MCBA/Jerome Foundation Book Arts Fellowship Program


APPLICATION OPEN CALL for the MCBA/Jerome Foundation Book Arts Fellowship Program

Application Cycle Open: August 1, 2019 - September 3, 2019

Information Sessions

  • Monday, August 5 at 12:00 PM at Minnesota Center for Book Arts
  • Thursday, August 15 at 6:00 PM at Minnesota Center for Book Arts
  • Thursday, August 22 at 6:00 PM at Minnesota Center for Book Arts

All information sessions are hosted at Minnesota Center for Book Arts:

1011 Washington Ave S, Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN

Applicants are welcome to e-mail Torey Erin with any questions about the application process at [email protected]

MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship Overview

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is a visual arts nonprofit organization that supports creative expression through traditional and contemporary book arts, including papermaking, bookbinding, and letterpress printing. MCBA’s philosophy and artistic vision challenges its artist community to think beyond the traditional notion of the “book.” Today, books can be bound and unbound, fabricated into sculptures, interpreted as metaphor, experienced as installation or performance, and interacted with virtually. What unites this varied work is a focus on the interdisciplinary expression of narrative.

The MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship, administered by Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA), is made possible by the generous support of the Jerome Foundation. The MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship is open to all Minnesota based emerging artists whose primary artistic expression is in the book form. The goal of the program is designed to advance emerging book artists both critically and creatively in their practice. MCBA and the Jerome Foundation welcome applications from artists representing diverse cultural perspectives.

The Jerome Foundation has adopted new language and guidelines surrounding the definition of an early career/emerging artist. The new emphasis is on funding artists who are at a relatively early and formative stage in their career with the hope of providing them support within the book arts field.

This MCBA administered fellowship program uses an independent jury of three arts professionals to competitively award three fellowships. The fellowship runs from October 2019 – October 2020 and includes:

  • $5,000 stipend for proposed project (this may cover materials, production costs, time, and travel).
  • 24/7 access to MCBA studios and equipment use
  • 3 group critiques with MCBA staff and guest critics
  • One year MCBA Membership
  • Technical support from MCBA staff
  • Fellowship exhibition in MCBA’s Main Gallery in Fall 2020

The Jerome Foundation

Since 1985, the Jerome Foundation has helped artists push the boundaries of contemporary book arts by supporting the creation of new work. Book arts projects funded by thirteen series of Fellowships and seven series of Mentorships range from exquisitely crafted fine press volumes and sculptural books to documented performances and one-of-a-kind installations that “break the bindings” and redefine conventional notions of book form.

The Jerome Foundation, created by artist and philanthropist Jerome Hill (1905–1972), promotes a dynamic culture through support for early career/emerging vocational artists to create new work and for nonprofit arts organizations that offer programs, services and activities for such artists based in the state of Minnesota or the five boroughs of New York City.

The Foundation’s core values, which we strive to model in our practice as grant makers and to support in our grantees, are:

Diversity: We consciously embrace diversity in the broadest sense. We support a diverse range of artists and organizations, including but not limited to those of diverse cultures, races, sexual identities, genders, generations, aesthetics, points of view, physical abilities, and missions. We support a diverse range of artistic disciplines and forms, created in a variety of contexts and for different audiences.

Innovation/Risk: We support artists who and organizations that push the boundaries of their respective disciplines, and we applaud unconventional approaches to solving problems.

Humility: We work for artists (rather than the reverse) and believe that artists and organizations are the best authorities to define their needs and challenges—an essential humility reflective of Jerome Hill, our founder. The artists we support embrace their roles as part of a larger community of artists and citizens, and consciously work with a sense of purpose, whether aesthetic, social or both.

 Artists whose primary work engages the book form and/or processes within book arts (letterpress printing, papermaking, bookbinding, paper decoration, screen printing, design, and related arts).

Application and Selection Process

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants who do not meet all of the following criteria will not be considered.

