The Story of McKnight Artist Fellowships Community Values
New in 2021, the McKnight Artist Fellowships program is implementing a statement of shared community values across its 14 partner organizations. This statement articulates a collective commitment to creating and supporting an artistic community in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, and to creating and maintaining relationships that are free of harm, prejudice, and harassment.
This shared commitment comes at a time when communities within Minnesota and across the country are wrestling with how best to approach issues of community safety and are seeking alternatives to an overreliance on institutional policing. Notably, discussions of equity within philanthropy often focus exclusively on the distribution of resources, which is a vital wing of the bird. What follows is a story about the other wing—the sharing of power—and how active engagement and a willingness to learn with our partners resulted in better decision making, policy development, and practices for McKnight and our artist fellowships community.
McKnight Artist Fellowships Community Values Statement
Welcome to the McKnight Artist Fellowships community! The McKnight Foundation and the administering partners for the McKnight Artist Fellowships are committed to creating and supporting an artistic community in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. The community of the McKnight Artist Fellowships includes people who engage with the fellowships program whether as applicants, fellows, panelists, contractors, collaborators, fellowships administrators, or as staff of the McKnight Foundation and partnering organizations.
As a community, we commit to creating and maintaining relationships that are free of harm, prejudice, and harassment. Community members agree to communicate directly and transparently regarding issues of conduct that could negatively impact the well-being of participating members and organizations.
In the case of an accusation, a legal action, or a conviction, the McKnight Foundation and its artist fellowships program partners may gather and assess relevant information. If deemed necessary, the McKnight Foundation and its artist fellowships program partners may take administrative action up to and including the recommendation of participation in reconciliation or restorative justice processes; the disqualification of an application; the termination of a contract; and the recall and/or termination of a fellowship.
This community will be what we make it. Our aim is to collectively create an experience in which all artists and members of the McKnight Artist Fellowships community thrive.
About the McKnight Artist Fellowships
Founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive, the McKnight Foundation’s arts program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Support for individual working Minnesota artists has been a cornerstone of the program since it began in 1982. The McKnight Artist Fellowships Program provides annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in 14 different creative disciplines. Program partner organizations administer the fellowships and structure them to respond to the unique challenges of different disciplines. Currently the foundation contributes about $2.8 million per year to its statewide fellowships. For more information, visit mcknight.org/artistfellowships.