MENTOR ARTIST FELLOWSHIP OPEN CALL
ABOUT THE NACF MENTOR ARTIST FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM:
The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s (NACF) Mentor Artist Fellowship is a regional individual artist project award that focuses on artistic mentoring in the Upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and Southwest regions. The Fellowship is open to eligible, established American Indian and Alaska Native artists of 10 years or more who want to mentor an emerging American Indian or Alaska Native artist apprentice in either the Traditional or Contemporary Visual Arts categories for a period of fifteen months.
The Mentor Artist Fellowship’s goal is to improve creative development, artistic rigor, and intergenerational cultural and traditional knowledge perpetuation by fostering the growth of Native artist mentors and apprentices and empowering them to play an integral role in their communities. Read more about the fellowship program and view previous awardees here.
The mentoring period is a 15-month period beginning April 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021. Prior to and during mentoring, mentors and apprentices will be required to participate in a training session and several professional development online workshops. Target timeframes for the training and workshops are as follows:
- January 2020—Online Workshop (Session I)
- February/March 2020—Mentor and Apprentice Training (Session II)
- September/October 2020—Online Workshop (Session III)
- February/March 2021—Online Workshop (Session IV)
To demonstrate the experience and success of the mentoring, a completed joint mentor and apprentice art project is required at the end of the fellowship period and is to be shared in a community engagement event or activity.
The Mentor Artist Fellowship is a $30,000 award distributed to the mentor artist. The award will be divided as follows: $20,000 for the mentor, $5,000 for the joint art project, and $5,000 for the apprentice’s participation (travel expenses, supplies, stipend, etc.)
MENTOR ARTISTS ELIGIBILE TO APPLY:
Mentor Artist Fellowship applicants must:
- Be enrolled in a federally or state-recognized American Indian tribe or Alaska Native corporation that is located in one of the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Southern California (Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties), Washington, or Wisconsin.* Please note, you will be asked to provide documentation of your American Indian and Alaska Native affiliation/enrollment/descendancy in the application.
- Be at least a five-year resident of one of the states mentioned above.
- Be an established individual artist of ten years or more who practices in the traditional or contemporary visual arts, listed as follows:
TRADITIONAL ARTS may include pottery, basket, and fabric weaving, stone or wood carving, leather and hide work, regalia making, silversmith, jewelry, beadwork, and other traditional art disciplines. NACF cannot consider dance or song.
CONTEMPORARY VISUAL ARTS may include fashion design, 2D painting, printmaking, illustration, photography, mixed media 3D sculpture, mixed media, or installation interdisciplinary visual arts. NACF cannot consider graphic design.
- NOT BE an enrolled student in a school, college, or higher education classes during the 15-month mentoring period.
- NOT BE a previous NACF fellow within the past two years, or since 2018.
- Select an emerging American Indian or Alaska Native artist as an apprentice to mentor. The apprentice must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be at least 21-years of age or older.
- Reside within a 120-mile radius of mentor’s work studio/teaching space.
- Enrolled affiliation/descendancy in an Alaska Native or American Indian tribe that is located in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Southern California, Washington, or Wisconsin.* Please note, documentation of your apprentice’s American Indian and Alaska Native affiliation/enrollment/descendancy will be required.
- NOT BE an enrolled student anywhere, during the 15-month mentorship period.
- NOT BE a family member related to the mentor, such as family members by birth, adoption, or marriage are not eligible as an apprentice under this fellowship. This includes parents; children; siblings; immediate uncles, aunts, or cousins; and immediate grandparents.
- An interested emerging American Indian or Alaska Native artist apprentice may NOT apply; however, we encourage them to ask an American Indian or Alaska Native Mentor Artist who they would like to apprentice under to apply.
*The states included align with the geographic service areas of the Mentor Artist Fellowship’s donors.
CAREFULLY REVIEW the information on this page and return to it as needed while completing your application. You may print or download a PDF of this page by clicking the button below.
We wish you the best with your application. Thank you for your time and energy to submit.
APPLICATION OVERVIEW & PREPARATION:
Completing an application may take time in order to write thoughtful responses and compile supporting materials to upload. Please plan accordingly.
The Mentor Artist Fellowship application includes six sections:
- Eligibility: You will answer a list of questions to determine your eligibility for the Mentor Artist Fellowship.
- Mentor Artist Applicant Contact Information: If determined eligible, you will be asked to provide your best contact information and may continue to complete the application.
- Survey Questions: The information collected in this section is for demographic purposes and has no bearing on individual applications. All survey answers are maintained in strict confidence. The demographic information compiled from the survey will help inform NACF to advocate more effectively for Native artists.
- Apprentice Information: You will be asked to name at least one potential emerging American Indian or Alaska Native artist as an apprentice who you would like to mentor. You may name up to four potential apprentices. NACF reserves the right for final approval of a chosen apprentice(s). Upon approval, the awarded Mentor Artist Fellow will be asked to provide information about the apprentice, such as artwork samples, resume, Native heritage documentation, and so forth. Please DO NOT provide apprentice materials in the application.
Potential apprentices must meet the eligibility criteria listed above. Also, consider the following when choosing a potential apprentice:
- To what degree does your level of mutual respect, punctuality, and work ethics match with your potential apprentice?
- Does the potential apprentice have any attributes of humility, modesty, and respect for others, generosity, discipline, or artistic and culturally appropriate aspirations?
- How deeply do you know your potential apprentice and her/his degree of responsibility, commitment, follow-through, and ability to learn from feedback and instruction? Remember, you and your chosen apprentice will be expected to commit the time of at least 8 hours per month to participate in a sustained, formal mentorship with regular face-to-face engagement and learning.
- Mentor Artist Applicant Background Information: In this section, you will be asked to fill in text boxes with the following: (1) artist statement, (2) other funding support, (3) mentor and apprentice joint art project description, (4) how you will transfer or exchange artistic skill and cultural knowledge to or with your apprentice, and (5) why you would like to mentor.
- Work Samples and Supporting Materials: In this section, you will upload the following work samples and supporting materials: (1) mentor artist’s resume or CV, (2) 7 to 10 artist work samples, (3) two reference letters that meet the criteria outlined in the application, (4) documentation of your American Indian or Alaska Native tribal enrollment/descendancy, and (5) a headshot or recent photo of you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
- Can I mail in my application? Unfortunately, we do not accept mail-in applications. Applications will only be accepted online through Submittable.
- What is the selection process? NACF staff review for eligibility criteria, adequacy of work samples, and application completeness then invite art peers and professionals in relevant art fields to review and make recommendations for NACF board approval.
- I am Native/Indigenous from another country. May I apply? No. You must be enrolled in a United States American Indian tribe or Alaska Native corporation that is located in one of the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Southern California, Washington, or Wisconsin. You must be at least a five-year resident of one of these states. The states included align with the geographic service areas of the Mentor Artist Fellowship’s donors.
- Can I submit more than one application? NACF will only accept only one application per Fellowship from an applicant.
- Can I apply if I have already received a NACF fellowship in previous years? Previous NACF fellows from 2017 and earlier who meet the eligibility criteria for the Mentor Artist Fellowship may apply, including previous 2017 Mentor Artist Fellows.
For inquiries, please email Laura Cales, Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.