Fellowship for Visual Artists

  • Overview

    The California Community Foundation (CCF) awards one-year fellowships to outstanding Los Angeles County-based visual artists through the Fellowship for Visual Artists.

    The Fellowships for Visual Artists is a unique opportunity for artists because it is an investment in the artist’s career, rather than singular project. Artists are chosen by a panel of art professionals based on artistic merit and commitment to Los Angeles County. Receiving a fellowship is more than just a check. CCF Fellows receive:

    • $40,000 one-year unrestricted grant
    • Collaborative Artists’ Retreat
    • Opportunities to develop business skills to achieve financial independence
    • Membership to a community of prestigious artists in the region

    Learn more about the CCF Fellowship for Visual Artists through our online Artists’ Gallery.

    The application period for the Fellowship for Visual Artists is from March 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022.

    Questions? Please email fva [@] calfund [.] org.

  • About the Fellowship

    For 100 years, the California Community Foundation (CCF) has recognized, encouraged and supported the Southern California arts community by funding and nurturing a full range of artistic expressions. The Foundation’s goal is to ensure that arts and culture is a dimension of everyday life in communities across Los Angeles County. As such, the CCF Fellowship for Visual Artists is designed to support Los Angeles based visual artists so they can advance to the next level of professional development. Professional artists play a significant role in connecting communities, bridging cultural barriers and in celebrating the rich cultural diversity of Los Angeles County.

    The CCF Fellowship for Visual Artists is a unique opportunity for artists because it is an investment in an artist’s career rather than a singular project. The award is an unrestricted grant of $40,000. The award may be spent according to the greatest need as determined by the artist. For this reason, the panel will consider the artist’s entire career and future promise.

    CCF also seeks to support individual artists in achieving financial independence through their art practice. Therefore, the investment in the artist’s career also includes strengthening their business skills through a mandatory artist retreat which takes place after the award is made. The curriculum is tailored specifically for Fellows, with sessions and individual consultations on accounting and legal issues, money management, negotiations and alternative financing options. The retreat will provide Fellows with the knowledge, tools and resources to help them manage their life and careers more effectively. The retreat environment will also offer plenty of time for peer-to-peer networking, reflection, and the opportunity to learn from each other and build an artist community.

    The California Community Foundation’s Fellowship for Visual Artists is made possible by the J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts, the Brody Arts Fund, the T.M. and R.W. Brown Fund, the Jennie Strong Memorial Fund, the Joan Palevsky Endowment for the Future of Los Angeles, the Rose Anne Rice Charitable Fund and other CCF funds.

  • Objectives
    • To support and develop artistic or cultural talent of special merit that reflects Los Angeles County’s diverse population
    • To acknowledge the contributions of outstanding visual artists in Los Angeles County by enhancing, encouraging and nurturing artistic accomplishments
    • To increase access to artistic support among the diverse communities of Los Angeles County
  • Review Process

    We select a multidisciplinary selection panel made up of distinguished artists and professionals from the Los Angeles arts community to review qualified applications. The panel will recommend grant awards to the most outstanding individual artists who have submitted all required application materials (including requested attachments and sample work) and meet the eligibility requirements. Awards will be based on the following criteria:

    1. Artistic quality and merit
    2. Past artistic accomplishments
    3. Impact of the fellowship on the artist’s career
    4. Work that is representative of the Los Angeles area’s diverse communities, including those defined by ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, economic circumstances or geographic location
    5. Artist’s contributions to the cultural vitality of Los Angeles

    In an effort to make the FVA application accessible to as many people in LA County, the application will be completed in two stages. The first stage is the basic application where applicants will answer eligibility questions, provide a written statement expressing their interest, and upload their work sample and a resume. After the April 30th deadline has elapsed, applications will be reviewed and then selected applicants will be invited to participate in the 2nd stage, which will include requests for written statements and a letter of recommendation. We will not be releasing the written questions or letter or recommendation instructions in advance. 

    All applicants will be notified of the status of their application on SurveyMonkeyApply by early July.

  • Eligibility

    Eligible applicants:

    • Must be working in the visual arts (e.g., painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, installation, experimental film and video*, interdisciplinary/mixed media or performance art** in which visual art must be a significant and integral component).
    • Artists whose primary practice is performing or media arts (e.g., music, dance, acting, film, video, or moving animation) are not eligible
    • Artists must be visual artist with at least five (5) years or more of active professional experience in their field. Artists must have documented exhibition history, publications or other significant proof of professional accomplishments, including evidence of work in Los Angeles County
    • Must be a full-time resident of Los Angeles County for at least the last five (5) consecutive years prior to the application deadline. Full-time resident is defined as being physically present in Los Angeles County 9 months per year of residency
    • Must be at least 25 years old in age

    Not Eligible:

    • Individuals that are currently enrolled in an arts-related undergraduate or graduate degree program
    • Individuals who live outside of L.A. County
    • Individual artists whose submitted resumes do not adequately demonstrate the required 5 years of professional history
    • Individuals who have previously received a CCF Fellowship
    • California Community Foundation employees and their immediate family members
    * Art in motion on a film, video or digital format that transcends aesthetic, formal, ideological and/or narrative norms. The work seeks alternative modes of production or distribution, outside the theatrically commercial approach. Conventional documentary work is not eligible.
    ** An artistic presentation that incorporates the disciplines of music, theater, dance or other performance as a central element for engaging the audience. Performance artwork may be associated with advanced technologies, and more than one medium may be involved in the presentation.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why are there two stages to the application?
    In an effort to make the FVA application accessible to as many people in LA County, the application will be completed in two stages. The first stage is a simpler application, designed to be low barrier. The second stage includes a more detail written response and request for letter of recommendation.

    Do I need to submit a letter of recommendation?
    At stage 2, you must provide a letter of recommendation as part of your final application. The Letter of Recommendation must be uploaded on SurveyMonkeyApply.

    Why did you eliminate the emerging and mid-career categories? Will you still be awarding Fellowships to emerging and mid-career artists?
    This change addresses a concern that applicants have been telling us over the years—artists don’t want to be categorized by career level. This was especially true of artists history does not fit neatly into categories. As such, we no longer require that artists place themselves into these categories as part of our application process.

    What has not changed is the goal of the award. The Fellowship seeks to award outstanding Los Angeles County based visual artists from diverse backgrounds and levels of professional experience. It is meant for artists who have produced work of excellent artistic merit but have yet to garner a level of acknowledgment and recognition that corresponds to their talent.

    The award is not for an established artist who is at a mature stage in his or her career and has created an extensive body of independent work. It is not meant to award an artist that has reached an advanced level of achievement in their artistic discipline. If you are an artist whose work is widely collected, and/or your work has reached a significant level of recognition including solo exhibitions at major museums in the United States and abroad, the FVA is not a match for your depth of experience.

    Will you be holding How to Apply workshops?

    Yes, a virtual application workshop was held on April 20, 2022. You can view the recording at: https://youtu.be/2Wr66dqVPWA

    Eligibility

    How does CCF define visual arts?
    Painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, installation, experimental film and video (a), interdisciplinary/mixed media or performance art (b) in which visual art must be a significant and integral component. Artists whose primary practice is performing or media arts (e.g., music, dance, acting, film, video or moving animation) are NOT eligible, and new genres may be deemed ineligible by the panel. If you are unsure that your genre is ineligible, please inquire at fva@calfund.org.

    (a) Experimental film and video: Art in motion on a film, video or digital format that transcends aesthetic, formal, ideological and/or narrative norms. The work seeks alternative modes of production or distribution, outside the theatrically commercial approach. Conventional documentary work is not eligible.

    (b)Performance Art: An artistic presentation that incorporates the disciplines of music, theater, dance or other performance as a central element for engaging the audience. Performance artwork may be associated with advanced technologies, and more than one medium may be involved in the presentation.

    I am currently enrolled in a Master of Fine Arts program but have professionally exhibited for nine years. Am I eligible to apply?
    No, students currently enrolled in an arts-related undergraduate/graduate program at the time of application are not eligible.

    I am an artist who has lived in Los Angeles County for more than five years but currently live outside of the area (Orange County, Ventura, Inland Empire, etc.). Can I apply?
    No, you must be a current full-time resident of Los Angeles County. Full-time residency is defined as physically living in L.A. County for at least 9 months per year of residency.

    I have lived in Los Angeles for most of my life, however for the last 6 months, I lived outside of L.A. County. Can I apply?
    No, you must have been a full-time resident of L.A. County for the last 5 consecutive years (depending on whether you are applying for emerging or mid-career). Full-time residency is defined as physically living in L.A. County for at least 9 months per year of residency.

    Is there a limit to how many times I can apply for a fellowship
    You may apply every two years when the application process is announced. Previous FVA recipients are not eligible to apply.

    Group Submission

    I am an individual artist but have worked with an artistic team (or collaborative) for the past 10 years. All of my work samples reflect my team (collaborative). Should I apply as an individual or as a team?
    The Fellowship for Visual Artists is for individual artists. An individual artist who is part of the team (collaborative) is eligible to apply. However, recognition and the award (financial and professional development) will be given to the individual artist who receives the award.

    About SurveyMonkey Apply

    What is SuveyMonkeyApply?
    SuveyMonkeyApply is a web-based service that allows organizations and administrators to easily and cost effectively manage artist application and jury processes related to calls for entry.

    Is there a fee for either the application service or the Fellowship for Visual Artists?
    No, both the registration and hosting of images application website are free. There is no application fee to apply to the fellowship.

    Is it mandatory to use SurveyMonkeyApply to apply?
    Yes, only applications submitted via the application service will be accepted.

    Work Samples

    Can I include multiple images in one image to show different perspectives around a body of work?
    Yes, you are allowed to combine multiple images into one image. This will count as one image.

    Can I submit both images and a video?
    No, you must either submit up to six (6) images or one (1) video (not to exceed 5 minutes). You cannot submit both. Applicants who submit both forms of work will be automatically disqualified.

    The application states that multimedia artists can submit a video featuring a segment or sample of work that is less than five minutes. Can this be a montage of different projects or should it be of one single work?
    It can be both. You can provide a single five-minute sample or multiple samples that add up to a total of five minutes, however panelists find it most helpful to assess artistic quality when they can see fewer pieces in more depth rather than a quick and flashy montage.

    Can I view applications of past fellows?
    No, CCF does not share past applications, however you can view FVA recipients’ work on the CCF Artist Gallery.

    Can I have someone at the Foundation or one of the panelists review my application before I submit it?
    No. Applications are reviewed only upon submission to ensure fairness. Moreover, due to the volume of applications submitted each year, CCF is unable to provide feedback prior to submission.

    There was a special circumstance that prevented me from submitting my application on time. Can I submit a late application?
    CCF does NOT accept late applications regardless of circumstances. There are NO exceptions.

    Selection Process

    Can we find out who the panelists are before the public announcement?
    No, the panel changes each year and the list is kept confidential until the public announcement.

    How do the panelists assess an application?
    Scoring is based on artistic merit through the artistic work samples (images/video), the artist statements, responses to the application questions and a letter of recommendation.

    Award

    When will awards be announced?
    Applicants will be notified of passing Stage 1 by the end of May, with the final award determination by July.

    If I receive a fellowship, are there restrictions on how it must be used?
    There are no restrictions. Fellows can use the funds however they see fit. Recipients are required to attend professional development convenings including an announcement reception. Those dates will be shared and finalized in the future.

    If I receive a fellowship, how soon can I receive the funds?
    First installment will be distributed July 2022.

    Other

    Is there other important information I should know?
    Please submit your application as early as possible to avoid mistakes and web traffic. You can contact us during office hours for any assistance regarding your application. The deadline for applications is April 30 at 11:59 p.m., after that time, we will be unable to provide assistance.

    Contact fva [@] calfund [.] org for more information.

  • How to Apply

    All eligible applicants will be required to submit the following as part of their application:

    • Basic contact information (Name, Address, Discipline, Residency)
    • Artistic statement that describes your artistic goals and the nature of your work (2,000 character limit, approximately 250 words).
    • Artistic samples:
      • Up to six (6) images. Artistic work samples should represent work completed in the last three years. Or;
      • One (1) video (up to five minutes). Artistic work samples should represent work completed in the last three years.
    • Résumé/CV that outlines exhibition history, education, fellowships or awards received and art-related work history. Applicants must demonstrate a professional history of at least five years, including evidence of work in Los Angeles County.
      • Document should not exceed five pages
    • Link to artist website
    • Respond to the application questions
    • A letter of recommendation

    The application period for the Fellowship for Visual Artists is from March 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022.

    FVA Applications are only accepted via SurveyMonkeyApply.

    View a recording of the application workshop that explains the application process at: https://youtu.be/2Wr66dqVPWA. For more information about this application, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions above.

    If you have further questions, you may submit them to fva [@] calfund [.] org. Please do not call.

  • Apply

    The application period for the Fellowship for Visual Artists is from March 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022. Apply via SurveyMonkeyApply at: https://calfund.smapply.org/

    About SurveyMonkey Apply

    What is SurveyMonkeyApply?
    SurveyMonkeyApply is a web-based service that allows organizations and administrators to easily and cost effectively manage artist application and jury processes related to calls for entry.

    Is there a fee for either the application service or the Fellowship for Visual Artists?
    No, both the registration and hosting of images application website are free. There is no application fee to apply to the fellowship.

    Is it mandatory to use SurveyMonkeyApply to apply?
    Yes, only applications submitted via the application service will be accepted.

    What do I write in the “Organization” and “EIN” fields if I am an individual artist?
    Due to the SurveyMonkeyApply template format we are unable to change the “Organization” and “EIN” fields. Here are some work arounds for these two issues:

    • For the organization field: Please feel free to write your first and last name.
    • For the EIN field: If you don’t have and EIN number, please write in your social security number in the field in this format:
      • ##-#######

    Please make sure the hyphen is added after the second digit. This will ensure you are able to successfully create a registration profile on SurveyMonkeyApply. This information is confidential and will not be shared with anyone for any purpose.

    What if I don’t have an EIN number?
    If you don’t have an EIN number, please write in your social security number in the field in this format ##-#######. Please make sure the hyphen is added after the second digit. This will ensure you are able to successfully create a registration profile on SurveyMonkeyApply. This information is confidential and will not be shared with anyone for any purpose.

    Work Samples

    Can I include multiple images in one image to show different perspectives around a body of work?
    Yes, you are allowed to combine multiple images into one image. This will count as one image.

    What do I do if I am unable to upload more than one image file on my application?
    If you are submitting 6 still images, please consolidate them into a single PDF file and then upload.

    How should I label my work samples?
    Please label your work samples as follows: [first and last name]_worksample. Example: ChewBacca_worksample

    Can I submit both images and a video?
    No, you must either submit up to six (6) images or one (1) video (not to exceed 5 minutes). You cannot submit both. Applicants who submit both forms of work will be automatically disqualified.

    The application states that multimedia artists can submit a video featuring a segment or sample of work that is less than five minutes. Can this be a montage of different projects or should it be of one single work?
    It can be both. You can provide a single five-minute sample or multiple samples that add up to a total of five minutes, however panelists find it most helpful to assess artistic quality when they can see fewer pieces in more depth rather than a quick and flashy montage.

    Please view previous tab for Frequently Asked Questions.

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