Showcasing the Arts


Emerging Artist Award Guidelines


FY2018 Guidelines
Visual Arts and Media Arts
Application Deadline: Feb. 22, 2017

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

Like all programs of the Kentucky Arts Council, the Emerging Artist Award is guided by the arts council’s core values. Successful applications will embody these core values, and all applicants are strongly encouraged to read and reflect upon them before submitting an application.

Core Values of the Kentucky Arts Council

Program Purpose

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


Who May Apply

Emerging professional artists, responsible for creating their own work, not interpreting the work of others or creating under the supervision of an instructor or mentor.

Kentucky Arts Council Definition of a Professional Artist

Program Description

Emerging Artist Awards are $1,000 awards given to emerging Kentucky artists who demonstrate a high level of excellence and creativity in their work. For the purposes of this program, the term “emerging artist” is defined as a professional artist who is in the early stages, up to 10 years, of his/her career. Emerging artists possess some professional experience (i.e. exhibitions, sales, contracted/paid performances, publications/readings, etc.), but may not yet have established reputations as artists. Emerging artist applicants may be graduating seniors in bachelor’s programs, graduate students or non-matriculating, early-stage, professional artists. Emerging Artist Awards are based primarily upon the quality of the work samples submitted by the artist. Awards are unrestricted and may be used in any way to enhance the artist's career.

Performance Expectations

Applications will be assessed using the following performance expectations.

  1. Artistic Excellence (90%)
  1. Professional Achievement (10%)

You may wish to refer to the Panelist Assessment Sheet to better understand how your application will be evaluated.

Work Samples

Work samples are the primary way that panelists assess artistic and professional quality. Please consider your choice of work samples carefully in relation to the program performance expectations. Be sure to also describe important points about the quality, scope and depth of your work in the application narrative. All work samples must be submitted as links on YouTube, SoundCloud, etc. Do not mail work samples; they will not be returned or forwarded to the panel for review. Work created collaboratively or under the supervision of a mentor or an instructor is not eligible for consideration.

The emerging artist program uses a “blind jury” process, meaning that applicants’ names are not revealed to the panel. Pay careful attention to the specific requirements for submitting work samples, including blocking out your name, address and any contact information on copies. Any application that includes the artist’s name or other identifying information in the application introduction and narrative, the work sample index or on submitted work samples will be ruled ineligible and will not be forwarded to the panel for review.

All work samples must demonstrate the discipline and subdiscipline indicated on the application. All work samples must have been completed within the past three calendar years. (For the visual arts application deadline of Feb. 22, 2017, all work samples must have been completed between February 1, 2014, and February 15, 2017; for the media arts application deadline of Feb. 22, 2017, all work samples must have been completed between February 1, 2013, and Feb. 15, 2017.) All applications must include a Work Sample Index, which is created by filling in the required information in the Work Sample Selection. You must create an entry for each work sample submitted.

Visual Arts
Visual arts subdisciplines include craft, drawing, installation, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. Upload 10 JPEG images of at least eight separate pieces of work. Up to two images may be detail shots from one or two of the work samples. Do not combine work samples in a single image unless the pieces are sets (e.g., necklace, earrings and bracelet; tea pot, cups and saucers).

Media Arts
Media arts subdisciplines are audio, film, video and technology/experimental. Upload links for up to three work samples in one subdiscipline. Total combined work sample length may not exceed 10 minutes.

Work Sample Preparation (


Program Timeline

Application deadline

Postmark deadline for submission of paper copy
of the application and attachments

Review of applications by panel

Arts council board reviews panel

Applicant notification

Grant agreement form due

Feb. 22, 2017

Feb. 24, 2017

April/May 2017

June 2017

As soon as possible after board meeting

Within 30 days of receipt of grant agreement form

Program Benefits

The arts council will offer the following support to ensure that Emerging Artist Award program standards and goals are met:

Application Deadline

Completed application forms must be submitted via the Kentucky Arts Council's online application system (KASOL) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern by Feb. 22, 2017. Upon online submission, the PDF version of the application will be available on your Member Page. Print and sign the application signature page in red ink and mail or deliver it to the arts council by Feb. 24, 2017. The PDF must be: 1) officially postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service, or 2) delivered by a shipping service (e.g., UPS, Federal Express, etc.) with a paid receipt on or before the deadline date, or 3) hand delivered to the arts council office no later than 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date. Packages dated with internal postage meters and applications sent by FAX or email will not be accepted. Please be aware that your post office may not automatically use a dated postmark. It is highly recommended that you request hand cancellation with the date included. Please note that, due to postal regulations, all packages weighing more than 13 ounces must be given directly to a postal clerk at a post office, not dropped in a postal box.

Note: An application will not be considered eligible until both the electronically submitted KASOL application and the signed, printed copy of the KASOL application have been received by the Kentucky Arts Council according to the deadlines listed above.

Accessing the online application

Click to download the application form. If you have Internet access and the latest version of Adobe Reader®, you can open the application through the arts council's website, fill it out and print the form using your computer. (Adobe Reader can be updated or downloaded free by visiting the Adobe website at

Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number

The arts council requires that all applicants have a DUNS number. Dun & Bradstreet keeps track of more than 70 million businesses worldwide through its Data Universal Numbering System. In recent years, the DUNS number has become increasingly important as an arts advocacy tool for both federal and state governments (e.g., the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kentucky Arts Council) and national arts organizations (e.g., Americans for the Arts). Organizations use data from DUNS number applications to demonstrate the power of the arts to stimulate economic activity and create jobs.

To learn more about the DUNS number, click below to visit the American for the Arts website:

To apply for your free DUNS number, click below to access the Dun & Bradstreet website:

NOTE: It may take up to thirty (30) days for your DUNS application to be processed. We recommend that you submit your application immediately.

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 year immediately before the application deadline (e.g., legal residency must have begun no later than Feb. 15, 2016 for applications due Feb. 22, 2017).

For proof of residency, applicants must submit a copy of two of the following at the time of application:

Panel Meeting

Panels of out-of-state, discipline-based arts professionals will review all emerging artist award applications according to the performance expectations.

Arts Council Board Meeting

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 an agreement with the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Agreements cannot be altered without prior approval from the arts council's executive director.

Grant agreements must be signed and returned within 30 days to initiate payment and all funds must be disbursed by the arts council by June 30, 2018. Funds are not available after this time.

Final Reports

All arts council grantees must submit a final report within 30 days of completion of the grant period. The final report form can be accessed on the Arts Council website. If a grantee fails to submit the required final report for any grant, the arts council will accept no future applications from the grantee, and the grantee’s entry in the online directory and all outstanding payments will be suspended until an acceptable final report is submitted.


There are no appeals in this program.

For More Information

The arts council welcomes all questions regarding this program. For more information, contact:

Tamara Coffey
Individual Artist Director
888-833-2787 (toll free)


Page last updated: June 6, 2017
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