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Application Instructions > Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines - FY 2017

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 $12,000 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

There are two deadlines each fiscal year.

Apply online in one of the following categories:

Deadline: October 3, 2016. Grants announced by February 2017

Film & Video, Music Composition, and Photography
Online Application Available: December 15, 2016
Application Deadline: January 23, 2017
Grants announced by June 2017

Categories for the next (FY 2018) cycle will include: Drawing & Printmaking, Poetry, Traditional Arts, Choreography, Fiction/Creative Nonfiction, and Painting.

For more information, please refer to the Discipline Definitions.

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 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. 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.

  • Except in the case of Traditional Arts, applicants should be artists who create original work, as opposed to those who interpret or translate 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 (with the exceptional of Traditional Arts), 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

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 the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s online application system.

All applications and accompanying work samples must be submitted by 11:59 PM on the deadline day. Late submissions will not be accepted. You will receive an email confirmation when your application is submitted. If you do not receive the email confirmation, contact MCC staff.

Applicants will be informed by email of final grant decisions by early February (for October deadline) or by early June (for January deadline).

Each discipline has different instructions for submitting work samples, so please read carefully.

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 3, 201
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) cannot be 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.

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 2013 is ineligible.

DRAMATIC WRITING - Deadline: October 3, 2016
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 2013 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.
  • 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 3, 2016
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 2013 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) cannot be 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.

Instructions for Video

Upload up to three video files into your CallforEntry.org (CaFE) Portfolio. The total length of all video files cannot be longer than 5 minutes total running time.

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 23, 2017
Work Sample instructions to come

MUSIC COMPOSITION - Deadline: January 23, 2017
Work Sample instructions to come

PHOTOGRAPHY - Deadline: January 23, 2017
Work Sample instructions to come

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.

Accessibility and Non-Discrimination Policy
The MCC 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 MCC programs and services.

The MCC 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.

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

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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