Showcasing the Arts

FY2025 Individual Artist Fellowship and Emerging Artist Award

Media Arts, Musical Composition & Songwriting

Application Deadline: March 15, 2024, 11:59 p.m. Eastern

Grant Period: July 1, 2024-June 15, 2025

The Kentucky Arts Council strongly encourages you to read and understand the Individual Artist Fellowship and Emerging Artist Award guidelines before accessing the application.

Like all programs of the Kentucky Arts Council, these programs are guided by the arts council’s core values. Successful applications will embody these core values, and all applicants are strongly encouraged to read them carefully before submitting your application.

Core Values of the Kentucky Arts Council

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Individual Artist Fellowship program is to support professional, established Kentucky artists engaged in creating artwork of high quality and to recognize creative excellence.

The purpose of the Emerging Artist Award program is to support professional, early-stage Kentucky artists engaged in creating artwork of high quality and to recognize creative excellence.

Goals

The primary goal of the Individual Artist Fellowship program is to directly support the advancement and continuation of Kentucky artists' careers and creative work. The program seeks to provide public recognition and acknowledgement of Kentucky artists creating work of high artistic merit.

The primary goal of the Emerging Artist Award program is to directly support the advancement and continuation of early-stage Kentucky artists' careers and creative work.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply to the Individual Artist Fellowship or Emerging Artist Award program, an applicant must:

  • Be a legal, full-time resident of Kentucky
  • Remain a legal, full-time resident of Kentucky for the duration of the grant period
  • Be at least 21 years of age at the time of application for the Individual Artist Fellowship and at least 18 years of age at the time of application for the Emerging Artist Award
  • Be a professional, working artist, responsible for creating original work, not interpreting the work of others or creating under the guidance of an instructor or mentor

Residency Requirements

Applicants must be United States citizens, lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence or have permission from the Department of Homeland Security to work permanently in the U.S.

Applicants must have been legal Kentucky residents for a period of at least one full year immediately prior to the application deadline (i.e., legal Kentucky residency must have begun by March. 15, 2023, for applications due March 15, 2024).

Fellowship and emerging artist award recipients will be required to provide the Kentucky Arts Council with two proofs of residency before payments will be issued. Acceptable proofs of residency are:

  • Kentucky driver’s license or Commonwealth of Kentucky identification card that includes the date issued and expiration date (Note: The arts council will not accept both a Kentucky driver’s license and a Commonwealth of Kentucky identification card as the required two proofs of residency.)
  • A screen shot of Kentucky voter registration verification from the State Board of Elections’ Voter Information Center website at https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/VIC/)
  • 2022 or 2023 Kentucky state income tax form (740 series form for full-year residents)
  • A copy of a Kentucky utility bill (electric, gas or water) from Jan. or Feb. 2024 that includes the applicant’s name and current address

Program Description

The Individual Artist Fellowship is a highly competitive $7,500 award given to working, professional Kentucky artists who have achieved a high level of excellence and creativity in their work and who have demonstrated significant achievement in their field. Fellowships are based upon the quality of the work samples submitted by the artist. Fellowship awards are unrestricted and may be used in any way to enhance the artist's career.

The Emerging Artist Award is a competitive $1,000 award given to working, professional Kentucky artists who are in the early years of their career (usually the first 10 years of their professional artistic life) and who have achieved a level of excellence and creativity in their work. Emerging Artist Awards are determined by the quality of work samples submitted by the artist. Emerging Artist Awards are unrestricted and may be used in any way to enhance the artist's career.

The FY2025 Individual Artist Fellowship and Emerging Artist Award program is open for applications in the following disciplines and subdisciplines:

Media Arts

  • Audio
  • Experimental
  • Film
  • Video

Music Composition, Songwriting

  • Band (does not include jazz or popular)
  • Chamber (music with only one musician to a part)
  • Choral
  • Ethnic/Folk (music rooted in a particular culture, tradition or place)
  • Jazz
  • New (including experimental, electronic)
  • Popular (including blues, country, hip hop, rock, etc.)
  • Solo/Recital
  • Orchestral (symphonic and chamber orchestra)

Assessment

Applications will be assessed using the following criteria:

Artistic Excellence:
  • Artistic skill and technique (30 points)
  • Creativity (30 points)
  • Demonstration of a cohesive body of work (15 points)
  • Originality/individuality (25 points)

The fellowship and award programs use a “blind jury” process, meaning that applicants’ names and other personal information are not revealed to the panel. Applicants must exclude their name and other identifying information from the artist statement, list of awards/recognitions, list of presentations/screening, on work samples, in work sample information, work sample titles or metadata. Panelists must be able to easily access work samples. Work samples that cannot be easily accessed will be removed from consideration. Work samples that require the use of passwords or other security measures will be removed from consideration.

