The Fields Artist Fellowship is a partnership between Oregon Humanities (OH) and the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF), aimed at supporting individuals who address important issues in their communities and create meaningful change through creativity and cultural expression.
The fellowship launched in 2019, with the goal of bringing increased access, community impact, and visibility to Oregon-based artists. The second fellowship cohort, announced in 2021, aimed to support artists who were at a pivotal moment or inflection point in their careers, where the fellowship could provide meaningful impact over the two-year term. In addition to the four fellows, eight finalists each received $10,000 in support of their work.
Fellowships are awarded every two years. In 2024, OCF and OH will award four Fields Artist Fellows $150,000 each over a two-year period. Fellows also receive robust professional development, networking, and community-building opportunities throughout the fellowship. Applications for 2024–26 fellowships will open in May 2023, with a new cohort announced in November 2023.
Meet the 2021 Fields Artist Fellows.
For more information, contact Aimee Craig, Program Administrator, at FieldsFellows@oregoncf.org
Eligibility and Selection
Artists of all mediums are encouraged to apply, including writers, filmmakers, visual artists, multimedia artists, culture bearers, and performance artists. Eligibility requirements include the following:
At least five years of professional practice in an artistic discipline or combination of disciplines
At least three years of residence in Oregon (non-continuous) and the intent to reside in Oregon for the majority of the fellowship term (May 2024 to May 2026)
Demonstrable evidence of artistic practice that can engage with community groups and organizations and/or address community concerns
The Oregon Community Foundation and Oregon Humanities team will use an equity lens in the selection process for this fellowship, prioritizing and centering artists whose perspectives have been institutionally undervalued, ignored, generalized, or oppressed. The program aims for representation from artists in different regions of the state, as possible, and artists who use their artistic or cultural practice to create social change within their communities.
The Selection Committee will also consider:
- The depth and resonance of applicants’ artistic or cultural practice
- The potential for the fellowship to advance the applicants’ artistic or cultural work and career
- The applicants’ demonstrated experience working towards social change through creative and cultural practices in Oregon
- The combination of all four invited Fellows’ communities, regions, and artistic disciplines
What We Mean by Social Change
This program was created to support individuals who address important issues in their communities and create meaningful change through creativity and cultural expression. For this iteration of the fellowship we are utilizing a national framework by Animating Democracy; a program of Americans for the Arts that inspires, informs, promotes, and connects arts and culture as potent contributors to community, civic, and social change.
This framework uses the term social change as a broad umbrella to encompass a range of typical social and civic outcomes; from increased awareness and understanding, to attitudinal change, to increased civic participation, the building of public will, to policy change that corrects injustice. Acknowledging that social change must start with the individual, the framework emphasizes impact that happens at a broader institutional, group, or community level.
We are using this framework to give applicants, internal stakeholders and our team of community panelists who review applications and interview finalists tools to help: 1) Increase mutual understanding of the program goals, 2) Create shared language and terminology, 3) Better understand and evaluate creative work at the intersection of arts and civic engagement, community development, and justice.
More information about Animating Democracy’s Aesthetic Perspective Framework can be found here:
Working in Partnership
Oregon Community Foundation is dedicated to improving life in Oregon and sees arts and culture as a valuable and necessary tool for that mission. Oregon Humanities is committed to inviting diverse perspectives, exploring challenging questions, and striving for more just communities, and values innovative and imaginative ways to achieve this vision. OCF and OH believe that collaborating on the Fields Artist Fellowship program will advance community dialogues and both visions in meaningful ways.
About Fred W. Fields
The Fields Artist Fellowship is supported by The Fred W. Fields Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. The fund was established in 2012 with gifts totaling roughly $150 million from the estate of Fred W. Fields to support education and the arts.
Born in Alexandria, Indiana, Fred Fields studied engineering at Indiana University and Purdue University. In 1947, Fields went to work for Coe Manufacturing Company, which designed and constructed machinery that milled veneer, plywood, and other products. Fields purchased Coe in 1976 and headed the company until 2000, when he sold it. Fields met and married Suzanne Schoenfeldt in 1958. He and Sue believed that art stretches the imagination and drives new ideas.
“Fred’s humble roots shaped his life. He was never extravagant, though he had the means to be. He instead wanted to use his wealth to support causes that he and his wife, Sue, felt strongly about. His bequest will continue this legacy of generosity and we will be a better state for it,” said Fields estate trustee Bill Tagmyer.
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