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Santa Monica Artist Fellowship Program

Fellowships to California Professional Artists to
Recognize and Support Works of Art

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Santa Monica Cultural Affairs

Deadline Date:

02/22/21 11:59 PM


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Fellowships California professional artists to recognize and support outstanding artistic works. The purpose of the program is to nourish and stimulate the creation of new work by local artists, recognize excellence, and reinforce the community’s high regard for creativity and innovation. Eligible artists are located in Santa Monica.

The Fellowships are expected to:

  • Promote high-quality artistic and creative activity in Santa Monica
  • Have an impact on world-class art production
  • Highlight the City as an international creative center
  • Underscore the significant contribution artists of excellence make to the community
  • Invest grant support in diverse components of the community
  • Provide opportunities to Santa Monica artists
  • Open avenues of discourse to broad topics of human creativity and learning among artists and the general public

Fellowship opportunities: 

  • Project Fellowships: Artists may apply for a Project Fellowship to pursue study, individual exploration, in-depth exchange, or creative opportunities related to the development, completion, exhibition or performance of new work.
  • Kate Johnson Digital Arts Fellowship: reserved for a qualifying Santa Monica-based artist working in digital media. The application process is identical to that of the Project Fellowships.
  • Artist Fellowships: Nominators are arts professionals from inside and outside the city who are invited to nominate qualified artists. Nominees’ artwork is reviewed by a panel made up of distinguished artists and arts professionals from outside Santa Monica chosen for their expertise and aesthetic breadth. The panel submits recommendations to the Santa Monica Arts Commission on the basis of artistic excellence, productivity, body of work, and the community impact of both the artists’ work and the award.

Artist Fellowship rotating disciplines Discipline categories for the nominated artist fellowships rotate annually. The 2021-20 disciplines are the performing and literary arts, which include creative literature, writing/performance, choreography, musical composition and sound composition. Project fellowships are open to all eligible disciplines every year, including visual arts, digital media, creative literature, writing/performance, choreography, musical composition and sound composition.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 155218

Number of Grants:

Three Project Fellowships; One Kate Johnsoon Digital Arts Fellowship; Two Artist Fellowships

Estimated Size of Grant:

Project fellowships are $4,200 each.

Artist fellowships are $16,000 each.

Term of Contract:

Funding Term: July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Professional artists who create (rather than interpret) original work, and who either reside in the City of Santa Monica, or who maintain professional studios in the City and retain a City business license, are eligible to apply for, or be nominated for, a fellowship. Nominated artist fellows must have met this residency requirement for five years (cumulatively, over the course of their careers). Project applicants must have met this residency requirement for a minimum of one year.

An eligible professional artist is defined in this case as one who is recognized by critics and peers, has verifiable training and/or a reputation and credentials, makes all or a portion of their living in the arts field, and creates new work in one or more of the following areas: visual arts, including new media and performance art, creative literature, writing/performance, choreography, musical composition and/or sound composition.

Project fellows must wait two years after the end of their grant period before being eligible to apply again for a project fellowship. Recipients of the $16,000 fellowships are not eligible to be nominated for that award again.

Pre-Application Information:

Issued: January 14, 2021
Applications Open: 6:00 pm January 14, 2021
Deadline for Submission: 11:59 pm, Monday, February 22, 2021

Applicants who wish to be considered for the Kate Johnson Fellowship may indicate that be checking a special box in the application. Checking the box does not, however, preclude the applicant from being considered for a regular Project Fellowship Artist Fellowships (by nomination).

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Nathan Birnbaum
Santa Monica Cultural Affairs
1685 Main St. MS #44, Santa Monica, CA 90401
310.458.8350 /

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: City of Santa Monica

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