Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship Program

In 1999, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, with generous support from the Lilly Endowment, established the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship program. Originally conceived as a renewal opportunity similar to an academic sabbatical, this groundbreaking initiative offers artists and arts administrators the opportunity to renew and refresh their creativity.

Since the inception of the Creative Renewal program, the Arts Council has awarded more than $2.2 million to 330 artists and arts administrators in all artistic disciplines. While prior rounds of the fellowship awarded 50 artists with $7,500 each, the 2011-2012 Creative Renewal Fellows were awarded $10,000 each. The two-year grant was used for research, instruction, travel, conference attendance, apprenticeships or other skill-building opportunities, or other experiences that helped the recipients explore their artistry, refresh their creativity, and recharge their spirit. Through this initiative, each fellow was committed to experiencing the process of creative renewal to the fullest. For each of the fellows, it was an exciting journey.

For this seventh round of the program, previous Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship recipients from rounds one (1999), two (2001), and three (2003) were again eligible for the program. Seven fellowships were awarded to previous recipients. In most cases, their second fellowship experiences were natural extensions to the renewal opportunities originally undertaken.

Fellowship Eligibility
A professional artist, or an arts administrator employed by a non-profit organization, must meet the following criteria to be eligible for a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship:

  • At least three years of consecutive residence and/or work in one of the following Indiana counties: Marion, Boone, Hamilton, Hendricks, Hancock, Johnson or Shelby
  • Primary source of income is derived from work in dance, theatre, media arts, music, literature, visual art or multidisciplinary art forms.
  • At least 10 years of experience in the arts and at least three years in which the applicant’s primary source of income was employment in the arts
  • Recipients agreed to share, by way of a public presentation, the results of their fellowship with the community

Fellowship Application Evaluation
The Arts Council of Indianapolis received more than 220 applications from professional artists and arts administrators. An impartial panel of national arts professionals reviewed the applications and made fellowship recommendations to the Arts Council’s Board of Directors, who provided the final approval. The panel paid particular attention to how the proposed fellowship experience would enhance the creativity, the work of the artist or administrator, and how the fellowship would enrich the artistic and cultural community of central Indiana.

2011 Creative Renewal Panelists

Charles Coe
Massachusetts Cultural Council
Boston, MA

Jeanette Richardson Parks
Arts Council of Kern
Bakersfield, CA

Roseann Weiss
Visual Art
Regional Arts Commission
St. Louis, MO

Tracy A. Marlatt
Shenendoah Arts Council
Winchester, VA


Lilly Endowment