Matthew Northridge

October 2020

NYFA has awarded $588,000 to 85 New York State artists working in Craft/Sculpture, Digital/Electronic Arts, Nonfiction Literature, Poetry, and Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts.

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced the 2020 recipients and finalists of the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship program, which it has administered for the past 35 years with leadership support from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). For the 2020 Fellowship year, the organization has awarded a total of $588,000 to 85 artists (including one collaboration) whose ages range from 28-73 years throughout New York State in the following disciplines: Craft/Sculpture, Digital/Electronic Arts, Nonfiction Literature, Poetry, and Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts. Fifteen finalists, who do not receive a cash award, but benefit from a range of other NYFA services, were also announced. A complete list of the Fellows and Finalists follows. Since it was launched in 1985, the program has awarded over $32.5 million to more than 5,000 artists.

The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship program makes unrestricted cash grants of $7,000 to artists working in 15 disciplines, awarding Fellowships to five disciplines per year on a triennial basis. The program is highly competitive and this year’s recipients and finalists were selected by discipline-specific peer panels from an applicant pool of 3,536 artists.

Each year, the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship offers a unique snapshot of contemporary arts across New York State. From almost 4,000 applications in five disciplines, there were key themes that emerged. Shining a light on the diverse cultural fabric that makes up the state were explorations of race and ethnicity, immigration, cultural displacement, and what it means to be a first-generation American as well as work that examines current political issues such as climate change, LGBTQIA+ rights, and racial and gender equality from highly personal perspectives.

“This year is an especially meaningful one in the long history of this program, as unrestricted artist grants are needed now more than ever,” said Michael L. Royce, Executive Director of NYFA. “We are thrilled to partner with NYSCA to recognize artists of all disciplines across New York State with NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships; to be selected by a peer jury is an incredible honor and hopefully a validating one no matter the artist’s career stage,” he added.

“The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship recognizes that artists of all disciplines, backgrounds, ages, and career stages are at the heart of our state’s powerful creative ecosystem and make vital contributions to the diversity of expression in New York,” said Mara Manus, Executive Director of NYSCA. “As our field faces innumerable challenges, we are proud to continue our partnership with NYFA to provide critical support to artists whose work helps build healthy communities in all regions of the state.”