How do we select USA Fellows?

1. What role do our nominators play?

Nominators play an important role in the selection process for USA Fellowship awards. To become a USA Fellow, one must be nominated. Each year, United States Artists invites nominators to submit names of artists they believe show extraordinary talent and commitment to their craft. Nominators are an anonymous group of arts leaders, critics, scholars, and artists who live in every state throughout the country, from small communities to major metropolises. They work in diverse practices across virtually every artistic discipline. Nominators also change every year; this ensures that USA has a diverse pool of nominees from year to year.

We ask nominators to consider artists within their field of expertise and geographic region to apply for a $50,000 USA Fellowship. Artists at any stage of career developmentā€•emerging, mid-career, and established—may be nominated. To be considered for fellowships, artists must be at least 21 years of age and U.S. citizens or legal residents in any U.S. state, territory, or Indian nation. A legal resident is any individual who has the status of having been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the U.S. as an immigrant in accordance with U.S. immigration laws (i.e., a holder of a United States Permanent Resident Card, commonly known as a “green card”). Artists must have the following:

Expert artistic skills
Artistic education or training (formal or informal)
A history of deriving income from those skills
A history of active engagement in creating artwork and presenting it to the public

2. What disciplines are USA fellowships awarded in?

Every year, USA awards fifty artists each $50,000. USA Fellowships are awarded in the following disciplines:

Architecture & Design
Crafts & Traditional Arts
Theater arts
Visual arts

3. How do artists apply?

Nominated artists are notified of their nominations and encouraged to apply. Artists are required to complete a simple online application and to submit work samples.

4. What is the peer panel review?

USA selects and convenes eight discipline-specific peer panels composed of leading artists and art experts who meet to review the artist applications within their discipline. These panels select the finalists for the awards. The USA Board of Directors approves the final recommendations.

5. When does USA announce its fellowship awards?

The USA Fellows and the peer panelists who selected them are announced annually at an awards celebration that usually occurs in December. You can learn more and see pictures from past awards events here.

6. How do we evaluate and report?

While USA Fellows are not required to create new works as part of their awards, they will be asked to submit simple final reports upon completion of the grant period. USA Fellows are encouraged to articulate what role their award played in their artistic development.