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MacColl Johnson Fellowships | Eligibility

Rhode Island Foundation

The Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowship Fund, established at the Rhode Island Foundation in 2003, provides up to three $25,000 artist fellowships each year, rotating among composers, writers, and visual artists on a three-year cycle.






The MacColl Johnson 2018 Fellowships will be awarded to emerging and mid-career writers in Rhode Island. The 2019 Fellowships will be awarded to visual artists, and the 2020 Fellowships will be awarded to composers.

Please read carefully through all the eligibility criteria below to ensure your qualifications before applying.

In order to apply, applicants must meet ALL of the following eligibility criteria:

Sidy Maiga

Sidy Maïga - 2011 MacColl Johnson Fellowship awardee for composers

(1) Rhode Island Residency

Applicants must be Rhode Island residents

  • 12 consecutive months prior to the application deadline,
  • at the time of submitting the application, AND
  • during the period of the fellowship (2019)

Proof of residency will be required from selected Awardees and Finalists upon notification. Approved documents include copies of any two of the following:

  • a 2017 Rhode Island income tax form or 2017 W-2 Form
  • a RI driver’s license or a RI-issued identification card
  • a lease or mortgage agreement
  • a RI voter registration
  • a RI automobile registration

(2) Discipline

Applications will be accepted from writers creating new original work in any writing genre/discipline.

(3) Independent vs. Collaborative Work

Applicants must apply individually and demonstrate independent qualifications for a Fellowship. Artists who create work in collaboration should indicate their role in the creative process and identify their role in work samples.

(4) Career Stage

Applicants must demonstrate they are within the range of an emerging to mid-career stage in their artistic profession, regardless of age. To assist applicants further in determining if they are within this range, The Foundation defines the eligible career stages as follows:

Emerging Artists are considered to be in the early years of their professional careers, which may include having recently undertaken a career change to a significant artistic practice.

An Emerging Artist:

  • demonstrates at least 3 years of professional practice and currently is creating independent work;
  • demonstrates promising artistic development and may have attracted some early critical notice, but does not yet have an extensive record of recognition;
  • has produced an elemental yet substantive body of work and has an accruing record of recognition including public performances, critical reviews, or other presentations of work.

Mid-Career Artists are those who have created an independent body of work over a number of years and have received some regional or national recognition.

A Mid-Career Artist:

  • demonstrates at least 7 years of a sustained professional practice and is currently producing work;
  • has produced an accruing body of work that demonstrates artistic exploration and development;
  • has received some regional and/or national recognition, but is not substantially established in the field, or has had substantial professional recognition at an earlier career stage.


(1) Established Artists

Established artists are not eligible. They are defined as having reached a mature stage of their careers and advanced levels of achievement.

An Established Artist:

  • has a record of at least 15 years of a continuous and sustained professional artistic practice;
  • demonstrates a history of regional, national, and/or international professional recognition through commissions, critical reviews, performances, grant awards, residencies, fellowships, and/or productions; and
  • produces work that is regarded to have measurable critical and/or commercial value.

(2) Students

Artists who are high-school students, or who are college or graduate students enrolled in a degree-granting program, at the time of application (2018) or during the period of the fellowship (2019), are not eligible.

QUESTIONS? Application and selection are managed by the Alliance of Artists Communities. Questions about eligibility, guidelines, applications, and other details should be directed to the Alliance at or 401-351-4320.

Learn more about the Rhode Island Foundation's MacColl Johnson Fellowships and past Fellowship winners at