Emerging Artist Grant

History & Purpose of the Grant

In 1996 the Jerome Foundation and VSA Minnesota began a collaboration to encourage the creation of new artistic work by emerging Minnesota artists with disabilities. Since support of emerging artists is a priority to both organizations, the Jerome Foundation has awarded VSA Minnesota funds for the past 22 years to administer grants to Minnesota artists.

The final grant application deadline for this program was February 1, 2019. Grant review panels will meet the first week of April, and six new grant recipients will be announced about April 8.

The 2018 Emerging Artist Grant Recipients were selected from 37 applicants in March 2018. Their new work will be featured at an exhibit and reception in August 2019 (date/time to be announced) at Springboard for the Arts’ new location on University Avenue in St. Paul (not yet open).

Emerging artist grants are awarded following a jurying process conducted by individuals with backgrounds in the written, visual and performing arts. Panelists look at samples of the artists’ work, resumes and artist statements. Artists who score highest in artistic quality and career receive awards. In 2018 four grantees were first-time Jerome grant recipients; two were previous recipients. In 2019 all recipients will be first-time winners.

First known as Artist Recognition Grants and now as Early Career / Emerging Artist Grants, the program has awarded 138 grants totaling over $172,000 from 1996 to 2018. The grant awards have gone to 106 individuals, including 28 repeat winners, 72 Visual Artists, 34 Writers, 23 Performers or Composers, and 9 Multi-Media Artists.

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.

Meet the 2018 Emerging Artist Grant Recipients
    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
  • Ayesha Adu, Minneapolis — screenplay writing
  • Sarah Drake, Sauk Rapids — painting & mixed media
  • Ruth Lais, Minneapolis — mixed media
  • Luke Lyons, Minneapolis — ceramics
  • Carrie Salberg, White Bear Lake — creative non-fiction writing
  • Joey Schad, St. Paul — music performance
  • a blue pitcher, with an orange octopus with many blue/white suckers and either blowing a bubble or swallowing a sword

    Orange Octopus, earthenware vase by Luke Lyons

    A collage of different colors, shapes & designs of paper shows a dark-skinned boy and a light-skinned girl by a fence; behind it are a large tree, green fields, another tree, sky and clouds

    Painting in Tiebele, paper collage by Sarah Drake

    2016 Emerging Artist Grant Recipients
    a semicircle-framed stained glass in a windowsill of many colors and rectangle shapes forming the image of a sunrise

    Geometric Sunrise (stained glass-on-glass mosaic) by Kristin Dieng

    staring man with long dark hair and dark vest against a blue-hued background

    “Eugene Gaffke”: acrylic painting by Samuel Lynn

    See News Posts for other sample images by the 2015 grant recipients or 2016 grant recipients.