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American Composers Forum

McKnight Composer Fellowships

Location: MN — Twin Cities Metro
Type: Grant / Fellowship / Award

Deadline: 12/01/2023

Other Criteria:
Open to artists statewide
Paid opportunity (25,000)


Founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists and culture bearers thrive, the McKnight Foundation’s arts and culture program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Support for individual working Minnesota artists and culture bearers has been a cornerstone of the program since it began in 1982. The McKnight Artist & Culture Bearer Fellowships Program provides annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in 15 different creative disciplines. Program partner organizations administer the fellowships and structure them to respond to the unique challenges of different disciplines. Currently, the foundation contributes about $2.8 million per year to its statewide fellowships. For more information, visit

The American Composers Forum encourages applicants from the full range of musical approaches and perspectives, and is committed to supporting a diverse pool of artists who demonstrate compelling artistic work. Accordingly, awards for our programs will represent, as far as possible, artists and projects that are diverse in creative methodology, gender, race, ethnicity, and geography.

The Purpose of the McKnight Artist and Culture Bearers Fellowships as Described by the McKnight Foundation

The intent of the McKnight Artist and Culture Bearers Fellowship is to recognize and support artists and culture bearers who are beyond emerging and have sustained experience in their area of practice. Fellows demonstrate achievement, commitment, and high level proficiency in artistic and/or culture bearer practice that contributes to their field and impacts and benefits people in Minnesota.


Four fellowships of $25,000 in unrestricted funds will be awarded. Awards are subject to state and federal income tax guidelines.

Funds are distributed across four installments.

Fellows also have an opportunity to attend an artist residency program coordinated by the Artist Communities Alliance ( within two years of the fellowship program.

Fellows have an opportunity to present their work as part of an ACF-produced showcase event.

Consultation, time, and resources from ACF.

Consultation, time, and resources from Springboard for the Arts (


ONLINE APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, December 1, 2023 (11:59 PM Central)

Please note: ACF is intentional in its interchangeable use of the terms artist, music creator, and composer, as we recognize not everyone identifies themselves by one of these terms.

To view the complete application guidelines as a separate document, please go to


ACF will select four music creators based in Minnesota to support their continuing artistic practice.

There are no restrictions on how each music creator makes use of the funds.


You have or maintain Minnesota residency for at least one year prior to application and for the duration of the fellowship year.

You have a US Social Security Number or US Tax ID.

You are beyond early practice and have sustained experience in your discipline.

You demonstrate achievement, commitment, and high level proficiency in music creation practice.

For former McKnight fellows applying after the five year sit period: You demonstrate growth and ongoing artistry since your most recent McKnight Artist Fellowship.

You have not applied to a McKnight Artist Fellowship in any artistic discipline within the past year.

You have not been a recipient of a McKnight Artist Fellowship within any artistic discipline in the last five award years. Recipients of 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 McKnight Fellowships in any discipline are not eligible. 2018 fellows are eligible to apply again for 2024 fellowship awards. Past fellows can search on the McKnight Artists Fellowship webpage ( to confirm their award year.

You are not staff, board, or immediate family of the McKnight Foundation or fellowship administrative partners (including ACF). The partners are shown here:

You are not enrolled full-time in an academic program. (Low-Residency MFA students, and Ph.D. and DMA candidates who have completed all requirements except their dissertation, are not considered “full-time” students.)


The American Composers Forum encourages applicants to contact ACF staff to ask questions and discuss potential applications. For general questions regarding the McKnight Composer Fellowship program applications, please contact Oswald Huỳnh, Manager of Artist Support, at