Wyoming Arts Council

News about the WAC visual arts fellowships

Open letter to Wyoming visual artists:

The past two years have brought a lot of changes to the Wyoming Arts Council. We have a new director in Rita Basom, whom you all knew as the manager of our Grants to Organizations program, and two new staffers: Randy Oestman and Ann Larson. I now have a much longer title: Individual Artists Program Specialist/Newsletter Editor. So, I’m now running the fellowship programs for literature, performing arts, and visual arts, as well as the Individual Artist Professional Development grants for those disciplines. By now, I hope you’ve seen our new print newsletter, Wyoming Artscapes, which is back by popular demand. Assistant Editor Linda Coatney does most of the writing and I do all of the editing. Linda and I also share posting chores for this blog.

All of this brings me to the point of this post. I’m late getting to the visual arts fellowships. I apologize for the tardiness. Some of you have called and asked if we are discontinuing our programs for individual artists. No, we are not. Grants to individuals are as important as grants to arts organizations. So important, in fact, that they are part of the WAC Strategic Plan.

Not to say there won’t be changes. There’s already been one. In years past, we recruited three jurors to come to Wyoming to screen the fellowship applications, decide on the winners, and then participate in a visual arts roundtable on topics important to the field. This year, for the first time, I’m taking the applications to the jurors. I’ve asked three fantastic artists in the Denver area to serve on the panel. Thus far, I have a firm commitment from only one. I’m certain that I will have my panel by the end of this week. The application will be ready by Feb. 1. The postmark deadline will probably be April 30. In mid-May, I will pack up the entries and take them to Denver for the judging session. Fellowship recipients should be announced by June 2.

We’ve used this same process for the past two years for the performing arts fellowships and it’s worked well.

Next, we plan to come up with an event similar to the discontinued visual arts roundtable. Any suggestions?

If you’re not sure whether your contact info is on our mailing list, e-mail me your name and address by clicking on the e-mail link below (or over on the right sidebar).

Again, sorry for the delay.

Michael Shay

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