by email of final grant decisions by early February (Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres) or by early June (Film & Video, Music Composition, and Photography).

Work Sample Instructions
Work samples that do not adhere to the following guidelines will not be reviewed. For tips on applying for an Artist Fellowship, please visit our blog ArtSake.

CRAFTS - Deadline: October 6, 2014

Upload five images, in JPG format, into your CallforEntry.org (CaFE) Portfolio. When filling out MCC's online application in CaFE, select images to submit in the order (1-5) that you wish them to be viewed (left to right).

Preparing Your Digital Images
Images must be saved in JPG format. The pixel dimension (horizontal or vertical) should be no smaller than 1920 pixels on the longest side of your image. The resolution size is a minimum of 72 ppi/dpi. The maximum file size is 3 MB. (Read tips on preparing your images.)

Panel review of work samples is anonymous. Therefore, neither your name, nor any information identifying commissions, awards, reviews, and/or presentations should appear on your work sample. Work samples will be tracked by title #1. Work completed prior to 2011 is ineligible.

DRAMATIC WRITING - Deadline: October 6, 2014

Work samples that do not adhere to the following guidelines will not be reviewed. Upload a file of a manuscript of 30 pages or less. You may include a single work, or up to four excerpts. Any additional pages will be discarded from the end of the manuscript. If you choose to include title pages, character lists, etc., keep in mind these will be counted as part of the 30 pages.

Works in progress are eligible. Work completed prior to 2011 in ineligible.

Panel review of work samples is anonymous. Therefore, neither your name, nor any information identifying commissions, awards, reviews, and/or presentations should appear on your manuscript. Work samples will be tracked by title #1.

Work samples must be:

  • Formatted using standard script format.
  • On 8 ½”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.
  • Page numbered and labeled with the manuscript title at the top or bottom of every page.
  • Uploaded as .doc, .docx, .pdf, .txt, or .rtf. (For best results, please be sure the file names contain no punctuation marks.)

SCULPTURE/INSTALLATION/NEW GENRES - Deadline: October 6, 2014

Applicants must select either five digital images OR up to three video files for submission to this category. Do not submit work samples in both media.

Work samples that do not adhere to the following guidelines will not be reviewed.

Work completed prior to 2011 is ineligible. Works in progress may be submitted.

Instructions for images
Upload five images, in JPG format, into your CallforEntry.org (CaFE) Portfolio. When filling out MCC's online application in CaFE, select images to submit in the order (1-5) that you wish them to be viewed (left to right).

Preparing Your Digital Images
Images must be saved in JPG format. The pixel dimension (horizontal or vertical) should be no smaller than 1920 pixels on the longest side of your image. The resolution size is a minimum of 72 ppi/dpi. The maximum file size is 3 MB. (Read tips on preparing your images.)

Instructions for Video
Upload up to three video files into your CallforEntry.org (CaFE) Portfolio. The total length of all video files should be no longer than 5 minutes total running time. (Read tips on preparing your videos.)

Panel review of work samples is anonymous. Therefore, neither your name, nor any information identifying commissions, awards, reviews, and/or presentations should appear within your work sample itself. Work samples will be tracked by title #1.

FILM & VIDEO - Deadline: January 26, 2015

Work samples that do not adhere to the following guidelines will not be reviewed. Submit two copies of a DVD with a sample or samples of recent work. You may include a single work, or up to four works or excerpts. Total running time must be 30 minutes or less. Please make sure your DVDs will work in a commercially available DVD player.

Works in progress are eligible. Work completed prior to 2011 is ineligible.

Label each DVD with title(s) of included work(s). Panel review of work samples is anonymous. Therefore, neither your name, nor any information identifying commissions, awards, reviews, and/or presentations, should appear on the surface of the DVDs or within the work itself. Work samples will be tracked by title #1.

The following types of work will not be accepted: instructional or corporate work, news programming, infomercials, and promo/resume reels.

Due to the volume of applications we receive, the MCC cannot return work samples. Please do not submit the sole copies.

MUSIC COMPOSITION  - Deadline: January 26, 2015

Work samples that do not adhere to the following guidelines will not be reviewed. Submit two copies of a CD of no more than 60 minutes playing time, with up to four tracks. Label the CD with title(s).

Panel review of work samples is anonymous. Therefore, neither your name, nor any information identifying the commissions, awards, reviews, names of ensembles or individual musicians, and/or presentations, should appear on your CDs or packaging, or in the scores and other accompanying paper materials. Work samples will be tracked by title #1.

Works in progress are eligible. Work completed prior to 2011 is ineligible.

Please note: if you do not have recorded copies of your composition(s) due to accessibility or financial issues, please contact MCC program staff to discuss.

Upload 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 ½”X11” pages.
  • Formatted with at least 1" margins on all sides.
  • Page numbered and labeled with the title of the corresponding composition at the top of every page.
  • Uploaded as .doc, .docx, .pdf, .txt, or .rtf. (For best results, please be sure the file names contain no punctuation marks.)
Due to the volume of applications we receive, the MCC cannot return work samples. Please do not submit the sole copies.

PHOTOGRAPHY - Deadline: January 26, 2015

Upload five images, in JPG format, into your CallforEntry.org (CaFE) Portfolio. When filling out MCC's online application in CaFE, select images to submit in the order (1-5) that you wish them to be viewed (left to right).

Preparing Your Digital Images
Images must be saved in JPG format. The pixel dimension (horizontal or vertical) should be no smaller than 1920 pixels on the longest side of your image. The resolution size is a minimum of 72 ppi/dpi. The maximum file size is 3 MB. (Read tips on preparing your images.)

Panel review of work samples is anonymous. Therefore, neither your name, nor any information identifying commissions, awards, reviews, and/or presentations should appear on your work sample. Work samples will be tracked by title #1. Work completed prior to 2011 is ineligible.

Application Receipt Notification
For delivery notification, mail your work sample(s) "return receipt requested" via the US Postal Service.

Review Process
After the application deadline, MCC convenes independent panels to review applications. Panels are composed of artists and arts professionals representing a range of aesthetic perspectives. The review process is anonymous to ensure impartial assessment of each applicant's work. Funding recommendations made by review panels are presented to the MCC board for final award decisions.

Return of Application Material
Due to the volume of application materials we receive, we regret that we are unable to return work samples. Please do not send sole and/or original copies.

Access Policy
The MCC is committed to access 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 MCC-funded programs. The Massachusetts Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity currently designates the following as underserved: African Americans, Asian Americans, Latin Americans, Native Americans, people with disabilities, Vietnam-era veterans, and women. The MCC also considers low-income communities, rural populations, and citizens over 65 years old as underserved. The MCC does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, or disability.

Conflict of Interest
To ensure that all MCC 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. MCC board 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 an MCC decision on his or her application if the applicant can demonstrate that the MCC 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 MCC's decision. If the applicant wishes to pursue a reconsideration, a request must be sent to the MCC's Executive Director, in writing, within 30 days of the MCC's notification to the applicant of its decision. All requests will go to the MCC's board for reconsideration no earlier than its next scheduled board meeting.

 
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