Early Career (Emerging) Artist Grant

23rd Year of Emerging Artist Grants awarded

In 1996 the Jerome Foundation and VSA Minnesota began a collaboration to encourage the creation of new artistic work by emerging and early career Minnesota artists with disabilities. Since support of emerging artists has been a priority to both organizations, the Jerome Foundation has awarded VSA Minnesota funds for the past 23 years to administer grants to Minnesota artists.

The final 2019 grant program has been completed. This year it was refocused on Early Career artists, after a number of years focused on Emerging artists, and before that an Artist Recognition focus. After a February 1 application deadline, grant review panels met in late April and awarded six grants of $2,000 to recognize artistic excellence and encourage the creation of new work. Selected from 28 applicants, grantees are (Name, City — Medium):

TIMothy Bruehl, Minneapolis — painting
Kevin Eldstrom, Cedar — sculpture
Owen Marciano, Minneapolis — drawing & painting
Gabriel Rodreick (Freaque), Minneapolis — music composition/performance
Acadia Stephan, Lindstrom — multi-media art books
Lacey Woida, St. Paul — photography

The grants were awarded following a jurying process conducted by individuals with backgrounds in the written, visual and performing arts. Panelists looked at samples of the artists’ work, resumes, artist statements and project proposals for creating new work. Artists who scored highest in artistic quality and career received awards. All grantees are first-time Jerome grant recipients. Members of the panels included:

vertical panel of acrylic & mixed media of many images beneath a PARTNERS logo: tall & old buildings, Indian headress, dome, stars, train, more

Boston – by TIMothy Bruehl

Writing and Performance Panel:
Rebecca Dosch Brown, Mpls. – poet, writer, mixed media artist; staff at MNLEND and Institute on Community Integration
Mary Ellen Childs, Mpls. – composer, founder of the percussion ensemble CRASH; program director, McKnight Artist Fellowships for Dancers & Choreographers
Susan Haas, Mpls. – executive artistic director/founder, Open Eye Figure Theatre
Howard Lieberman, Stillwater – storyteller, past Fringe Fest & Patrick’s Cabaret performer/boards
Mark Olson, Mpls. – staff at Institute on Community Integration, Art for All
Pat Samples, Brooklyn Center – author, speaker, workshop presenter, advocate for creative aging
Visual Arts Panel:
Gabrielle (Raye) Cordes, Shafer – program assistant, Franconia Sculpture Park
Jenna Gustafson, Shafer – administrative intern, Franconia Sculpture Park
Jenny Keight, Mpls. – department coordinator, Education & Public Programs, Walker Art Center
Mary Beth Magyar, Rochester – artist and teacher
Megan McClanahan, St. Paul – inclusion/accessibility coordinator, St. Paul JCC
Leslie Palmer-Ross, Mpls. – director of Healthcare & Art Services, Art Force
Patti J. Paulson, Robbinsdale – artist, art curator, creator
Sarah Stowell, Lakeville – director, Lakeville Arts Festival

From 1996 to 2019, 144 grant awards have gone to 112 individuals, including 28 repeat winners, 76 Visual Artists, 34 Writers, 24 Performers/Composers, and 10 Multi-Media Artists. The grant program evolved with Jerome Foundation priorities in funding — first known as Artist Recognition Grants, then Emerging Artist Grants, and now Early Career Artist Grants.

VSA Minnesota will close at the end of September after 33 years offering arts opportunities and accessibility assistance for individuals and arts organizations. This is the last Early Career Artist grant it will administer. Springboard for the Arts, which offers many services to help artists along career paths, will increase its focus on artists with disabilities but will not be continuing this grant program. This year it is renovating a former car dealership on University Avenue in St. Paul which will be its future home for classes, exhibits, etc.

semicircular shape of different materials in shades of brown seem to merge, melted, cracks, speckles

Test Tile 3, aluminum & found tile – by Kevin Eldstrom

The 2018 Emerging Artist Grant Recipients, who were selected from 37 applicants in March 2018, will exhibit their new work August 13-22, 2019, in the lobby of the Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts, 516 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis. A reception to meet the artists is Thursday evening, August 15.

Corporate Logo of the Jerome Foundation, St. Paul, Minnesota

The Jerome Foundation, created by artist and philanthropist Jerome Hill (1905-1972), seeks to contribute to a dynamic and evolving culture by supporting the creation, development, and production of new works by emerging artists. It makes grants to not-for-profit arts organizations and artists in Minnesota and New York City. It is affiliated with the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France. The 23-year partnership between VSA Minnesota and the Jerome Foundation has been the only privately funded grant program for artists with disabilities in the country.

For more information, email or call 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883.

See new work by 2018 Emerging Artist Grantees:
August 13-22, 2019
Cowles Center for Dance lobby
516 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis

    Join us to celebrate new work created in 2018-19 in painting, photography and multi-media. A reception with the artists was held August 15.
    Details: 612-332-3888.

    D. Allen, Minneapolis — poetry, essay
    John Lee Clark, Hopkins — poetry
    Mike Harris, Jr., Minneapolis — painting
    Harrison Halker Heinks, Edina — photography
    Chris Juhn, Burnsville — photography
    Shelia D. Nelson, St. Paul — photography

    2018 Visual Artist Grant Recipient samples

    acrylic painting of bees pollinating flowers

    Mike Harris: Bee Medley and Pollinator Drone

    Photograph of a reflection in a store window of a young man taking a picture and seeming to hold a bag that's actually in the window display

    Harrison Heinks – Window Shopping

    a night0time photo of six helmeted policemen carrying a horizontal young black man (like a

    Chris Juhn – Battering Ram

    Photo of a cream-colored wall with a darker section shaped like a vertical slender torso with a crack running through it

    Shelia D. Nelson – Figure in Stone

Meet the 2017 Emerging Artist Grant Recipients