Review Process

Review Criteria

Panelists will be reviewing applications based on:


Selected artists will demonstrate a well-developed, socially engaged creative practice in both work and process and show a deep commitment to their work. Selected artists will have had an active socially engaged creative practice for a minimum of three years and show motivation to continue and further evolve.

Social Impact

Selected artists will clearly articulate the community(ies) with which they are engaging, the needs they are addressing, and the historic and potential impact of their work in a socially engaged creative practice.

Program Readiness

Selected artists will have the desire to advance their career and deepen their practice, engage in a strategic management process surrounding their practice, as well as an interest in sharing their work and process as part of an active network of socially engaged artists in a peer learning environment.

Impact of Funding on Practice

Selected artists will identify the ways they initially anticipate the Interchange funds will impact their careers and socially engaged creative practices. These identified impacts should relate to self-identified challenges and/or desired futures.

Panelist Review Process

Step 1

M-AAA will hire artists and arts professionals to serve as panelists. Working independently, panelists will evaluate each application using the review criteria. Great care is taken to minimize bias. We pay panelists to review implicit bias documents and video, read about our Equity and Diversity work and M-AAA’s Strategic Plan and Values, and affirm this review prior to beginning the panel process.

Panelists are required to comment on each application relative to the review criteria. All applicants will have the opportunity to request the panelists’ feedback at the time of application.

During the review process, the panelists will carefully consider the review criteria and select a statement for each application:

  • I recommend that this application advances in the selection process.
  • I am unsure, but am inclined to recommend that this application advances in the selection process.
  • I am unsure, but am inclined to recommend that this application does not advance in the selection process.
  • I do not recommend that this application advances in the selection process.

Step 2

Applications with the highest degree of consensus in Step 1 will move onto Step 2. All recommended applications will enter into a lottery process, from which sixteen fellows will be drawn. These fellows will represent a balanced cohort, including diversity of gender, age, ethnicity, geography, and artistic discipline. At least two fellows for each of M-AAA’s six regional states will be selected. Research suggests that typical grant review processes tend to favor artists with more resources. The use of the lottery process is a step to address a panel’s subjectivity, risk aversion, and uncritical “hive mind” thinking.