  • Artists whose primary work engages the book form and/or processes within book arts (letterpress printing, papermaking, bookbinding, paper decoration, screen printing, design, and related arts).
  • Artists who are at early stages in their careers.
  • Artists who are legal residents of the state of Minnesota and have been residents for at least a year prior to the submission of the application (determined by voting and/or payment of taxes in the state). Applicant must also have a street mailing address within Minnesota to be eligible to apply.
  • Artists must reside in the state until the end of the 12-month Fellowship period.
  • Artists must be able to provide evidence that they are an early career artist. Resume/CV will demonstrate limited, but promising exhibition exposure and no more than a few grants or fellowships in direct support of their work.
  • Artists must be willing to participate in all events scheduled for the Jerome Book Arts Fellowship including meetings, critiques, events, exhibition installation and related activities.
  • Artists must comply with all MCBA studio rules and regulations, including proper maintenance and equipment use.
  • Artists applying as a collaborative team must make sure each artist involved meets the eligibility requirements.
  • Artists who have received the MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship XIV (2017-2018) are not eligible for the MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship XV.
  • Two-time recipients of the MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowships are not eligible for this program.
  • Artists who have received a McKnight Fellowship or another award for established or mid-career artists not eligible for this program.
  • Students who are or will be at the time of the application and during the grant period enrolled in a degree-granting program either full or part-time (including K-12, graduate or postgraduate studies) are not eligible for this program.
  • MCBA Staff members and current artist in residence are not eligible
  • Artists who do not currently live in the state of Minnesota and who did not consider MN their legal residence for the year leading up to the application are not eligible for this program.
  • Artists who are mid-career, beyond emerging artist status: artists who have been substantially celebrated within their field, the media, funding circles, or the public at large are not eligible for this program.

Application Process

Go to for more information and application.

Application Cycle Open: August 1, 2019 - September 3, 2019

Application Deadline: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 11:59pm

Applications are submitted through the online platform Submittable. To begin you will create a new account. Once you have created a new account you can fill out the application form, upload images, resume, budget and project proposal.
You can return to the application site as many times as you like until you complete your submission. Once you hit submit you will no longer be able to log in and make any changes to your submission.

The Artists name must be omitted from all of the following documents due to the blind jury process: Images, Resume/CV, Image List, Project Proposals and Budget. Please only include your name in the Submittable form.


Include 10 work samples as digital image files, which may include full and detail shots.  Do not display your name anywhere on the image (though signatures on the artworks themselves are permissible). Image files should be saved in JPEG format (the filename will end with.jpg) at 72 ppi and 1920 pixels at the longest side, and no larger than 1.8 MB.

You will be asked to provide the following information for each work sample submitted: the title of the work; medium or media; dimensions of the actual image or object; and its date (year) of creation.

Your image file names must correspond with the Image List. Please format your files the following way: TitleOfWork_1.jpg if you are submitting a detailed photograph of image 1, it would be titled: TitleOfWorkDetail_2.jpg.

Video options. You may submit up to two video links from YouTube in your Image List document. To use YouTube, you will need to register for a free account. For information about how to do this, please go to: Each video should not be more than three (3) minutes in length. Because of the blind jury process ideally there should be no voiceover narration, artist appearance or name included in the video submission, but those are permissible if they are integral to the piece.

Image List: Your Image list must include: Title of work, Date, Medium, and brief description.

Project Proposal:

  • Project Proposal: A realistic proposal that demonstrates applicants’ vision and how they will utilize MCBA’s studios and equipment. Strong project proposals make a clear connection between work samples, current practice, and project proposal.
  • Project Budget: an outline of project expenses for allocated stipend of $5,000.


Submit a current résumé (any length) Examples of professional artist résumés are available at the College Art Association website: Please do not include your name or contact information on the résumé. It is okay if your name appears in exhibition titles or publications. Save your résumé as a Microsoft Word document (.doc), plain text file (.txt), PDF (.pdf), or in Rich Text Format (.rtf).

A Note to Artists applying as a collaborative team:

Artists applying as a collaborative team must distinguish between the resumes by using the titles “Artist A” and “Artist B”. “Artist A” and “Artist B” resumes must be included in the same PDF, labeled accordingly. In your project proposal, you should address why collaboration is integral to your project and development within your practice.


Selection Process

Three jurors, representing diverse perspectives and backgrounds with an appreciation for and knowledge of a wide spectrum of artistic practice. Panelists will represent a diversity of age, ethnicity, and gender. It is a blind jury process, meaning applicants remain anonymous throughout the process and their names are not attached to their work.

Panelists will also remain anonymous during the selection process. Applicants will be notified by Friday, October 4, 2019.

Applicants are evaluated and selected according to the following criteria:

  • Eligibility
  • Artistic excellence
  • Commitment to their practice
  • Proposed project
  • Impact the fellowship will have on the artist

For more information about the Book Arts Fellowship program: visit

To learn more about Minnesota Center for Book Arts: visit; call 612-215-2528; or visit us in person in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis.

Opportunity Opens

Thursday, Aug 1st 2019

Opportunity Closes

Tuesday, Sep 3rd 2019, 11:45pm

Application Location

External Site
MN Artists