Fifty artists working across ten disciplines receive unrestricted $50,000 fellowships.
United States Artists (USA) is pleased to announce its 2020 USA Fellows. This year, fifty artists across ten creative disciplines will receive unrestricted $50,000 cash awards. The award honors their creative accomplishments and supports their ongoing artistic and professional development. The 2020 USA Fellows class is the largest since USA relocated from Los Angeles to Chicago in 2011. USA Fellowships are awarded to artists at all stages of their careers and from all areas of the country through a rigorous nomination and panel selection process. Fellowships are given in the following disciplines: Architecture & Design, Craft, Dance, Film, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts, Visual Art, and Writing.
Past awardees include trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard (2018), cartoonist Lynda Barry (2019), public artist Rick Lowe (2009), printmaker Amos Paul Kennedy (2015), podcaster Starlee Kine (2018), multidisciplinary artist Simone Leigh (2019), composer and pianist Jason Moran (2007), performance artist William Pope L. (2006), dancer and choreographer Yvonne Rainer (2016), documentary filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar (2019), and actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith (2009).
“We are so honored to celebrate the artists who are making vital contributions to the country’s creative ecosystem,” said United States Artists President & CEO Deana Haggag. “It is a critically important time to support the livelihoods of artists and we are ecstatic to be able to honor 50 of them this year. The 2020 class is the largest cohort of Fellows we have awarded since we relocated to Chicago, and each and every one of them stands out as a visionary influence in their respective field.”
The USA Fellowship is the organization’s flagship program and is central to its mission of believing in artists and their essential role in our society. As the organization deepens and diversifies its cultural impact through new awards programs, offering awardees financial planning support, and providing consulting services to like-minded cultural organizations, the USA Fellowship will take on greater scope and import—underscoring the necessity of supporting artists.
“We believe strongly that the arts are critically important to the well-being of our communities
and at the heart of the arts is the individual artist,” said United States Artists Board Chair Ed Henry. “We are proud to offer this unrestricted award to encourage artists to explore the possibilities of their practices and support their livelihoods.”
Since 2006, the USA Fellowship has provided direct support to artists across the country. With this unrestricted award, Fellows decide for themselves how to best use the money—whether it is creating new work, paying rent, reducing debt, getting healthcare, or supporting their families. To make its work possible, USA actively fundraises each year and is supported by a broad range of philanthropic foundations, companies, and individuals committed to cultivating contemporary culture in the United States.