Jerome Fellowships

MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowships Application Call

Application Cycle Open: August 1, 2019 – September 15, 2019
Application Deadline: Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 11:59pm CST

Information Sessions
Monday, August 5 at 12:00 PM
Thursday, August 15 at 6:00 PM
Thursday, August 22 at 6:00 PM

All information sessions are hosted at Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Applicants are welcome to e-mail Torey Erin, Exhibitions & Artist Programs Manager, with any questions about the application process at

MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship Overview

The MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship, administered by MCBA, is made possible by the generous support of the Jerome Foundation. MCBA 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 MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship is open to all Minnesota-based early career artists whose primary artistic expression is in the book form and/or processes within book arts (letterpress printing, papermaking, bookbinding, paper decoration, screen printing, design, and related arts).

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 goal of the program is designed to advance early career 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.

Click here for more information about the application and selection process.


About 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.

In offering these book arts fellowship grants, MCBA supports the Jerome Foundation’s core values:

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.

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 artists 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.

Past Jerome Fellows