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Fellowships and Awards to Massachusetts Artists to Recognize Exceptional Work and to Create New Works of Art

Artist Fellowships - Choreography, Poetry, and Traditional Arts


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Mass Cultural Council (MCC)
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Geographic Focus
USA: Massachusetts

Important Dates
Conference Date: 10/05/21
Deadline: 10/25/21 11:59 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Fellowships of $15,000 and finalist awards of $5,000 to Massachusetts artists to recognize exceptional original work and to foster the creation of new art in traditional arts, choreography, and poetry. The fellowships will be awarded to primary creators of original works of art. Please submit work completed 2018 or later. Works in progress are eligible.

Grant Categories:

Choreography: Eligible for review in even years. This category accepts performance work in all movement styles. Dance, mixed-media, or multi-genre performances that feature organized movement of the human body(ies) are welcome.

Poetry: Eligible for review in even years. This category includes original work in all forms and genres of poetry. Translations cannot be accepted.

Traditional Arts: Eligible for review in even years. This category accepts work in traditional arts (music, craft, dance, and verbal arts) that reflect a cultural community’s shared sense of aesthetics and meaning. Traditional art is shaped by standards of excellence passed down from generation to generation, most often within familial, ethnic, tribal, religious, or occupational communities. Examples include music, sacred and secular crafts, occupational traditions like boat-building, quilting, and musical instrument making, folk and ethnic dance, and expressive culture associated with religious belief or seasonal celebrations. Folk and traditional artists typically learn through day-to-day contact with someone steeped in the tradition, rather than through books, classes, or institutional instruction. Successful applicants practice the tradition with artistic depth and cultural sensitivity and are dedicated to sustaining the art form by mentoring others. The Traditional Arts category is for individuals not groups.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
You may apply for an Artist Fellowship if you are:
- 18 years or older.
- A legal resident of Massachusetts for the last two years. You should also be a legal resident when the grants are awarded. A “legal resident” is defined as someone who meets the definition of a “full-year resident” in the Massachusetts tax code. Visit the Mass Department of Revenue web site to learn more.
- An artist who creates original work. If you are an artist who interprets or translates the work of others, this isn’t the program for you.

You are ineligible (for now) if you:
- Received a Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellowship in the past five years. For FY22, this includes 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.
- Are a high school or undergraduate student, or a graduate student in a related degree program (such as an MFA). You are encouraged to apply for an Artist Fellowship after you have completed your studies.
- Are a governor-appointed Mass Cultural Council member. Mass Cultural Council staff and family are likewise ineligible to apply.
- Are an artist who interprets or translates the work of others applying for any discipline other than Traditional Arts.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible, please contact program staff.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Artist Fellowships Info Session:
Event Date 10.05.2021
Time: 10-11:30am

Mass Cultural Council staff will share general information about the program, including details about the categories currently accepting applications – Choreography, Poetry, and Traditional Arts (application deadline: October 25, 2021). They will also discuss the new grants management system and take questions from attendees.


Auto-generated captions will be provided. If you have additional questions or to request additional accommodations to ensure your participation, please contact Dan Blask.

Pre-Application Information
Application opens: September 8, 2021
Application deadline: October 25, 2021, 11:59 PM
Grants announced by February 2022

Select the discipline category that best fits your work. You may apply only once per category. You can, however, apply in more than one category. Please note that only one monetary grant will be awarded to an artist in a fiscal year. Also, different work samples are required to be submitted for each application.

Traditional Arts Fellowship applicants must submit at least one, but no more than three letter(s) of recommendation from a folklorist, practicing peer, and/or member of the community who is knowledgeable about the traditional art form you practice.


Discipline definitions:

Access Policy:

Tips on Applying for an Artist Fellowship:

Mass Department of Revenue website:

How to Register in the System:

Discipline-Specific Instructions:

Watch a recorded information session:

Estimated Size of Grant
The Artist Fellowships are $15,000, and the Finalist awards are $5,000.

Contact Information

Kelly Bennett, Program Officer, Artist Fellowships
Choreography, Crafts, Drawing & Printmaking, Painting, Photography, Sculpture/Installation/New Genres

Dan Blask, Program Officer, Artist Fellowships
Dramatic Writing, Fiction/Creative Nonfiction, Film & Video, Music Composition, Poetry

Maggie Holtzberg, Folk Arts & Heritage Program Manager
Traditional Arts ellowships, Traditional Arts Apprenticeship

Mass Cultural Council
10 St. James Ave 3rd Floor
Boston MA 02116-3803
Tel: 617-858-2700
Toll Free (in MA only): 800-232-0960
Fax: 617-574-7305

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