Thursday, April 06, 2017

Call for Artists: VSA Emerging Young Arts Program

Deadline: 5/3/17

Apply here

About VSA Emerging Young Arts Program
Since 2002, the Kennedy Center and Volkswagen Group of America have teamed up for the
VSA Emerging Young Artists Program, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program, to recognize and showcase the work of emerging young artists with disabilities, ages 16-25, who are residing in the United States.
Electrify! Theme
Art should excite our senses, awaken our curiosity, and electrify our very being. It has the ability to invigorate and empower the artist and viewer alike, but just as important, art can spark empathy and ignite understanding. We’re seeking artwork that is charged with ideas, art that acts as a conduit for creative reflection on the past, explores the “now,” and invokes a future full of possibility and inclusivity. 

Fifteen winning artists share a total of $60,000 in awards. Grand Prize is $20,000, First Prize is $10,000, Second Prize is $6,000, and the remaining Awards of Excellence are $2,000 each. Winners will exhibit their selected artwork in a year-long, nationally touring exhibition, and attend an all-expenses-paid professional development workshop in Washington, DC.

Application Process
The applications deadline is May 3, 2017 and winners will be announced in mid-June, 2017. Artwork will be judged by a panel of experts in the field of visual arts who will be looking for artwork that demonstrates a high level of skill, expresses original ideas, and reflects the Electrify! theme. To request an accommodation or receive the application materials in an alternate format, contact Anne-Marie Walsh,, at least two weeks prior to the submission deadline.
- Artist must be between the ages of 16 and 25 on May 3, 2017 at 11:59 pm.

- Artist must reside in the United States.
- Artist must have a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Note: artist must be comfortable identifying as a person and artist with a disability.
Selected applicants will be asked to submit documents proving the above eligibility requirements prior to advancing to round 3 of adjudication. Eligibility documents include the following:
Proof of disability
This is usually a letter from a doctor or other healthcare professional identifying the applicant’s disability(s). The document does not have to be recent but must state the nature of the disability. Other proof of disability is accepted, such as a statement from a reputable disability association or organization, professional counselor, Individualized Education Program (IEP) documents, or a letter from the head of the IEP team.

Proof of Age
Provide a copy of a government issued ID, such as a passport, birth certificate, or driver's license. To be eligible you need to have been between the ages of 16 and 25 on May 3, 2017.

Proof of US Residence
You do not have to be a US citizen, but you do need to be residing in the United States. Proof of US residency could be a letter from a teacher or professor, a lease or utility bill in your name, a note from an employer, or another official document indicating that you are currently living in the United States.

Other Requirements
- Artwork submitted must be completed within the last 3 years, and after the onset of disability.

- Previous Emerging Young Artist Program award winners are not eligible to apply.
- Submitted artwork must be able to withstand handling, storage, and transportation.
- 2-Dimensional artwork cannot exceed 60 inches in height or width.
- 3-Dimensional artwork cannot exceed 48 inches in any direction when packed for shipping.
- All art forms eligible including but not limited to painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, textile, video, and digital.
- Applicant must be the sole creator and owner of all artwork submitted.
- Work that suggests visual plagiarism, such as direct copy of another artists’ work, will not be accepted.