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$500,000 Awarded to Artists in Choreography, Poetry, and Traditional Arts

Dan Blask, Program Officer

a bald dancer stands on a yoga mat on a stage behind them is a large projection of a hooded figure
From SOIL by Michael Sakamoto (Choreography Fellow ’22)

Mass Cultural Council is honored to announce the Fiscal Year 2022 Artist Fellowship awards in Choreography, Poetry, and Traditional Arts. The awards include 21 Fellowships of $15,000 and 37 Finalist awards of $5,000 (increased from $1,500 in recent cycles), plus one honorary Finalist designation.

Artist Fellowships are direct grants to Massachusetts artists. Except in the category of Traditional Arts, the grants are anonymously judged, based solely on the artistic quality and creative ability of the work submitted.* We received a total number of 383 eligible applications: 61 in Choreography, 295 in Poetry, and 27 in Traditional Arts.

a collage of 4 images of artist performing
2022 Traditional Arts Fellows (left to right) Irish Uilleann piper John J. (Joey) Abarta, Indian Tabla player Sandeep Das, Greek traditional violinist Beth Bahia Cohen, and Greek traditional singer Eirini Tornesaki.

As part of our Racial Equity Plan, Mass Cultural Council continues to work towards more equitable representation on our grant review panels. Approximately 70% of the FY22 panelists/readers in Choreography, Poetry, and Traditional Arts were BIPOC. Find a full list of FY22 panelists/readers to date.

This is the first series of Artist Fellowships awards Mass Cultural Council will announce in FY22. In May, we plan to announce awards in Drawing & Printmaking, Fiction/Creative Nonfiction, and Painting.

The Artist Fellowships are a key part of Mass Cultural Council’s commitment to increase support for individual artists. By the end of the FY22 grant cycle, we expect to award over $1 million through the Artist Fellowships, reaching double the artists compared to last year (from 75 to 150).

a collage of 3 books' cover art
Cover images of books by 2022 Poetry Fellows (left to right), CULTISH by Rajiv Mohabir, THE MAGIC MY BODY BECOMES by Jessica Rizkallah, GROWN by Claudia Wilson.

*In the Traditional Arts category, the review is not anonymous and there are additional criteria.

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