Work samples must support the selected discipline and subdiscipline. Applicants must submit work completed within the past three full calendar years and up to the application deadline (i.i., for the application deadline of March 15, 2024, eligible work must have been created between Jan. 1, 2021, and March 15, 2024.)

Restrictions

  • Applicants may apply only with work samples over which they had complete creative control.
  • Works based on appropriated images or music are not allowed.
  • Applicants may apply in only one discipline and subdiscipline per application year. All work samples submitted must be representative of the selected discipline and subdiscipline.
  • Students currently enrolled in a degree or certificate-granting educational program at the time of application, other than those in the final year of their college or university degree program, are not eligible.
  • Work created solely for commercial or instructional purposes is not eligible.
  • Multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary or multi-category applications are not eligible.
  • Applicants with past due final reports for any Kentucky Arts Council program are not eligible.
  • Work created by collaborations or teams is not eligible.
  • Applicants may submit only one application for either the Individual Artist Fellowship or the Emerging Artist Award per application year and must designate their preference on their application.
  • Program recipients may receive no more than two Individual Artist Fellowships and three Emerging Artist Awards in their lifetime
  • Individual Artist Fellowship recipients must wait at least 10 years before applying for a second fellowship (e.g., a FY2015 Individual Artist Fellowship recipient is eligible to apply at the March. 15, 2024, deadline for a FY2025 fellowship).
  • Individual Artist Fellowship recipients may not apply for an Emerging Artist Award.
  • Emerging Artist Award recipients must wait at least four years before applying for an additional Emerging Artist Award or an Individual Artist Fellowship (e.g., a FY2021 Emerging Artist Award recipient is eligible to apply for a FY2025 Emerging Artist Award or a FY2025 Individual Artist Fellowship).
  • Per the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 with expanded criminal penalties in the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, 2010 amendment, it is illegal to offer or display for sale, or sell, any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization, within the United States. Under the Act, a Native American is defined as a member of any federally or officially State recognized tribe of the United States, or an individual certified as a Native American artisan by a Native American tribe.

Note: If submitting authentic Native American work, you must submit with your application a copy of your membership card or certification as a Native American artisan from a federally- or state-recognized Native American Indian tribe, band, nation or organized group or community.

Program Timeline

Application deadline: March 15, 2024, 11:59 p.m. Eastern

Application review by panel: May 2024

Kentucky Arts Council board reviews panel recommendations: June 2024

Applicant notification: After July 1

Grant Agreement Form due: Within 30 days of receipt of Grant Agreement Form

Final report due: July 30, 2025

Program Benefits

  • Public announcements of fellowship recipients.
  • $7,500 unrestricted cash award for Individual Artist Fellowship recipients.
  • $1,000 unrestricted cash award for Emerging Artist Award recipients.
  • Individual Artist Fellowship recipients may be eligible to apply to the Kentucky Peer Advisory Network (KPAN) program for consultations about art business issues.
  • Individual Artist Fellowship recipients are invited to participate in other special initiatives as available.

Application Deadline

The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern on March 15, 2024. Note: The application can take several minutes to upload and closes at exactly 11:59 p.m. Eastern. The arts council strongly advises that applicants submit early. Following the deadline, each application will be reviewed by the program director, who may contact the applicant if clarification is needed.

Panel Meeting

A panel of out-of-state, discipline-based arts professionals will review all eligible fellowship applications according to the performance expectations. Kentucky Arts Council staff do not participate in the panel process and have no input into panel discussion or award decisions.

The arts council reserves the right not to award an Individual Artist Fellowship or Emerging Artist Award due to funding availability, when fewer than five applications are received by the deadline or as a result of low panel scores.

Arts Council Board

The panel’s recommendations are forwarded to the arts council’s governing board for approval.

Grant Agreements

Applicants who are approved for funding enter into a legal agreement with the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Agreements cannot be altered without prior approval from the Kentucky Arts Council.

Grant agreements must be signed and returned within 30 days to initiate payment. Award payments will be issued within 30 days of receipt of the signed grant agreement form. All funds for this program must be disbursed by the arts council and deposited by the awardee no later than June 1, 2025. Funds are not available after this time.

Recipients concerned about tax liability should consult an accountant. The Kentucky Arts Council is not able to provide tax advice or information.

