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2017 William H. Johnson Prize

Grants to USA African American Artists for
Early Career Encouragement and Development

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The William H. Johnson Foundation for the Arts

Deadline Date:

11/16/17 6:00 PM


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Grants of $25,000 to USA African-American artists to encourage and help their careers to develop. Applicants should be in the early stages of their art careers. Funding will be awarded to artists who work in the areas of sculpture, installation, painting, photography, printmaking, and/or a new genre.

Grants will be awarded based on an artist’s work, achievement, and the potential for growth.

The Foundation will use "early career" as a flexible term that should be interpreted liberally to include artists who have finished their academic work within twelve years from the year that a prize is awarded.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 157732

Estimated Size of Grant:

The 2017 William H. Johnson Prize is $25,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Early-career African American artists may apply.

For these purposes, "early-career" is a flexible term that should be interpreted liberally to include artists who have finished their academic work within twelve years from the year that a prize is awarded. For example, a person who finished their studies in 2005 is eligible to apply in 2017, but not in 2018. Age is not determinative, and artists who have not earned BFAs or MFAs are still eligible so long as they have not been working as a professional artist for more than twelve years.

Students are not precluded from applying, however, because the applicant pool is extremely competitive, a student may have better chances of winning the Prize after producing a post-graduate body of work.

At this time the Foundation does not accept requests for funding of specific projects.

The Prize is awarded to artists who descend from circumstances similar to those from which William H. Johnson descended (slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, institutionalized exclusion). Because of the widely varied histories of African Americans, these criteria must be loosely interpreted; for example, an artist with a West Indian background would have much in common with Johnson. However, African artists have a different history which is outside the current scope of the Foundation.

Pre-Application Information:

All applications must be submitted online, and the application must be started and completed in the same online session.

The 2017 Johnson Prize Application Worksheet (attached below) is provided as a tool for applicants to use prior to starting the online application, to ensure that applicants have prepared all the materials required for completing and submitting the application.

For more information, see the Foundation's responses to Frequently Asked Questions (also attached below).

The winner will be announced in December 2017.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

The online application can be found at the URL for Full Text (RFP) link below.

Submitting Letters of Recommendation:

Letters of Recommendation should be emailed directly from the recommender by the application deadline to with "2017 Recommendation for [Applicant's Name]" in the subject line.

Contact Information:

The William H. Johnson Foundation for the Arts
8424 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite A-533
West Hollywood, CA 90069


URL for Full Text (RFP):

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