Creative Renewal Fellowship


The Creative Renewal Fellowship program serves as an opportunity to resource ASC’s belief that a continued investment in creative individuals (in arts, science and history) who make Charlotte-Mecklenburg home benefits the region’s overall cultural climate.

The fellowship funds can be used for research, instruction, conferences, apprenticeships, travel, or other experiences that help the recipient explore his or her creative journey.

The fellowship is distinct from professional development opportunities because it focuses on personal renewal with the belief that the entire community will benefit through investments in individuals in the creative community. It is similar to the concept of a sabbatical that the academic community has developed to keep the educational community infused with new energy. It is, however, vastly different from a typical artist project grant in that it is designed specifically to address the pursuit of creative renewal without the constraints of budgets or sometimes even specific project outcomes. The only outcome required is creative renewal.

Fellowship activities must occur between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 as determined by the applicant. Examples of possible fellowship activities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Exploration of new ideas
  • Pursuit of new or familiar avenues of creative expression
  • Research and/or instruction
  • Conferences or retreats

Fellowship activities may be conducted anywhere in the world. Funds may be used for travel, housing, and/or the equipment necessary to conduct proposed activities. Fellows will be responsible for making all arrangements and/or purchases for fellowship activities. Fellowship funds may not be used for tuition toward degree-seeking course work

Funding Partners

Creative Renewal Fellowships are funded through the generous support of donors to the ASC Community Engagement Campaign.

Grant Amount

In 2020, ASC will award between five (5) to seven (7) $10,000 Creative Renewal Fellowships to individuals who have lived in Charlotte-Mecklenburg for at least the past three continuous years and who have been a professional, pursuing a career in the creative sector, for at least ten years.

Payments will be made in two installments only: $8,000 and $2,000 according to a Funding Schedule that will be issued to grantees. The award will be made payable directly to the individual fellowship recipient and subject to IRS 1099 income statement reporting by ASC. There is no request for a budget as part of this application. As such, the proposed activity may require more or less than the full $10,000 award. Each fellowship recipient will be required to submit an IRS W-9 form so that an IRS 1099 income statement can be issued by ASC for the fellow-s tax records. All taxes and reporting of taxes will be the responsibility of the fellowship recipient.


Please consider applying if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have lived in Mecklenburg County for a minimum of three consecutive years as of January 1, 2020.
  • You have been pursuing a career in the creative sector (arts, science and/or history related) for at least ten years (not necessarily in the same position or within the same discipline).
  • You have generated the majority of your income over the past three years through your work as a sole proprietor, creative entrepreneur or contract employee in the fields of visual/folk/performing/multi-disciplinary arts, literature, science, or history. Note: Other than creative individuals who have formally incorporated their practice as a business, full time employees at arts, science, history organizations are not currently eligible to apply.

Evaluation Process and Selection Criteria

Applications will be adjudicated by a panel of individuals to be populated and assembled by ASC. Panelists will have credentials and working knowledge relative to the disciplines represented by the applicant pool.

Panelists will review the application materials including work samples/documentation and will evaluate:

  • The quality of the creative work
  • The strength of the proposed fellowship activities
  • The connection of the applicant’s proposed renewal experience and past/future work
  • The intended impact on the applicant’s personal/professional renewal

A variety of disciplines will be represented in the fellows chosen.

Fellowship Agreement

Fellows must enter into a written agreement with ASC. No fellowship funds will be awarded in the absence of a signed fellowship agreement.

Fellows are required to participate in three or four meetings convened by ASC throughout the fellowship period. These meetings are intended to expand the scope of the experience from an individual to the community and to generate creative synergy, new ideas and collaborations.

The first fellowship payment ($8,000) will be made upon receipt of a signed fellowship agreement and all other required paperwork. The final payment ($2,000) will be made upon submission and approval of a final grant report.

Timeline and How to Apply

The deadline to apply for 2020 fellowships has passed.


Questions about Creative Renewal Fellowships can be directed to Liz Fitzgerald, Grants & Services Program Director, at

Grant Application Resources

Individual Artist Fellowships application information and tips


2019 Creative Renewal Fellowship Recipients

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