The Chosen Few: Opportunities for Professional Creatives

The Chosen Few: Opportunities for Professional Creatives

Breaking into the creative industry isn’t an easy feat, so we’ve taken the grunt work out of finding some of the best paid opportunities for aspiring professional artists of color. Check out some of the amazing options we’ve rounded up:


The MacArthur Grant

Who should apply: Those interested in journalism and media

Application deadline: Varies; Nomination only

If you’d like to be in the company of Ta-nehisi Coates along with countless other “geniuses,” the MacArthur Fellowship Grant is for you. For more than three decades, the prestigious MacArthur Foundation has supported creative people and their powerful “global betterment” efforts through substantial monetary support over the course of a five year period. Although you cannot apply and must be nominated, it’s great to check out their guidelines for more information, you know, just in case.


The Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant

Who should apply: Painters, sculptors and multimedia artists

Application Deadline: Varies; Nomination only

“The Joan Mitchell Foundation was established in 1993 to fulfill the ambitions of Joan Mitchell to aid and assist contemporary artists and to demonstrate that painting and sculpture are significant cultural necessities. To further this mandate, the Foundation supports visual artists through a range of grant programs.” The Foundation awards grants nationally, by nomination, to deserving individual artists.


The Asian Cultural Council Grant

Who should apply: Asian artists

Deadline: September and October

“The Asian Cultural Council supports transformative cultural exchange by awarding grants to artists, scholars, and arts and humanities professionals, as well as organizations and educational institutions from the United States and Asia for research, study, and creative work in the United States and Asia and within the countries of Asia. Our online application is available each year in September and October, and can be accessed during that time period through our website.”


The Awesome Foundation Grant

Who should apply: Big thinkers

Application deadline: Monthly

Every month, the Awesome Foundation awards $1,000 every month to talented in an effort to jumpstart the process of bringing an amazing creative idea to life. For more information, please visit

The Brooklyn Arts Council

Who should apply: New York City based artists and arts organizations

Application Deadline: Varies

For 50 years, the arts council for the borough of Brooklyn, NY annually distributes more than $300,000 in grants to help fund hundreds of projects from Brooklyn-based artists and cultural organizations across the borough.


National Endowment for the Arts (Various Grants)

Who should apply: Artists, arts organizations

Application Deadline: Varies

Created by congress more than 50 years ago, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants arts organizations and individual creatives funds to further their artistic endeavors. If you’re looking for money to fuel your passion project, you’ll more than likely find a way to fund it here.


Creative Capital Grants

Who should apply: creative entrepreneurs

Deadline: Varies

Creative Capital, an organization devoted to providing integrated financial and advisory support to artists pursuing adventurous projects in all disciplines, disperses up to $50,000 in direct funding and career development services valued at $45,000, for a total commitment of up to $95,000 per project.

Since 1999, they have committed upwards of $40 million in financial and advisory support to 511 projects representing 642 artists, and our Professional Development Program has reached nearly 12,000 artists in over 600 communities.


John F. Guggenheim Fellowship

Who should apply: those interested in the arts

Application deadline: Details will be posted on the website July 2016

“The John F Guggenheim Foundation offers Fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed. The Foundation receives between 3,500 and 4,000 applications each year. Although no one who applies is guaranteed success in the competition, there is no prescreening: all applications are reviewed. Approximately 200 Fellowships are awarded each year.”

MAIP Fellowship

Who should apply: undergraduate and graduate level students interested in media and advertising

Application Deadline: Will be announced on website soon.

“By combining real-world work experience, training and development, and networking opportunities within the industry, MAIP participants gain a valuable professional credential to better position themselves in the marketplace. Simultaneously, the program offers advertising agencies the opportunity to access top talent and strengthens the 4A’s efforts to enhance the workforce diversity of our industry.

In addition to a full-time paid internship, MAIP fellows participate in a series of agency sponsored professional development workshops and seminars, which provide a deeper dive into the various advertising and media disciplines. The workshops also grant fellows the opportunity to learn more about the host agency’s culture through networking with agency professionals post-workshop and agency tours. MAIP fellows residing in the larger markets will attend these workshops. Those residing in smaller markets will have the opportunity to participate in alternative networking events orchestrated by MAIP alumni and agency partners.”



ARTS Internships

Who Should Apply: Undergraduate liberal arts students

Deadline: Varies

“Since its inception in 1999, the ARTS Intern program has provided an exciting opportunity for college undergraduates to learn about museum professions, through internships in museums and cultural institutions. The program seeks candidates with demonstrated financial need and encourages applicants from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Museums host interns in meaningful, educational positions in many different departments, ranging from curatorial, education, development, finance, to special events. Interns will have time-bound assignments and individual projects and be compensated with a $3,000 stipend over the course of 9 weeks.”


Nickelodeon Animation Studios Internships

Who should apply: Undergraduate students interested in media, communciations, or graphic design

Deadline: November 1

“Love Cartoons? So do we! An internship at Nickelodeon can launch you on an exciting, fun-filled career in children’s entertainment. When people think about an internship, they envision getting coffee, running errands, and slaving away behind a copy machine where everyone knows you as the “intern”. Fortunately, there is still hope out there, and that is at Nickelodeon Studios in Burbank, CA! Here, we call our interns “Nickterns” and if you get coffee, it will be for yourself! On the Nickelodeon Studios roster are hit shows such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Harvey Beaks, Breadwinners, Sanjay and Craig, The Legend of Korra, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!” 


MADE by Jasmine Browley

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