Web design by Tsela Barr Design, Amber Westlund, Anabella Driz and Peri Coskey

Website made possible through a generous grant from Madison Arts Commission

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What is the Forward Art Prize? 

The Forward Art Prize is a $10,000 cash prize given annually to two individual women visual artists or women visual artist collaboratives in Dane County who show exceptional creativity in their work and who are deeply engaged in artistic practices that inspire new ways of thinking, new behaviors, or new ways of engaging communities. 

The prize is for individual women artists or women artist collaboratives only, not official organizations, because we know that the discoveries, actions, and ideas that shape our society often begin with the ground-breaking efforts of individual creative people. 

How is the Prize funded? 

The Prize is made possible through the Women Artist Forward Fund, which was created and designed specifically to elevate opportunities for outstanding women artists, expand the conversation about the influence of art in our community, and to help establish greater gender parity in the arts. The fund has been generously supported by individuals and foundations who recognize both the need and opportunity. 

When will the first Prizes be awarded?  

The first two Prizes will be given on November 8, 2019, at an awards ceremony held at the Chazen Museum of Arts in Madison. We ask that awardees attend this celebration. All applicants will be notified of the jurors' decisions in October 2019.

How do I apply for the Prize? 

Applications will be available by mid-May 2019 on our website. Please click here.

What criteria are used in the selection process?  

Prize winners will be selected based upon exceptional creativity and artistic excellence as demonstrated through the following: examples of current work (Work Samples), evidence of the seriousness and integrity of the practice (Resumé), and promise for future artistic development (Artistic Statement). Recipients will demonstrate drive, talent, ability, and the ambition to create new, dynamic and interesting work, that could be seen as enhancing our understanding of ourselves and our diverse world. We are looking for artists on the verge of great discovery or game-changing ideas who need resources for their ideas to come to fruition. (Supplemental websites and other social media will NOT be consulted for the selection process.)

Who selects the Prize recipients? 

Prize recipients will be selected by an anonymous, independent review committee, who have broad experiences in the visual arts. They will be diverse in their cultural, artistic, and educational backgrounds. The jurors' final award recommendations will be reviewed and approved by the WAFF Board of Advisors.

What can the Prize pay for? 

The Prize is intended to help selected artists develop their careers. It is an unrestricted award. A "no strings attached" policy provides maximum freedom for fellowship recipients to follow their creative vision. The Prize could be used to pay for materials, studio space, travel, exhibition expenses, childcare expenses to help buy studio time, or other expenses deemed necessary by the artist to support her work. While there are no restrictions on what the grant should pay for, artists will be required to submit an end of year report detailing how their artistic practice has benefitted as a result of the Prize. 

Are there any requirements of the artists receiving the Prize? 

Yes, there are several requirements to receive the Prize listed below. 

Prize recipients: 

  • Must submit a brief online report and give a public presentation at the end of the award year (2020) describing how the award impacted her practice.

  • Will be required to recognize the Women Artists Forward Fund on all printed or web materials relating to efforts that are supported by this award. For example: "This project is supported ​in part by a grant from the Women Artists Forward Fund" and must include our logo. (We will supply this to you.)

  • Is required to sign a "Terms and Conditions" agreement letter which outlines these criteria before she receives her award. 

  • Must wait seven years before applying for the Forward Art Prize again. 

  • Will be issued a 1099,  per Federal Government requirements for reporting the Prize as income.