2022 Define American Artist Fellowship Expectations - Define American

2022 Fellowship Expectations


The fellowship runs May 1 – November 30, 2022.


A weekend in-person orientation in a major U.S. city is planned for early May 2022. All travel, lodging, and meal costs will be covered for participants. If current health restrictions will not allow for travel or gathering, the orientation will take place virtually.

Regular Check-ins

Fellows will schedule regular calls with Define American staff to check-in about their fellowship experience, how their projects are developing, where they are looking for connections and professional development, and more. These can be scheduled weekly, every other week, or once a month depending on what the fellow finds most helpful and at a time of day that works best for them.

Professional Development Workshops

Fellows will attend 6-8 90 minute webinar workshops and facilitated conversations over the course of the fellowship on topics including storytelling, communications, fundraising, culture change in various fields, and more. These conversations will be scheduled at a time that is most conducive for most fellows with the expectation that participation in these workshops is mandatory.

Expected Outcome

Over the course of the fellowship, artists will further define their creative and professional goals, the audience for their work, as well as identify support and supporters for the next steps in their career.


Upon acceptance to the program, in order to receive the $5,000 stipend, fellows must send:

End of Fellowship

Each fellow will complete an exit survey and interview upon completion of the fellowship. Define American will use this feedback to continue to develop opportunities for creative professionals. Define American will also send surveys post-fellowship to gauge the continued impact of the fellowship.

Tips for Applying

1. Make sure this fellowship opportunity is a good fit for where you are and where you are hoping to go next.

Please read through all of the fellowship eligibility guidelines and expectations to ensure you have a good grasp of the program. We get many wonderful applicants each year who are either not quite ready for this fellowship or are too far along in their careers to benefit. We love getting to know you but we don’t want you to waste your time applying if it’s not the right fit for you. We will also have other opportunities for artists and storytellers to connect in 2022!

2. Take your time and be candid with the application essay questions.

The SurveyMonkey Apply application software allows you to save your application and return as needed. These few essay questions are heavily weighted in our selection process and we are looking for applicants who know where they are in their creative and professional development, where they want to go next, and how this Define American fellowship in particular can help them get there.

3. Submit a strong portfolio.

Sometimes we get really compelling applicants based on their application essay questions but we can’t get a strong understanding of their work or we have to search all over an artist website and we’re still not sure if we saw the strongest work. Compile all of your application work samples into one pdf or link so that reviewers can quickly see and/or read your past work. If you are a writer, choose your favorite (either published or unpublished) 3-4 short pieces or 5-15 pages of a manuscript/play. If you are a filmmaker submitting 2-3 short films, combine all of the links (with passwords if necessary) in one document. If you are a visual storyteller, compile 3-6 examples of your best work into one PDF. If you are a podcaster/digital storyteller with a large content library, choose your favorite 2-3 pieces to highlight for the reviewers.

4. Focus on your storytelling work.

We know artists often work in a variety of mediums and disciplines. For this fellowship, focus on the storytelling aspects of your creative practice. When choosing the aspects of your work to highlight in the application and portfolio, choose examples of pieces where you have created a compelling narrative and shared it with an audience.

5. Remember this is not your only opportunity.

We feel so honored by all of the incredible artists and storytellers who take the time to share their creative work and story with us and we wish we could select more than 5 fellows this year. We will be creating other opportunities to gather as an immigrant artist community in 2022 so please stay tuned for those announcements. And once you have gone through the hard work of getting your application and portfolio together for this application, take the time to apply for a few more artist fellowship/residency opportunities also! There may be a different one that is even a better fit for where you are and/or want to accomplish next.