Review Process for the MAC Scholarship & Fellowship Programs

The Review Process for the MAC Scholarship & Fellowship Programs

We believe that artists and the arts are the keys to vibrant, thriving communities. We see the arts as a tool for transformation: a way to enhance the beauty of the world around us, opening the minds of people and expanding society as a whole. Our vision is to eliminate the idea of the ‘starving artist’. In order achieve this, we build financial pillars of support beneath artists in two ways - through our scholarship & fellowship programs. Through these programs we are able to directly impact the lives of individual artists; creating a ripple effect that helps build community and will help reshape the way people view artists and the arts.

The MAC Scholarship Program

Our annual scholarship competition is a talent based competition. Our aim is to find young artists who exhibit the most artistic potential and talent and those that have the greatest potential for making change in the world through their profession and community contributions. While need and merit will be considered, 70% of our selection process is based on artistic ability.

  • Awards up to $25,000 per year (after all other scholarships/grants)
  • Renewable
  • Visual Arts Majors
  • First year, transfer, graduates, returning, foreign and domestic students eligible

Review Process

The application will be scored in the areas of Need (15%), Merit (15%) and Talent (70% - Portfolio and Artistic Essay). A jury panel consisting of 5-7 Alumni and professionals from the visual arts field will conduct a review and score each portfolio submitted through the online platform. Scores are tabulated, and the top scoring applicants will advance to final in-person interview round. The selection committee will meet with finalists in person.

The MAC Fellowship Program

The MAC Fellowship Program is designed to support talented, career-focused, visual artists in Washington State looking to move from emerging/undiscovered to established artists. The primary review criteria: artistic excellence in the Visual Arts. Additionally, we’ll be looking to learn how the award will impact the artistic career of the artist, what extraordinary things they are doing currently, and what they plan to do in the future. This program is NOT a project grant program. Applications are reviewed by a panel of experts – peers and industry professionals – in a multi-round review process. The selection of awards is primarily focused on the strength of the portfolio submitted.

Review Process

First Round: Applications are sorted into review groups. A jury panel consisting of 5-7 professionals from the visual arts field will conduct a review and score each portfolio submitted through the online platform. Scores are tabulated, and the top scoring applicants will advance to the next round. 

Second Round: A selection committee consisting of 5-7 professions from the visual arts field will conduct an in-depth review of each applicant advancing from the first round. A second round of scoring on the entire application takes place and those applicants with the highest scores will be invited to attend an in-person interview.

Interviews for Finalists:  The selection committee will meet with finalists in person.

Finalist Awards: Fellowship awards will be either $5,000 or $10,000 as determined by the selection committee. 

Feedback: Throughout the entire review process we encourage reviewers/interviewers to leave feedback/critique for each applicant; this is not a requirement. Applicants can request any feedback that they received upon declination.

Expenditure & Fellow Responsibilities

The MAC Fellowship program provides relatively unrestricted funding and recognition to support visual artists to pursue new work and achieve specific and creative career goals.

Some potential uses of MAC Fellowship funding include, but are not limited to: 

  • Purchase of art supplies, equipment, etc.
  • Make studio improvements or rent artist work space
  • Attend conferences, residencies, workshops, study under a master artist, etc. 
  • Compensation – paid time to create artwork
  • Pursue opportunities and/or projects that further artistic development 

Some things the funds don’t cover:

  • Loans – funds cannot be used to pay or repay loans of any kind
  • Costs or expenses incurred before the Fellowship was awarded
  • Regranting of funds to a fiscal agent, nonprofit or company
  • Family/personal vacations and/or travel unrelated to research/artistic development
  • Charitable contributions to other artists and/or causes

Fellow Requirements

  • Recipients of a MAC Fellowship will be required to supply proof of current age, Washington residency status, and must sign a contract confirming compliance with program eligibility. Examples of proof of residency: a valid Washington driver’s license or ID Card, valid Washington Voter Registration card, and a utility bill showing your address.
  • Funds must be expended during the funding period of October 1 – Sept. 30 each year.
  • Recipients of a MAC Fellowship must provide a final report describing their use of the funds and how that use helped advance their artistic career. Final reports are due the sooner of September 30th or 60 days following expenditure of all Fellowship funds.
  • Artist Fellowship awards are not exempt from federal income tax and recipients should report them as income on their federal income tax returns.