Affirmative Duty to Report Major Organizational Change

All grantees must promptly notify the Kentucky Arts Council in writing of any significant changes that could affect services provided under the grant contract, including changes to the recipient’s physical or mailing address, phone number or email address.

Crediting Requirement

Grantees are required to clearly acknowledge support from the Kentucky Arts Council, including on publications and websites and in social media posts by including the KAC logo and acknowledgement line. The appropriate credit line for the Individual Artist Fellowship is:

"In recognition of artistic excellence, {NAME OF ARTIST} is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, which is supported by state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts."

The appropriate credit line for the Emerging Artist Award is:

"In recognition of artistic excellence, {NAME OF ARTIST} is the recipient of an Emerging Artist Award from the Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, which is supported by state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts."

In addition, each recipient is responsible for contacting their legislators to share information about their award and the importance of public funds to the arts. Copies of each letter must be sent to the Kentucky Arts Council by email or U.S. Post no later than Aug. 30, 2024. To locate names and contact information for your legislators visit the Legislative Research Commission’s Find Your Legislator webpage. A sample letter is available on the Kentucky Arts Council website. http://artscouncil.ky.gov/KAC/Applications/sampleLegislatorLetters.htm

Final Reports

All arts council grantees must submit a final report within 30 days of completion of the grant period. The grant period for the fellowship will be July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025. Final reports will be due by July 30, 2025. To access the final report, login to your GO Smart account.

Appeals

There are no appeals in this program.

Application Instructions

The arts council recommends using Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Firefox to complete your application. Do not type in all CAPITAL letters.

Carefully review the program guidelines and instructions before beginning your application.

Submission of the application indicates that you have read and understand all guidelines and application instructions but does not guarantee eligibility or that all guideline requirements have been met.

The Individual Artist Fellowship and Emerging Artist Award are competitive programs. Not all applicants will be awarded funding.

Kentucky Vendor Number

A Kentucky Vendor Number is required of all applicants for an Individual Artist Fellowship. Apply for a free Kentucky Vendor Number prior to beginning your application by completing the EZ Kentucky Vendor Registration application and faxing or emailing it to 502-564-5319 or finance.crcgroup@ky.gov.

Applications submitted without a valid Kentucky Vendor Number will be ruled ineligible.

The Finance and Administration Cabinet manages the Kentucky Vendor Number. All questions about registration must be addressed to the Cabinet’s Customer Resource Center by calling 502-564-9641 or emailing finance.crcgroup@ky.gov.

Accessing the online application

Applications for this program are made through Kentucky Arts Council’s GO Smart application system at https://kyarts.gosmart.org/. If you have not used the Kentucky Arts Council’s GO Smart system, you must first set up a profile. Once established, your profile remains in the system for future applications. Be sure to keep your username and password in an easy to access location for future use. If you have applied to the Kentucky Arts Council in the past three years, you may already have a profile. Do not create a duplicate profile.

Fields noted with an asterisk (*) are required.

Profile

* Profile Type: Select Individual Artist.

Enter your first name, last name, phone and email, then create your username and password. (Save your username and password in a safe place for future use.)

Click Save Work on the bottom of each page to ensure your work is not lost.

After clicking Save Work, the page will refresh to include additional fields:

*Legal Name: Enter your name as it appears on your birth certificate or Social Security card.

*Address: Enter your Kentucky mailing address

*Artist Description: Select Individual Artist.

* Applicant Discipline: Select Media Arts, Musical Composition or Songwriting and then select the appropriate subdiscipline.

* Congressional district/state legislative districts: Enter your current district numbers. Find your congressional district at https://www.house.gov and your state legislative districts at https://legislature.ky.gov/Pages/index.aspx or check your Kentucky Voter Registration at https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/VIC/ where you’ll find all three district numbers.

Click the reCAPTCHA box. GO Smart will take you back to the grant system’s main page.

Completing the Application

Select Current Programs and Applications and scroll down to Individual Artist Fellowship and Emerging Artist Award 2025. Click Start to open the application. GO Smart allows applicants to save and close their application then return to it later as time permits by selecting Edit under the application name.

Use the menu on the upper left of each page or the Previous and Next buttons at the bottom of each page to navigate through the application. Remember to always click the Save button before moving on to avoid losing work.

Applicant Information

The Applicant Information page will be viewed by the Kentucky Arts Council only. Panelists will not see this page.

Fields with an asterisk (*) are required.

Select either the Individual Artist Fellowship or Emerging Artist Award at the top of the page.

* Applicant Name: Enter your legal name.

Also known as: Enter your name as you would like it to be announced if you receive a fellowship.

