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Springboard for the Arts is now offering a new fellowship for artists of color and Indigenous (POCI) artists, small artist run businesses and small artist collectives who have shown innovation in their work, made significant contributions to their field, and are working to build tools and pathways that support other artists.

“Springboard’s work is about supporting the full spectrum of creative capacity in our communities. Through this work, we know that there are artists who are creating valuable platforms and mechanisms in their communities, particularly indigenous artists and artists of color, whose ideas are not always resourced. We want to use this fellowship to support POCI artists who are improving conditions for other artists in their community. Our intention is to share our resources, connections and relationships to broaden the types of supports and opportunities available to the creative community” says Laura Zabel, executive director. “We know we don’t have a monopoly on the best ideas for how to support artists, so we need to support artists who are creating the services that are relevant to their communities.”

20/20 Artist Fellowships are unrestricted $20,000 cash awards accompanied by $5,000 professional development stipends to allow POCI artists from any discipline the agency to decide how to use the funding in support of themselves, their businesses, communities and independent creative practices, and do not require recipients to create projects or exhibit artwork. Springboard for the Arts will award two 20/20 Artist Fellowships in 2018-2019.

The 20/20 Artist Fellowship exists to support artists creating community-centered and asset-based solutions to the systemic and structural disadvantages that are facing artists of color and Native artists in Minnesota. This program aims to 1) strengthen support for POCI artists in the community in meaningful ways, 2) broaden public interest in and understanding of Indigenous, Black, Brown and Asian cultural art products and producers, 3) create new pathways for POCI artists to work towards their larger goals as creative professionals and valued community members, 4) address the persistent economic and racial disparities in the commercial and philanthropic art world, and 5) support POCI artists doing work to build equity, agency, systems and power across our cities, towns and neighborhoods.

Candidates for 20/20 Artist Fellowships are identified through an open nomination process, artists may nominate themselves or refer other candidates anonymously through Springboard’s nomination committee. All qualified nominations receive equal consideration. Applications go through a two-panel peer review process and awardees are selected by a jury of artists and art supporters. The application period is open for 90 days and fellows are announced each Spring.

The 20/20 Artist Fellowship will be offered yearly through 2020 and is supported in part by contributions from the Bush Foundation and the Surdna Foundation. The fellowship is a new part of Springboard’s Artist Resources programs, which are supported by the Jerome Foundation.

“The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them to think bigger and think differently about problem solving in their communities,” says Erik Takeshita, Community Creativity Portfolio Director for the Bush Foundation. “We are excited to be partnering with Springboard for the Arts to support artists as leaders and changemakers in their communities.”

Eligible candidates for 20/20 Artist Fellowship, an artist must:

  1. Be a person of Indigenous/Native American, Latino/a, Asian, Arab/Middle Eastern or African descent

  2. Be 18 years of age or older

  3. Be eligible to receive taxable income in Minnesota

  4. Have been living or working in Minnesota for the last two years

  5. Not have received Fellowship awards from Springboard in the past

A final determination of eligibility is made by Springboard on a case by case basis. Once an artist is nominated, she/he/they are contacted by fellowship officials and invited to complete an online application. During the open nomination period, artists can choose to attend information sessions to ask questions about the fellowship or receive feedback on their applications. Questions can also be sent via email to: Applications and Nominations for 2018 will be open through March 10, with fellows announced in April.

For more information about 20/20 Artist Fellowship, artist eligibility and application process, visit: