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2025 ARTIST IN BUSINESS LEADERSHIP FELLOWSHIP GUIDELINES 

The Artist in Business Leadership (ABL) Fellowship is a yearlong program that helps independent Native artists pursue art as a way to build a business to support themselves and their families. Participants in this fellowship program are offered network-building opportunities, professional development guidance, and funding towards business needs.

The ABL Fellowship offers $10,000 in grant funding towards a proposed project that will help artists launch or grow a successful arts business. Applications are open to artists at all stages of their career.

Your proposed ABL Fellowship project and budget should be grounded in arts business needs and goals rather than providing financial support toward a new or existing creative project. Developing or completing a creative project can be a component of your proposed ABL Fellowship project, but should not be the primary goal or outcome.

Examples of business needs to consider as you develop your proposed project can include (but are not limited to): consultation with legal and financial professionals, creation of retail/promotional websites and marketing materials, purchasing or repairing needed equipment, sourcing supplies and materials, developing or refining products/services for retail sale, coursework or mentoring related to professional development, travel costs related to attending art markets, merchandise production, professional networking opportunities, rental of studio space or equipment, and more. Think about what resources you need in order to start or grow your arts business, what you will be able to accomplish with the grant funding provided.  

This is a one-year program and we expect that your application clearly details your proposed project within a one-year timeframe.     
 

FELLOWSHIP INFORMATION

  • Grant amount: $10,000.
  • Disbursement schedule: 90% (or $9,000) will be paid once initial paperwork and orientation measures are completed. The remaining 10% (or $1,000) will be paid in December 2025 upon completion of closing measures. 
  • Award year: January 1, 2025 - December 31, 2025.
  • The number of ABL fellowships awarded each year is based on available funding. 
  • Selected artists will be expected to attend an annual fellowship convening where all FPF fellows are brought together for a multi-day event. This is normally held in the spring and past convening locations have included Santa Fe, Phoenix, and Minneapolis.
     

ELIGIBILITY

  • Must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application.
  • Applicants must be an enrolled member of, or provide proof of lineal descendancy from, a U.S. federally-recognized or U.S. state-recognized tribe, or be able to provide proof of ancestry as an Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian.
  • Native practitioners of all creative mediums are welcome to apply. This includes painting, drawing, printmaking, music, dance, theater, clothing design, basket weaving, beading, storytelling, writing, culinary arts, and much more, in both traditional and contemporary forms.
  • Artists and culture bearers may not apply to the same program in succession. For example, if you were a 2024 ABL Fellow, you are not eligible to re-apply to the ABL Fellowship program in 2025.
  • If you are a previous grantee with First Peoples Fund (FPF), you must have submitted a final report for any previously awarded FPF Grants.
     

APPLICATION PROCESS 

A completed Fellowship application includes:

  1. Application 
  2. Proof of Tribal Affiliation
  3. Two Letters of Reference (Examples: Professional or community reference; current mentor)
  4. Project Budget
  5. Artist Statement
  6. Resume
  7. Artwork Samples (5 to 10 examples of your recent artwork)
  8. Description of Artwork Samples 
  9. One high-quality photograph of yourself, either a professional headshot or a clear picture of your performing/creating your art medium. If selected, this image may be used for FPF promotion and announcement materials. 

ARTWORK SAMPLES

  • VISUAL ARTS: Digital photos should be in JPEG format. We strongly recommend submitting high quality images that capture the details of your art. Your Description of Artwork Samples should include the following for each image: a) Title; b) Medium; c) Year Created; d) Dimensions (if applicable). 
  • PERFORMING ARTS: You may upload video, audio, and/or photo files, or a document listing links to files. Please limit video and audio files to no longer than two minutes or indicate a two minute section for each sample that the selection committee should review. Your Description of Artwork Samples should include the following for each file: a) Title; b) Medium; c) Year Created; d) Timestamps for section of the submitted file for selection committee to review (if applicable). If submitted audio/video examples are longer than two minutes and no specific times are called out for review, the selection committee will only review the first two minutes.     
  • LITERARY ARTS: You may upload samples and excerpts of your writing. Please try to keep each submission at two pages or less. If your file is longer, you may indicate which pages the selection committee should review. Your Description of Artwork Samples should include the following for each file: a) Title; b) Medium; c) Year Created; d) Pages or sections for selection committee to review (if applicable). If submitted files are longer than two pages and no specific sections are called out for review, the selection committee will only review the first two pages. 


TIMELINE

  • Application Opens: Monday, June 17th
  • Application Closes: UPDATED (from Monday, July 22nd to) Monday, August 5th, at 11:59pm MST

SELECTION ANNOUNCEMENT: Applicants will be notified in December 2024
 

QUESTIONS?

Contact Fox Spears, Program Manager of Fellowships, with any questions by calling 407-212-7313, or via email at: fox@firstpeoplesfund.org. 


 

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