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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-identifying 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 2024 Prizes be awarded?  

The Prizes will be announced and given in the Fall of 2024 (exact dates TBD). 

How do I apply for the Prize? 

The 2024 Forward Art Prize Application is currently open. Please click here for application FAQ.

Click here to apply.

Applications are due by midnight CDT JUNE 15, 2024

What criteria are used in the selection process?  

Recipients will demonstrate the experience, talent, ability and drive to create new and dynamic work that enhances our understanding of ourselves and our diverse world.


Prize winners will be selected based on exceptional creativity and artistic excellence as demonstrated through the following:

  • Work Samples (images including work checklist)

  • Resume

  • Artist Statement 


Prize winners will be artists for whom this award may make a significant impact on their artistic development.  Prizes are especially directed toward those artists who may not have access to other funding sources.  Artists are ineligible to apply if they have received arts funding such as grants, prizes or awards of $10,000 or more from any single entity in the period between 2021 and 2021.


Jurors will work to ensure that the award recipients represent the diversity of women artists within our community.  We are looking for artists on the verge of discovery or game-changing artistic ideas or practice.  The Forward Art Prize is intended to provide resources that will allow recipients to bring their ideas to fruition.

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 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. 

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