Jerome Hill Artist Fellowships Announced

Ashwini Ramaswamy receives Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship for new commission: 
Jerome Hill Artist Fellowships Announced

March 18, 2019
Original Article

The Jerome Foundation is pleased to announce the first recipients of the new Jerome Hill Artist Fellowships program. 60 Fellowships are being awarded (10 each in the disciplines of dance, film/new media, literature, music, theater/performance/spoken word, and visual arts) to early-career artists based in Minnesota and New York City.

Each Fellow will receive $40,000 over two years ($20,000 per year) in direct support to advance artistic or professional development and/or to create new work. Minnesota-based Fellows will also be offered individualized professional development guidance through Springboard for the Arts of St. Paul, while New York City artists will receive similar opportunities through the Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund of New York. An additional $10,000 per artist will be made available to select nonprofit organizations with which the Fellows are working during the grant period, bring the Foundation’s total investment to $3.2 million over two years.

The 2019-2020 Jerome Hill Artist Fellows are listed by discipline as follows:


Marjani Forté-Saunders (New York)

Jasmine Hearn (New York)

Raja Feather Kelly (New York)

Pedro Pablo Lander (Minnesota)

Dustin Maxwell (New York)

Leslie Parker (Minnesota)

Ashwini Ramaswamy (Minnesota)

Deneane Richburg (Minnesota)

Darrius Strong (Minnesota)

Andre Zachary (New York)

…. [For a full list of the selected artists, please click on the original article link above.]

Discipline-specific panels, composed of artists, curators, artistic directors and arts administrators, considered a total of 1,167 applicants before recommending the 60 Fellowships to the Jerome Board of Directors for approval. In their deliberations, panels considered samples of past works submitted by panelists; the applicant’s artistic goals, ambitions, motives and self-assessments of their own work; the proposed focus of the Fellowship period; and the ways in which applicants had learned from past interactions with audiences or the larger public. Applicants were also assessed in their fit with the Foundation’s core values of innovation, diversity and humility, defined by the Foundation as service to a larger aesthetic tradition and/or social community.

Approval of the panel’s recommendations was made by the Jerome Foundation Board of Directors at their January 2019 meeting. “We are so excited by the extraordinary social and aesthetic range of this cohort. The 2019 Jerome Fellows are taking risks that advance their practices and engage their communities in exciting ways. Over 80% identify as people of color or Native/Indigenous artists. Our only regret is that we did not have the funds available to offer even more fellowships to recognize the exuberant creativity and commitment we saw in this applicant pool,” said Board Chair Linda Earle. Additional Jerome Board members include Kate Barr of Minneapolis (Vice-Chair and Treasurer), Daniel Alexander Jones of New York (Secretary), Sarah Bellamy (St. Paul, MN), Lori Pourier (Rapid City, SD), and Elizabeth Streb, Mark Tribe and Ryan Wong, all of New York.

Applicants were eligible to apply either individually or jointly to share a single award as part of a sustained collaborative. 27 Fellowships supporting 28 artists were awarded to Minnesota applicants, while 33 Fellowships supporting 34 artists were awarded to New York City-based applicants. An additional 141 were identified as Finalists by panels before their final full-day deliberations.

“A survey of more than 1,600 artists in 2016 emphasized the need for artists to have significant, flexible, multi-year support that could help them address both artistic and professional needs. This program responds directly to those most urgent needs as identified by early career artists themselves,” said Jerome Foundation President Ben Cameron.

“By providing a sustained source of flexible funding over the course of two years, in combination with individualized professional development, Jerome Foundation hopes to offer artists the resources to continue vibrant and sustainable careers,” added Program Director Eleanor Savage.

Applications for the 2021–2022 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowships will open in early 2020.

Read the full PDF press release here.