Tulsa Artist Fellowship, located in the heart of Oklahoma’s Green Country, is an initiative of the George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF). Using evidence-based practices, GKFF invests in a culturally vibrant and economically robust Tulsa with the belief that a thriving community will afford high quality opportunities for all residents.
With GKFF’s strong belief that the arts are essential to a diverse and engaged city, Tulsa Artist Fellowship was established in 2015 as a program dedicated to addressing the most pressing challenges in artistic communities and serving as a globally recognized model for mobilizing communities with the transformative power of art.
"The Tulsa Artist Fellowship has given me the time and resources to pursue my creative practice, here, near my tribal community. And the fellowship locates me within an inspirational community that inspires my art-making."
Photo credit: Melissa Lukenbaugh | Photo: Harjo working in her Archer Building studio
about the award
Tulsa Artist Fellowship is a place-based, durational award focused on supporting independent arts practitioners. Our studio facilities and housing are integrated into a vibrant cultural district with galleries and performance venues, green space, independent retailers, and restaurants. Fellowship awards are merit, not project-based, where arts professionals are gifted autonomy to explore and expand their creative practices. While the size of our residency is variant, participant capacity averages 50 contemporary artists and arts workers with a diverse range of artistic disciplines. This critical mass of artistic practitioners has proven to be one of our program’s greatest offerings. Participants are encouraged to engage in critical dialogue and skill share among their artistic colleagues through monthly gatherings and annual institutes.
"The Tulsa Artist Fellowship has supported my work in ways I had not anticipated. Many ideas I’ve had for years. Either I did not have the time or the means to execute them. Over the past few years, I have been able to release new music, develop my previous video and collage work, present live performances, develop a fashion line and map out ways I can better serve our art community as I move into the future. My experience in the program has been truly inspiring."
Photo credit: Julianne Clark | Photo: Linzy performing at turnaround, a TAF community-engagement project
supporting artistS and arts workers
Realizing GKFF’s vision grounded in social change, Tulsa Artist Fellowship is committed to fostering an equitable environment where a diverse and inclusive community of artists and arts workers have the opportunity to thrive professionally. Our institutional model is reflective and responsive. We acknowledge that a significant number of artistic practitioners are unable to secure the time required to actualize their creative projects in tandem with maintaining stable housing and studio spaces. In response, Tulsa Artist Fellowship strives to remove these barriers by providing program participants with three core areas of support:
$40,000 stipend paid over two years
Fully subsidized housing for two years in Tulsa's Arts and/or Greenwood Districts that accommodates families, partners and pets (estimated resource value of $18,000)
Fully subsidized studio space in Tulsa's Arts and/or Greenwood Districts with access to shared facilities including ceramics studio with kilns, woodshop, media lab, roof terrace, performance rehearsal space and meeting rooms with video/audio capabilities (estimated resource value of $18,000)
“Tulsa Artist Fellowship has been a dream come true for me. Among other things, it has led me to new friendships and collaborations, groundbreaking new works, and opportunities to engage diverse audiences."
Photo credit: Melissa Lukenbaugh | Photo: Ahmad working in her Archer Building studio
NATIVE AMERICAN ARTS PRACTITIONERS
The City of Tulsa is deeply shaped by its rich Native American cultural landscape. TAF is dedicated to celebrating and supporting Native arts and specifically reserves multiple Fellowship awards for Native American artists following the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 as a guideline.
“The framework of the Fellowship has allowed me to create work that is crucial to my career and exhibition schedule. It provides opportunities to collaborate, dialogue, and share my practice with a greater audience. The Tulsa Artist Fellowship supports and values the creative endeavors of artist and their contributions towards social change in the chaotic environment of today’s world.”
Photo credit: Melissa Lukenbaugh | Photo: Fields working clay in the Tulsa Artist Fellowship Ceramics Workshop
in the spirit of reflectivity, tulsa artist fellowship has expanded additional award support areas to include:
$3,000 studio assistant stipend (over 2 years)
$2,400 health and wellness stipend (over 2 years)
Access to free fitness facilities
Childcare reimbursements for Fellowship activities
Memberships to local cultural institutions
Fly Loft Performance Space
FLAGSHIP Project Space
Artists and/or Arts Workers of any medium and/or discipline with a minimum of five years professional experience committed to living and working in Tulsa, Oklahoma full-time for two-years; U.S. Resident; Pass Background Check Note: Past recipients of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship are ineligible to reapply for additional program terms. Tulsa Artist Fellows cannot be enrolled in a full-time academic program.
about the application
Tulsa Artist Fellowship applications are reviewed by a national panel of arts professionals, past award recipients and Fellowship stakeholders. We are seeking a diverse community of artistic practitioners who are dedicated to their creatives practices and demonstrate an ability to thrive in our program’s unique facilities and culture.
Artistic Practice Statement (500 word max)
Fellowship Statement (500 word max)
Community Engagement Statement (300 word max)
Professional References (3 minimum)
Work Samples (10 minimum within the past four years)
Photo credit: Melissa Lukenbaugh | Photo: Steve Bellin-Oka working in his Detroit Building studio
frequently asked questions
What are important 2021-2023 application dates to know?
Is a highly focused portfolio better than one showing the variety of ways the artist is actively practicing?
When considering an applicant, do you look back at their applications from previous years? If so, what do you look for?
Do you announce who will be on the panel?
If we work collaboratively with another [individual] should we apply together or separately?
Who should we add as references?
Photo credit: Destiny Green | Photo: Candace Wiley and Ari Christopher performing at WORKS/IN/PROCESS series
Tulsa Artist Fellows are expected to live, make, and intentionally engage with our city. Community engagement touchpoints occur through a variety of internal and external programming; examples include First Friday open studios, public readings, discursive events and performances. The arts are highly valued and celebrated in Tulsa. Here, you’ll find socially-engaged citizens and institutions that are open to new ideas and eager to support progress.
"The Tulsa Artist Fellowship has enabled me to expand my artistic practice to include a whole host of projects related to my primary practice of literary translation: publishing, performance-based readings and productions, collaborative practices (with visual artists, architects, museum professionals, and baseball players), and literary hoaxes."
Photo credit: Julianne Clark | Photo: McNeil reading at TAF Writers' Project, a community-engagement initiative
have a question about the program?
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