Artist Fellowship Grant

Grant applications (for FY2021) open Monday, December 16, 2019. The application deadline is March 1, 2020. The Applicant Portal includes several resources to assist applicants. Visit the portal here

To apply visit

The Artist Fellowship rewards individual artistic excellence. The funding category is designed to:

  • Recognize artists of exceptional talent in any arts discipline.
  • Encourage the creative achievement of South Dakota artists.
  • Acknowledge artists who have contributed to higher standards for the arts in South Dakota.
  • Assist artists in the continued development of their careers in the arts.

Artists in any discipline may apply. Applicants must be residents of South Dakota for at least two years immediately preceding the application and remain residents throughout the project period within the designated grant period.

Artists may apply for only one of the following grants per fiscal year: Artist Fellowship, Artist Collaboration Grant, Artist Project Grant, Artists Career Development Grant, or Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant. Fellowship artists MAY participate in SDAC Touring Arts and Artist in Schools & Communities rosters.

Artists with limited publication, performance, or exhibition records should apply for the Artist Career Development Grant rather than the Fellowship. Fellowships are intended to reward artists who demonstrate outstanding professional records of accomplishment.

Artists seeking funds for a specific project that benefits themselves and the public should apply for an Artist Project Grant.

Funding will not be granted for academic research or formal study toward an academic or professional degree.

Students pursuing high school diplomas and graduate or undergraduate degrees are not eligible.


  • Recipients of an Artist Fellowship are not eligible to apply for support in any artist grant category for three consecutive fiscal years. For example, an artist awarded a Fellowship for fiscal year 2011 is ineligible to receive another grant for fiscal years 2012, 2013, and 2014; however, the artist may apply March 1, 2014 for an FY 2015 grant in any category. The recipients of an Artist Fellowship may apply as a master artist for a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant in subsequent years without fulfilling the waiting period requirement.
  • Funding will not be granted for academic research or formal study toward an academic or professional degree.
  • Students pursuing high school diplomas or graduate or undergraduate degrees are not eligible.
  • South Dakota Arts Council board members, staff, and grant review panelists are not eligible to apply for Artist Grants.

Applications must be submitted on-line by March 1. Applicants may start to apply on January 1. Grant awards will be announced in May for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Grant Amount
Artist Fellowships of $5,000 will be awarded to South Dakota artists of exceptional talent to recognize past artistic achievement and encourage future artistic growth. Funds do not have to be matched. This grant category is very competitive. It is anticipated that only four Fellowships will be awarded each year; however, the specific number will be left to the discretion of the South Dakota Arts Council, based on the Council’s budget and the applicant artists’ qualifications.

Criteria for Awarding Grants

In reviewing applications, panelists consider the following:

  • Quality of the applicant’s work as demonstrated by artistic documentation submitted. Artistic quality accounts for 50% of an applicant’s total score and plays a critical role in panel ratings and funding recommendations. Artistic quality is determined only by the quality of the submitted documentation.
  • Record of professional activity and achievement as demonstrated in resume and support materials.
  • The artist’s contribution to higher standards for the arts in South Dakota.
  • How an Artist Fellowship will contribute to the artist’s professional growth and career advancement.

Application Procedure
How to Prepare and Submit an Application

Applications for an Artist Fellowship must be submitted on line through the South Dakota Arts Council’s e-grant system on or before March 1. Hard-copy applications submitted through the mail will not be accepted.

When you log onto the e-grant system you will be asked to:

  • Complete an Applicant Profile
  • Complete an Applicant Information form
  • Complete Application Summary & Information form
  • Create and upload (attach) a grant narrative/artist statement.
  • Create and upload (attach) a professional resume.
  • Upload (attach) examples of artistic documentation. Specific instructions are available when you log onto the e-grant system.
  • Scan and upload (attach) supporting print materials, i.e. reviews, letters of recommendation, etc.
  • Complete Signature Page
  • Electronically submit application
  • Mail Signature Page to SDAC

Specific instructions for completing and submitting the above information will be provided after you log into the e-grant system ( and complete the Applicant Profile.

Grant Evaluation Form, Evaluations are due no later than 30 days after the end of the fiscal year. The narrative should give a brief description of the use of grant funds and a statement indicating the impact of the Fellowship on career development or professional growth.
Subsequent grants are dependent upon receipt of complete evaluation reports.

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