This past May, the McKnight Foundation’s board approved the addition of three new partners in the continued expansion of the McKnight Artist Fellowships program to include fellowships for fiber artists, book artists, and community-engaged practice artists.
These new fellowships will provide important artistic and professional recognition and development opportunities for more midcareer artists living and working in Minnesota and will strengthen support structures along the career paths for artists to bring both expertise and innovation to their forms and their fields. These new fellowships also reflect the ongoing growth of Minnesota’s arts ecosystem and the diverse communities whose cultures and stories are creatively expressed in fiber and textiles, through the dynamic engagement of community members, and through the media of books and print.
A women sharpens her fiber art skills in Textile Center’s dye lab. Photo Credit: Tracy Krumm
Fellowships for Fiber Artists
Textiles and fiber art materials and processes have been a traditional form of creative expression for cultures across the globe throughout history, and they continue as a bold medium for contemporary artists in Minnesota. The Textile Center will be the new administrative partner for the McKnight Fellowships for Fiber Artists. Founded in 1994, the Textile Center is a national center for fiber art and the home for more than 30 craft guilds in the Minnesota. The Textile Center will administer two fellowships of $25,000 each in unrestricted funds for midcareer fiber artists living and working in Minnesota each year. In addition to the cash award, fiber arts fellows will participate in exhibitions at the center, national fiber art conferences and other events, studio visits, critiques, and public discussions with nationally renowned critics and curators in the fiber arts. Fellows will also have access to the Textile Center’s staff expertise and networks, retail shop, state-of-the-art dye lab, and library of more than 30,500 books and periodicals.
“McKnight Artist Fellowships increase the exploratory opportunity, economic stability, and productive capacity of artists by providing unrestricted cash awards and artistic and professional development opportunities for midcareer artists in Minnesota.”—ARLETA LITTLE, ARTS PROGRAM OFFICER AND DIRECTOR OF ARTIST FELLOWSHIPS
2019 Book Artist award winner Jody Williams shows a class her intricate binding skills. Photo Credit: Minnesota Center for Book Arts
Fellowships for Book Artists
As contained narratives, books have been created through various centuries-old techniques, at times taking multifaceted and interdisciplinary forms as they chronicled history, celebrated achievements, and communicated collective and personal knowledge. The Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) will be the new administrative partner for the McKnight Fellowships for Book Artists. MCBA is the primary regional service organization for artists melding literary materials, conceptual content, and structural elements that can exhibit as sculpture, installation, or performance. MCBA will administer two unrestricted $25,000 fellowships for midcareer book artists living and working in Minnesota each year. In addition to the cash award, book artist fellows will design their professional development experiences and participate in national conferences, studio visits, and public discussions with visiting critics as part of MCBA’s annual print and art book fair. Along with co-op memberships, fellows will receive private instruction and technical support with MCBA equipment and facilities.
Poets gather for the Poetry and Pie Picnic by artist Molly Van Avery. Photo Credit: Bruce Silcox
Fellowships for Community-Engaged Practice Artists
Social practice includes art forms that directly engage people in a place to create experiences that define culture and provoke social transformation. Pillsbury House Theatre will be the new administrative partner for the McKnight Fellowships for Community-Engaged Practice Artists. Pillsbury House Theatre was founded in 1992 as one of the settlement house sites under the umbrella of Pillsbury United Communities. The theater began as a professional arts institution committed to the settlement house tradition of creating art in collaboration with community. Pillsbury House Theatre will administer two fellowships of $25,000 each in unrestricted funds for midcareer community-engaged practice artists living and working in Minnesota each year. In addition to the cash award, community-engaged practice fellows will receive individualized consultative support for professional and project development leveraging the resources and networks of the theater and participate in public dialogues with prominent national social practitioners. They will also have access to funds for the initiation of new projects.
McKnight Artist Fellowships increase the exploratory opportunity, economic stability, and productive capacity of artists by providing unrestricted cash awards and artistic and professional development opportunities for midcareer artists in Minnesota. The McKnight Foundation now works with 12 discipline-specific arts partners to administer its artist fellowships, fueling exceptional and diverse artistic practice in Minnesota. To learn more, visit the McKnight Artist Fellowships home page.