Home
Home
Massachusetts Cultural Council
About Us Staff Search
Artist Fellowships
Learn More About this Program
Application Instructions
Program Guidelines
Gallery@MCC
Funding List
FAQs
ArtSake Blog
Notable Past Fellows
Grant Contract Info
Contact MCC
 
   
 
Application Instructions > Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines - FY 2014

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.

For Traditional Arts applicants only: the purpose of the Traditional Arts category is to recognize artistic excellence within art forms that are deeply rooted in the traditional and ethnic cultures of Massachusetts. Therefore, the requirement that the work submitted be "original" does not apply.

Awards
The Artist Fellowships provide competitive grants of $10,000 and finalist awards of $500. 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: January 27, 2014.

Drawing, Poetry, and Traditional Arts
Online Application Available: August 15, 2013
Deadline: October 7, 2013.

Categories for the next (FY 2015) cycle will include: Crafts, Dramatic Writing, Sculpture/Installation, Film & Video, Music Composition, and Photography.

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) Drawing and Painting.
  • Only work samples submitted online will be accepted for Fiction/Creative Nonfiction and Poetry. (Work samples for Choreography and Traditional Arts will still need to be sent via postal mail.)

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 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. 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 generative 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.

In the Traditional Arts, there are two additional review criteria: authenticity, and significance to traditional community.

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

VISUAL ARTS CATEGORIES (Drawing and Painting)
  1. Register with our new system, and follow the prompts to upload at least five images to your portfolio. (Read tips on preparing your images.)

  2. Then complete the online application and be sure to "Checkout" (click "finalize entry") by 11:59pm on Monday, October 7, 2013 (Drawing) or Monday, January 27, 2014 (Painting).

  3. For Drawing and Painting: all work samples must be uploaded and submitted with your online application.

NON-VISUAL ARTS CATEGORIES (Choreography, Fiction/Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Traditional Arts)

  1. Create an individual profile, complete MCC's online application and click "Submit" by 11:59pm on Monday, October 7, 2013 (Poetry and Traditional Arts) or Monday, January 27, 2014 (Choreography, Fiction/Creative Nonfiction).

  2. For Poetry and Fiction/Creative Nonfiction: all work samples must be uploaded and submitted with your online application.

  3. For Choreography and Traditional Arts: 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 October 7, 2013 (Traditional Arts) or January 27, 2014 (Choreography) 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 (Drawing, Poetry, and Traditional Arts) or by early June (Choreography, Fiction/Creative Nonfiction, and Painting).

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.

DRAWING - Deadline: October 7, 2013
Upload five images, in JPG format, into your CallyforEntry.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 image (horizontal or vertical) must be 1920 pixels on the longest side or the online system won't accept them. The resolution size should be 72 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 2010 is ineligible.

POETRY - Deadline: October 7, 2013
Upload a file of a manuscript of 15 pages or less. You may include a single poem, or up to fifteen poems. Any additional pages will be discarded from the end of the manuscript.

Works in progress are eligible. Work completed prior to 2010 is 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:

  • On 8.5 x 11 in. pages.
  • Typed in Times, Helvetica, or equivalent font, no smaller than 12 point in size.
  • Formatted with at least 1 in. margins on all sides.
  • Page numbered
  • Uploaded as .doc, .pdf, .txt, or .rtf. (For .docx documents, please 'Save As' in .doc format. For best results, please be sure the file name contains no punctuation marks.)

TRADITIONAL ARTS - Deadline: October 7, 2013
Please submit the following materials in support of your Traditional Arts Artist Fellowship.

  1. Upload a file containing your Narrative. In up to two double-spaced pages, address the items below:
    • Name and describe the traditional art form that you practice.
    • Explain how you learned your traditional art.
    • Tell us about your audience/or people who buy your work. For whom is your traditional art made or performed?

  2. Recommendation letter from folklorist, practicing peer and/or member of community knowledgeable about your traditional art explaining why you deserve recognition. The recommendation letter should address the following:
    • Where does this person's work stand within the tradition?
    • Is he or she recognized as a master?
    • Does this person excel at the aesthetic standards within the tradition?
    Letters should be mailed in not uploaded online. Submit the original and one copy.

  3. Required work sample. Choose the category that best represents your work. We strongly recommend that you submit work created within the past four years.

Folk Craft
Submit FIVE digital images of your work. If possible, include an image that shows the place in which your work is created. Digital images must be a high resolution (at least 300 ppi), and print at least 4"x 6". In addition, up to three pieces of actual work may be submitted for review.

Music/Verbal Arts
Submit TWO COPIES of one sound recording (CD or DVD). Label it with title and length of the work, and cue it to your preferred starting point, if appropriate.

Dance/Ethnic Theater
Submit TWO COPIES of one DVD that best demonstrates the quality of your work. Label it with title and length of the work, and cue it to your preferred starting point. If you are part of an ensemble or a dance teacher, make clear who you are in the work sample.

Panelists may view some or all of any submitted material.

CHOREOGRAPHY – Deadline: January 27, 2014
Submit up to four works or excerpts (no longer than 30 minutes in total running time) on DVD (two copies).

Works in progress are eligible. Work completed prior to 2010 is ineligible.

Label the DVD with title(s) of work(s) submitted. Do not include credits or your name anywhere on the DVD. Due to the anonymous review process, all credits apart from the title(s) must be removed from the work, as well as its packaging.

Work samples will be tracked by title #1.

FICTION/CREATIVE NONFICTION - Deadline: January 27, 2014
Upload a file of a manuscript of 25 pages or less. You may include a single work, or up to four works or excerpts. Any additional pages will be discarded from the end of the manuscript.

Works in progress are eligible. Work completed prior to 2010 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:

  • On 8.5 x 11 in. pages.
  • Double-spaced and typed in Times, Helvetica, or equivalent font, no smaller than 12 point in size.
  • Formatted with at least 1 in. margins on all sides.
  • Page numbered
  • Uploaded as .doc, .pdf, .txt, or .rtf. (For .docx documents, please 'Save As' in .doc format. For best results, please be sure the file name contains no punctuation marks.)

PAINTING - Deadline: January 27, 2014
Upload five images, in JPG format, into your CallyforEntry.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 image (horizontal or vertical) must be 1920 pixels on the longest side or the online system won't accept them. The resolution size should be 72 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 2010 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
Applicants in Choreography or Traditional Arts who wish to have work samples returned through the mail must provide a self-addressed, stamped mailer or box with sufficient postage. The MCC assumes no responsibility for material lost or damaged during the review process or for shipping costs. To arrange pick-up of work samples, contact the Artists Department after grants are announced. Please call at least one business day before you wish to retrieve your work samples. All materials not claimed by July 31, 2014 will be discarded.

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.

 
     twitter icon     youtube icon     tumblr icon
© Massachusetts Cultural Council 2014