Iowa Artist Fellowship Program
The Iowa Arts Council is committed to recognizing the impact individual artists, filmmakers, musicians, and creative writers have on the vitality of the arts in Iowa. The Artist Fellowship Program provides support to individuals who demonstrate exceptional creativity in the arts and the capacity for continued contributions to the excellence and innovation of the arts in the state. The Artist Fellowship Program seeks to elevate the arts in Iowa by advancing the artistic careers of Iowa artists, filmmakers, musicians and creative writers through funding and professional development. Fellowship recipients exemplify the following program priorities:
- Excellence & Innovation – Applicant capitalizes on new, emerging methods or trends in their field, achieving artistic vision through unique and highly creative means in concept and form
- Career Readiness – Applicant is at a pivotal stage in artistic career and is committed to advancing to the next level
- Public Value – Applicant contributes to the vitality of arts in Iowa by actively creating and presenting new work that is accessible to Iowans
Funding for the Artist Fellowship Program is made possible by an annual appropriation from the Iowa Legislature to the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Applicants must adhere to the funding policies of the Iowa Arts Council and federal government through 2 CFR Part 200.
Applying to the Artist Fellowship Program is a two-step process. All applicants must submit a round one application. Finalists will be selected from round one to advance to a second round of review at which time they will be invited to submit a round two application.
March 15, 2021 – Round One Application Deadline
The deadline to submit an online round one application to the program is 11:59 p.m., March 15, 2021.
April 1, 2021 – Invitation to Submit a Round Two Application
Applicants invited to submit a second-round application to the program will be notified by April 1, 2021. An invitation to submit a second round application is neither a guarantee of funding nor an endorsement of the applicant by the Iowa Arts Council or Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. All applicants will be notified of their status at this time.
May 3, 2021 – Round Two Application Deadline for Invited Applicants
The deadline to submit an invitation only, second round online application to the program is 11:59 p.m., May 3, 2021.
June 30, 2021 – Award Decision Notification
Applicants will be notified of funding decisions via email by June 30, 2021.
July 1, 2021–June 30, 2022 – Funding Period
Fellowship recipients are required to use the grant award and participate in all programmatic activities during the fiscal year 2022 fellowship funding period of July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022.
August 1, 2022 – Final Report Deadline
Fellowship recipients are required to complete a final report by August 1, 2022.
The Artist Fellowship Program is a partnership between the Iowa Arts Council and selected fellows. Fellows are expected to fully engage in the professional development and networking opportunities provided, as well as to utilize the integrated funding and promotional resources offered over the course of the fellowship period.
The Artist Fellowship Program seeks to support professional, active Iowa artists, filmmakers, musicians and creative writers at a pivotal stage who are committed to advancing their artistic career. Applicants are expected to demonstrate why now is the appropriate time in their artistic career for the one-time award.
The Artist Fellowship Program is not an award to support a specific art project, an award of recognition for lifetime achievements nor is it an award for artists just beginning their careers.
Fellows are provided financial support for the development of their artistic career and to enhance their capacity for creative work, including:
- Grant Award – Fellows are awarded a $10,000 grant for the fellowship award period.
Fellows are regularly convened during the fellowship period to receive professional development to elevate their artistic careers, including:
- Iowa Artist Professional Development Program – Fellows are required to virtually participate in an Iowa Artist Professional Development Program presented by Strategic Planning Partners, one of the nation’s leading providers of professional development for artists. The intensive workshop integrates business management, strategic planning, fundraising, communication, marketing and promotion training for artistic careers.
- Panelist Program – Fellows serve as panelists on the Iowa Arts Council‘s review panels over the course of the fellowship year. The panelist program provides the opportunity for fellows to develop their grant writing skills by offering expert citizen advice on arts activity taking place across the state.
Fellows are provided opportunities during the fellowship period to be recognized for the impact and value of their work, including:
- Meet the Artist Events – Fellows are required to participate in Meet the Artist events to introduce their work to new audiences.
- Artist Fellowship Videos – Fellows are featured in a group video documenting the impact of the program and an individual video highlighting their individual work.
- Social Media – Fellows are highlighted in department social media platforms over the fellowship year and on an ongoing basis afterwards.
*The department will adapt programs based on CDC guidance for the public health emergency.
Applicant Eligibility Requirements
Eligible applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Individuals who do not meet these requirements are not eligible to apply.
- Individual artist, filmmaker, musician or creative writer
- Legal Iowa resident as defined by Iowa Code 422.4 and Iowa Administrative Code 701.38.17 (422)
- 21 years of age or older
- Full-time Iowa resident physically located in Iowa since March 15, 2018
- Full-time Iowa resident physically located in Iowa for the duration of the funding period
The following types of entities are not eligible to apply:
- Past recipients of the Iowa Arts Council Artist Fellowship
- Individuals enrolled in any type of undergraduate or graduate degree granting program on March 15, 2021
- Individuals who have been physically located or residing out of state for any of the 3 consecutive years immediately prior to March 15, 2021
- Only individuals can apply; artist groups, artist collaboratives and artist collectives are not eligible
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grantees with an outstanding final report or placement on a department funding moratorium
Iowa Arts Council Administered Program Eligibility
- Eligible artists can only receive one Artist Fellowship award in their lifetime
- Eligible applicants may only receive one grant award per state fiscal year regardless of grant program
- Applicants may not submit more than one application during a single grant deadline or cycle regardless of grant program
- Eligible artists may only receive a Resilience Grant, Greenlight Grant, or Artist Fellowship in a single fiscal year
Eligible applicants to the Artist Fellowship Program must be originating, non-interpretive artists working in any artistic discipline(s) including visual arts, performing arts, filmmaking, music, or creative writing. Originating artists create original works of art (e.g. visual artists, playwrights, composers or choreographers). Interpretive artists perform or interpret original works of art of others (e.g. dancers, actors or performers).
Applications are encouraged from all applicants that meet the applicant eligibility requirements; however, priority will be placed on applications from individuals that represent populations that have historically been under-resourced by arts and cultural funding due to geography, gender, race/ethnicity, disability, or socioeconomic status as defined in the fiscal year 2022 grant strategy.
Online Application Submission
Applicants must submit applications via the Iowa Arts Council’s SlideRoom, an online application portal. Applications will not be accepted in any other format. Late, incomplete or ineligible applications will not be accepted. Applicants can access the current online application requirements at iowaartscouncil.slideroom.com. Applicants must create a login to view the full application requirements for the program. Applicants can visit help.liaisonedu.com for SlideRoom assistance related to the online submission.
Round One Application Review Process
Department Eligibility Review
Submitted round one applications are reviewed by staff for completion, eligibility and adherence to published guidelines. Round one applications are reviewed as submitted. New information or subsequent clarification submitted after a program deadline is not considered. Staff will also review an applicant’s record of compliance and good standing with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, State and Federal government. Round one applications or applicants determined by staff to be ineligible or incomplete will not be submitted for panel review and are specifically denied any appeals process.
Competitive Panel Review
Applicants submitting round one applications determined to be eligible will be referred to a competitive first round review by a panel with appropriate expertise commensurate to the purpose of the grant program. Round one applications are reviewed and ranked based on the published scoring rubric. The panel will select competitive applicants to submit a second round application to the program based on the ranking from the initial pool of round one applicants. Decisions of the panel are final and may not be appealed due to dissatisfaction.
Applicants will be notified of finalist decisions via email by April 1, 2021. Applicants are notified of the status of their application whether they are or are not selected to be a finalist. Applicants will be contacted if any additional information is required and are encouraged to refrain from contacting staff for application status updates until finalist decisions are made.