* County: Enter the name of the Kentucky county in which you reside.

* Kentucky Vendor Number: Enter the number you received when you registered in the Kentucky Vendor Self Service System.

* Biography: Enter a brief biography. Awardee biographies may be used by the arts council to announce the fellowship award. Panelists will not have access to applicant biographies.

Artistic Excellence

The Artistic Excellence page of the application will be reviewed by the panel. Do not include your name or other identifying information in this section.

* Artist Statement: Enter a brief overview of your current work including artistic inspiration and philosophy, evolution of style, current directions, influences, your reason for creating in your discipline, etc. Artist statements must be written in first person. However, do not include information that may identify you.

* List of Awards/Recognitions: Enter a short list of up to 10 awards and recognitions from the past five years. Include the date and name of the award or recognition, the name of the presenting organization and its location, etc. You may include a short summary paragraph of your important awards from earlier in your career. For example:

  • Jan. 29, 2023, My Best Film So Far, Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT
  • Dec. 11, 2022, My Best Film So Far, Best Director, Boston Society of Film Critics, Boston, MA
  • July 15, 2018, Emerging Artist Award in Fiction, Kentucky Arts Council, Frankfort, KY
  • OR

  • Jan.22, 2021, My New Song, Song of the Year, Regional Music Awards, Cleveland, OH
  • July 1, 2020, The Next Composition, Emerging Artist Award, Kentucky Arts Council, Frankfort, KY

* List of Readings/Presentations: Enter a short list of up to 10 public screenings or performances from the past five years. Include the date, name and location of each. You may include a short summary paragraph including important screenings and presentations from earlier in your career. Songwriters should include dates of performances or recordings, if applicable. For example:

  • April 24, 2023, Screening of My Best Film So Far, Anchorage Film Festival, Screening Room, Anchorage, AK
  • OR

  • Oct. 15-30, 2023, recording sessions with full band, My Favorite Studio, Sarasota, FL

Work Sample Selection

Work samples are the primary means by which panelists assess artistic and professional quality. Carefully consider your choice of work samples in relation to the program’s application criteria. Applicants who are unsure about the eligibility of their work samples must contact the program manager at least two weeks prior to submitting their application.

Pay careful attention to the specific requirements for submitting work samples and other information. All applicants must include links to two to three work samples. Work samples must total no more than 15 minutes in length combined. Passwords and similar work sample protections are not allowed. Applications with protected work samples will be ruled ineligible and will not be reviewed.

Musical composition and songwriting applicants must include a separate link to each work sample and upload corresponding written music as scores or lead sheets. Songwriters and jazz composers may instead upload a document that includes instrumental notations.

Media arts applicants must include a separate link to each work sample.

Naming work sample files: Work sample file names should begin with the application number followed by the title of the work. The application number is located at the top of each application page. For example, if your application number is 001 and your work sample is called Composition 1, your file name will be 001_Composition 1.

Do not include your name or other identifying information on your work samples, embedded metadata, work sample file names or work sample information. An application submitted with identifying information in any of these areas will be ruled ineligible.

Add the required work samples by following instructions on the Work Sample Selection page. Musical Composition and Songwriting work samples will require two steps, a link to the audio sample and an upload of a PDF or Word version of the written music on an 8.5 inches x 11 inches document with a white background using 11- to 12-point font.

Work sample information: Applicants must include the following information about each work sample—name of work; date completed or, if new and incomplete, the date begun; the length of the full piece (minutes: seconds, e.g., 04:10); the length of the submitted work sample (03:00); the starting point for panelists to listening or viewing (00:15) and the ending point (03:15); and any notes of significance on the work sample.

Signature

Read the certification statement. By typing your name, you are certifying that you have read and understand the program guidelines and requirements and that your application is true and correct to the best of your knowledge.

Submit

Applicants are strongly advised to review their applications before submitting them. Click on PDF at the bottom of the page to view your application.

Once the application is submitted, GO Smart will redirect to a page confirming submission and you will receive an email confirming that your application has been received. A PDF of your application will be attached to the email for your files.

If you do not receive confirmation within 15 minutes, contact the program director immediately. Applications not properly submitted by the March 15, 11:59 p.m. Eastern deadline will be deemed ineligible. It can take several minutes for the application to submit, and applicants are strongly advised to submit applications at least 10 minutes before the deadline.

Remember to mail, email or Dropbox your two proofs of Kentucky residency to the program manager using the contact information below.

Questions?

  1. Stop by during Zoom Office Hours
  2. Attend a Zoom Application Workshop
  3. Contact the program manager: