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McKnight Fellowships for Fiber Artists

The 2024 Fellowship Application Period is now closed.

The 2024 Fellows will be announced in early March, 2024.

The application period for the 2025 Fiber Artist Fellowships will open October 1, 2024. Check back then for more details!

UPCOMING INFO SESSIONS

Info sessions for the 2025 Fellowships will be announced in September, 2024

If you have a question about the program, please email:

tkrumm@textilecentermn.org

Congrats to our 2023 Fellows, Marjorie Fedyszyn & Delina White!

"Autumn Peltier Dress" by Delina White, 2023 McKnight Fiber Artist Fellow
"Bent 1 and 2" by Marjorie Fedyszyn, 2023 McKnight Fiber Artist Fellow

Thank you for your interest in the McKnight Fellowships for Fiber Artists!

Fiber art is thriving in Minnesota, and the field’s growth as a creative discipline is generously supported by the McKnight Foundation’s McKnight Fellowships for Fiber Artists, as part of McKnight’s Arts & Culture Program.

This program provides two $25,000 fellowships to be awarded each year to individual midcareer (and beyond!) fiber artists living and working in Minnesota.

The upcoming 2024 Fellowship period runs from March 1, 2024 to February 28, 2025.

In addition to the $25,000 unrestricted award in support of their creative work and practice, McKnight Fiber Artist Fellows will receive:

  • Critiques/studio visits with experts from the creative field.
  • Exhibition at the end of the fellowship period (January – March) in the Joan Mondale and Mary Giles Galleries at Textile Center.
  • Participation in a public discussion that features fellows and an invited critic or expert from the field.
  • Professional development support, such as attending conferences, workshops, marketing, or assistance for an exhibit during the fellowship period.
  • Professional photography of work and the installation at Textile Center
  • Presence on Textile Center’s website, including a virtual exhibition to accompany the onsite exhibit.
  • Access to Textile Center’s resources, including library, dye lab, and artisan shop opportunities.
  • Professional support sessions from consultants at Springboard for the Arts.
  • Opportunity to apply to McKnight Foundation’s new residency partnership with the Artist Communities Alliance, following the fellowship year.

The intent of the McKnight Fellowships for Fiber Artists is to recognize and support talented Minnesota fiber and textile artists whose work is of exceptional artistic and cultural merit, who have created a significant body of work over a period of at least 8 years, representing a sustained investigation and maturation of personal creativity and accomplishment in, and commitment to the field of fiber art and Minnesota’s arts ecosystem. These fellowships are in support of artists who are at a career stage beyond emerging.

Fiber Artists, as defined for the purposes of this fellowship, are artists who use textile and fiber arts materials, processes, histories, traditions, and/or sensibilities in their artistic and creative practice throughout the conception, execution, and resolution of their work.

“Textile Center is honored to serve as its administrative partner for the McKnight Fellowships for Fiber Artists,” says Textile Center Executive Director Karl Reichert. “This fellowship program is an exciting milestone for us, especially as we celebrate the role Textile Center has played in nurturing the field of fiber art in our region.”

“The expansion of the McKnight Artist Fellowships into the area of fiber arts is a tremendous opportunity and acknowledgement for our field,” says Textile Center’s Director for Artistic Advancement Tracy Krumm, who also serves as Textile Center’s program director for the McKnight Fellowships for Fiber Artists. “As a former Visual Arts Fellow, I know that the caliber of work being done in textile and fiber arts in Minnesota is outstanding. The ability for artists in Minnesota to be able to apply for this incredible funding support means the chance at game-changing opportunities for creative development.”

Requirements for Your Application:

All applications must include the following:
  • 12 digital images of your work, or a combination of videos and images.
  • Image list (PDF)
  • Statement of Work, describing and contextualizing current work and direction (PDF) or 2 minute video discussing your work (.mpg or .mp4 format)
  • Brief Résumé or List of Accomplishments (PDF)
  • Proof of CURRENT legal Minnesota residency, dating back at least a year from the application deadline. This may mean you have to upload more than one document to cover the period of the entire year. (PDF, JPG, or JPEG)
  • Demographic information is optional, and is used by McKnight Foundation and Textile Center to evaluate program outreach.

Detailed program guidelines from the 2024 Fellowship application are HERE.

“Working artists activate our communities

and deepen the dimension and quality of our lives.”

This program is administered by the McKnight Arts & Culture Program.

The strategy of McKnight’s Arts & Culture program is to fund organizations, programs, and projects that provide support structures for working artists and culture bearers to develop and share their work, and to lead in movements and communities. This includes artists and culture bearers working in a broad continuum of activities and approaches across disciplines and fields.

Support for individual artists has been a focus of the McKnight Foundation’s Arts & Culture program since its inception. McKnight Artist Fellowships increase the exploratory opportunity, economic stability, and productive capacity of artists by providing $25,000 in unrestricted support for midcareer artists and discipline-specific artistic and professional development opportunities.

For more complete information, please see: mcknight.org/programs/arts-culture/

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS for all Artist Fellowships, per the McKnight Foundation

  • Must have Minnesota residency for at least 1 year prior to the application deadline (or since December 4, 2022 or earlier).
  • Must maintain Minnesota residency for the duration of the fellowship period, March 1, 2024 – February 28, 2025.
  • Fellows who travel for work outside of the state during the fellowship year should be in the state for at least six months (at least 183 days), and should have a plan to return to Minnesota.
  • Awardees must have a Social Security Number or Tax ID (as needed to process payments).
  • Must be midcareer (or beyond), with a body of work that demonstrates a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence.
    • These fellowships are a recognition of the recipient’s significant body of work to date, creative achievement, and their sustained contribution to their artistic field and to Minnesota’s arts ecosystem.
  • Applicants can only apply to one McKnight Artist Fellowship in ANY artistic discipline within a given fellowship year.
  • Applicants to this fellowship program will NOT be eligible to apply for any other 2024 McKnight Artist Fellowship.
  • Please carefully consider which program best fits your work. To view all of McKnight’s fellowship funding opportunities for the year, visit: mcknight.org/programs/arts/the-mcknight-artist-fellowships/#apply
  • Must not have been a recipient of a McKnight Artist Fellowship within any artistic discipline in the last 5 award years. (All 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 McKnight Fellows are ineligible.)
  • Must demonstrate growth and ongoing artistry and creativity since their most recent McKnight Artist Fellowship, if they received one previously.
  • Applicants must not be current staff, board, or immediate family of the McKnight Foundation, or McKnight’s fellowship administrative partner in the discipline for which you are applying.
  • Independent contractors and faculty are not considered staff and are therefore eligible to apply.
  • Must not be enrolled full-time in any academic program. (Low-Residency MFA programs and Ph.D. candidates who have completed all requirements except their dissertations are not considered “full-time” students.)

 

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS for Fiber Artist Fellowships, specifically

  • Must be midcareer (or beyond) with an extensive, independent body of creative work created over a period of at least 8 years—not including work done during a degree seeking academic programrepresenting a sustained investigation and maturation of personal creativity, accomplishment, and commitment to the field of fiber art.
  • Must currently be producing work that falls within an art or cultural context, grounded in the field of fiber and textiles through materials, process, history, tradition, or sensibilities.
  • Must demonstrate a high aesthetic level of ability, strong consistency of expression, and an established personal voice over the course of a sustained career.
  • Must have made a significant impact in the field of fiber art in the region, state, or nation as demonstrated by respect of peers and community, contributions to excellence, and public recognition of the creative form through exhibiting, teaching, preserving, mentoring, advocacy, and/or other.

GUIDELINES & APPLICATION INFORMATION

The intent of the McKnight Fellowships for Fiber Artists is to recognize and support talented Minnesota fiber and textile artists whose work is of exceptional artistic and cultural merit, who have created a significant body of work over a period of at least 8 years, representing a sustained investigation and maturation of personal creativity and accomplishment in, and commitment to the field of fiber art and Minnesota’s arts ecosystem. These fellowships are in support of artists who are at a career stage beyond emerging.

Fiber Artists, as defined for the purposes of this fellowship, are artists who use textile and fiber arts materials, processes, histories, traditions, and/or sensibilities in their artistic and creative practice throughout the conception, execution, and resolution of their work.

  • PLEASE OPEN and READ THE PROGRAM GUIDELINES BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH THE FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION. ALL NEW INFORMATION IS ON THE DOCUMENT IN RED. 

  • INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILLING OUT THE APPLICATION and INFORMATION ABOUT THE JURY and SELECTION PROCESS ARE INCLUDED IN THE GUIDELINES.

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE PROGRAM GUIDELINES from 2024, if you are interested.

THE 2025 APPLICATION WILL BE AVAILABLE ON SUBMITTABLE BEGINNING 10/1/2024

A few important tips and reflections from former jurors and Fiber Art Fellows, from the GUIDELINES:

  • The work samples are the single most important aspect of your application. Images should represent excellence and innovation in the field, and a cohesive vision.
  • Your work needs to be clearly conveyed through your images–use the best photographs possible.
  • Portfolio work samples based in experimentation, sampling, or works in-process are not generally helpful as evidence of excellence or a sustained practice.
  • Your statement needs to be relevant to the work submitted, and needs to talk about an ACTIVE practice in the field of fiber art and textiles.

As in year’s past, we are using SUBMITTABLE as the application platform. Info sessions provide help navigating the platform and understanding the changes in this year’s application process. (See INFO SESSION tab above for information on times and dates of sessions.)

** CHROME BROWSER IS RECOMMENDED.  DO NOT USE A TABLET or IPAD for your application, as an error message may occur.

You should be able to access the complete program guidelines and the application portal from the links above. If you cannot, we are here to help!  Links to everything can be emailed to you if you are having trouble opening them. If you have any questions or issues, please email tkrumm@textilecentermn.org.

CLICK HERE for a list of additional resources to help with the application

INFORMATION SESSIONS

Textile Center program staff will conduct VIRTUAL information sessions via ZOOM, and IN-PERSON SESSIONS at Textile Center and partner sites to go over the application process and to discuss both content and technical aspects. Once you have attended an info session and reviewed the application information, you are welcome to contact Tracy Krumm for an individual consultation on your application. The schedule for these sessions fills up quickly. Please plan ahead and start your application NOW.

2025 Fiber Arts Fellowship Info Sessions will be announced in September, 2024

MCKNIGHT FELLOWSHIPS for FIBER ARTISTS FAQ’s

  • What is the age limit for the fellowships?

There is no age limit for the fellowships; this is not asked for as part of the juried part of the application process.  As stated on the application, the only reason that we ask for your age is to provide data for Textile Center to know who we are reaching through outreach during the application process.

  • Who is eligible to apply, what is mid-career, and what does my experience in the discipline of Fiber Art need to be?

Since all of these details are entwined, they are explained together:

The intent of the McKnight Fellowships for Fiber Artists is to recognize and support talented Minnesota fiber and textile artists whose work is of exceptional artistic and cultural merit, who have created a significant body of work over a period of at least 8 years, representing a sustained investigation and maturation of personal creativity and accomplishment in, and commitment to the field of fiber art and Minnesota’s arts ecosystem. These fellowships are in support of artists who are at a career stage beyond emerging.  

Fiber Artists, as defined for the purposes of this fellowship, are artists who use textile and fiber arts materials, processes, histories, traditions, and/or sensibilities as their primary modality in their artistic and creative practice throughout the conception, execution, and resolution of their work. 

These fellowships are for mid-career and beyond.  The only requirement for the purposes of the McKnight Fellowships in Fiber Arts Program is to show at least eight (8) years of invested, creative practice, documented by a resume, CV, or list of accomplishments–that demonstrates commitment to active practice and documents recognition of your work through exhibitions, awards or honors, grants received, studio art teaching, etc.  We check this documentation when your application comes in to be sure you meet this qualification.

There is no limit to a time period for mid-career, and McKnight program partners uphold the belief that mid-career could be the rest of your life!

There are no specific requirements as to calling yourself a fiber artist for eight years, as artists tend to use whatever means are most appropriate to communicate their message.  However, your work does have to recognize fiber art as the primary basis for your work, on a high level–particularly in work done recently, over the last 2-3 years. Applications need to show excellence, consistency, maturity, breadth, and depth in the field. Here are the criteria from our guidelines and a link to detailed program guidelines: https://textilecentermn.org/2023mcknightappinfo/

 

  • What are the awards based on?

The awards are based on portfolio excellence, as exemplified by your images and your writing (or recorded speaking) about your work.  There is NO proposal involved and the application does not include request for a budget.  The intent of this program is to recognize and support midcareer artists living and working in Minnesota who demonstrate a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and excellence.  The award is not based on what you plan to do or what you think you are going to do.  It is about what you have done so far in your career.

  • How does the jury process work?

The jury process is blind, at least until they meet you on Zoom if you become a finalist.  Jurors focus on the images in the portfolio and the accompanying statement about the work, along with an image list that you provide that includes the title, year, processes and materials in each work you submit. They also refer to your resume if they have questions about your accomplishments thus far in your career, and how these might relate to how they see the caliber of your portfolio.

There is nowhere on the application where your identity is divulged to the jury, unless someone includes something about themselves in their statement.  However, please note that as you write about yourself in the statement, what you say should connect as an influence on or provide context for your ideas and the work presented.  The statement needs to relate to the work–especially the images the jurors are looking at.

This year, applicants can include a brief separate statement (250 characters) to be shared with the jurors about their demographics or personal info–it could be about your history, family, illness, disability, religion, parenthood, sexual orientation, place of origin or residence, race, ethnicity, binary/non-binary, etc.

  • What does the McKnight Foundation stand for and how does this impact the program?

Please take a look at what McKnight Foundation’s Arts and Culture program stands for, because that is the lens we use for our work with the jurors:

https://www.mcknight.org/programs/arts-culture/

The jurors are asked to look at all of the SAME links as you are, in the detailed application information, so they understand the agenda of the foundation and see everything that every applicant has access to.

When they agree to jury, they agree to use a lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion.  This is broad–nowhere in either ours or McKnight’s materials is the interpretation of any of these three values predicated solely on race.  Please see specific links, particularly in the introductory section of the detailed application information, attached, or on the various info tabs on the McKnight section of our website:

https://textilecentermn.org/2023mcknightappinfo/

  • What if I decide I don’t fit into the fiber art category?

If you feel your work is less specific to fiber art, and can’t talk about it in your statement from the context of the definition above, you can apply in the general visual art category through MCAD, or one of the other mid-career fellowship programs for the 2023 fellowships.  All of our deadlines are different.  Typically, work done in higher education programs does not count toward the 8 years, as it is seen as supported by a cohort environment, research, professional and networking resources, mentorship, and often financial assistance—much like the funding and program benefits provided by these fellowships beyond the unrestricted gift of $25,000.

  • All of the McKnight Artist Fellowships award categories and links to the specific program partners are available here:

https://www.mcknight.org/programs/arts-culture/the-mcknight-artist-fellowships/

The McKnight Fellowships for Fiber Artists program is funded by the McKnight Arts & Culture Program, and administered by Textile Center. For more complete information, please see:  mcknight.org/programs/arts-culture/

Established in 1981, the McKnight Artist & Culture Bearer Fellowships provide annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in 15 different creative disciplines. Program partner organizations administer the fellowships and structure them to respond to the unique challenges of different disciplines.

Program Goal: Catalyze the creativity, power, and leadership of Minnesota working artists and culture bearers.

“Minnesota artists and culture bearers help the McKnight Foundation accomplish our mission to advance a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive. McKnight has a legacy of leadership in the arts in Minnesota, and support for working artists has always been a mainstay of our arts grantmaking…The addition of culture bearer to our goal acknowledges that our program provides support to creative leaders in Minnesota from cultures that don’t use the word artist (such as Native American and Hmong), as well as those who center the transmission and preservation of cultural lifeways.”

McKnight’s Arts & Culture grantees do the following:

  • Support and advance the distinctive practices of Minnesota’s working artists and culture bearers
  • Enable unique developmental and leadership opportunities for artists and culture bearers
  • Facilitate meaningful relationships between artists, culture bearers, and their communities
  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of their field
  • Work to eliminate deep and persistent social, economic, and racial barriers

The strategy of McKnight’s Arts & Culture program is to fund organizations, programs, and projects that provide support structures for working artists and culture bearers to develop and share their work, and to lead in movements and communities. This includes artists and culture bearers working in a broad continuum of activities and approaches across disciplines and fields.

Please see more about McKnight’s new program approach at: mcknight.org/programs/arts-culture/our-approach/

On The McKnight Foundation

The McKnight Foundation, a family foundation based in Minnesota, advances a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive. The McKnight Artist Fellowships support the conviction that the arts cannot flourish or enhance community life without the ideas, energy, and drive of individual artists, and that artists cannot make these contributions without unfettered creative time. A focus on racial equity is at the heart of the McKnight approach to funding. The McKnight Foundation and Textile Center welcome and encourage applications from artists and culture bearers representing diverse cultural perspectives and our organizations value diversity and equity, seeking to be inclusive and accessible to all applicants.

For the latest news on the application process, join our email list here.