When are new applications announced?

Interchange is an eighteen month-long program beginning in August 2024 and running through December 2025. Grant applications open February 20, 2024 and run through April 15, 2024 at 5:00 pm CST.

What does the grant program include?

$25,000 grant in support of your socially-engaged creative practice practice, two professional development retreats in Kansas City, MO (Private Lodging, Meals and Transportation costs provided), quarterly virtual One-On-One mentoring sessions with artist peer facilitators, and quarterly virtual 90-minute workshops during the granting period.

Who can apply?

  • Full time residents (minimum of one year) of Mid-America Arts Alliance regional states: Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma or Texas.
  • Artists that are 21 years or older and have a valid social security number.
  • Artists who create social-practice based work with at least a three-year history of that practice outside of university.
  • Artists who can commit to attending the in-person Interchange Retreats in Kansas City, MO August 10-11, 2024 and August 9-10, 2025; the 90-minute quarterly virtual workshops; and quarterly 50-minute virtual one-on-one mentoring sessions.
  • Artists that are in good standing with Mid-America Arts Alliance and have not received another grant from M-AAA for more than $1000 in FY 2024 and FY 2025 (July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025).
  • Artists that have not previously received an Interchange grant.
  • Not be a full-time employee of Mid-America Arts Alliance or an immediate family member of a full-time employee of Mid-America Arts Alliance
  • Not be a student enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program.

I am a student. Can I apply?

If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, you are ineligible for the Interchange program.

Can I apply as a collaborative team?

The Interchange program is for individual artists working in socially-engaged creative practice practice. While many individual socially-engaged creative practice artists work as a part of one (or more) collaborative team(s), the program and funding is for and directed to an individual artist. Two or more artists working in a collaborative team as a portion of their overall practices may apply to the Interchange program individually.

What is social practice or socially-engaged creative practice?

Recognizing that there are a broad array of definitions and distinctions in the field commonly referred to as social and civic practice, Interchange uses the following broad definitions:

  • a current and ongoing artistic practice that includes working with communities (defined by geography or characteristics) to make change;
  • a creative practice that responds to social issues, challenges, and opportunities; and/or
  • a creative practice characterized by processes and products directly linked to their intended social impact.

What are your selection criteria?

Artistry: Selected artists will demonstrate a well-developed artistic 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 creative practice 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.

How are the fellows selected?

Interchange fellows will be selected through a two-step process. First, applications are reviewed by a panel of artists and arts professionals who will recommend which applications move on to step two. Next, recommended applications are placed into a blind lottery from which a balanced cohort of artists is selected.

How are panelists selected?

A typical review panel is made up of four people:

  • A minimum of two panelist members will be BIPOC individuals.
  • A minimum of two panelist members will be practicing artists.

M-AAA is committed to a peer review process that provides fresh and diverse input from an ever-changing field. In addition, M-AAA will consider age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, geography, discipline of arts experience, relationship to arts and culture (e.g. being an artist, arts administrator, or arts enthusiast), and other factors when selecting its application review panels.

Panelists are paid for their time and typically spend approximately five hours reviewing 25 applications.

I’ve been accepted as an Interchange fellow. Now what?

Congratulations! Make sure you mark your calendar for the Interchange Retreats in Kansas City, MO, August 10-11, 2024 and August 9-10, 2025 (be sure to account for travel time if you’re outside the Kansas City area). The Artist Services team at M-AAA will be in touch to guide fellows through all steps of the Interchange program.

How can I use the grant funds?

Artists may choose how best to use the funding in support of their socially-engaged creative practices. Fellows are required to demonstrate that a minimum of 20% ($5,000) of the award is used towards self-care (as individually defined). Artists may use the grant support for any purpose which supports the continued development of their socially-engaged creative practice. This includes, but is not limited to equipment; travel for research, development, and performance; residencies; child care; studio space; creative projects; training; professional services; and living expenses to allow for creative work time.

What is defined as “self-care”?

Fellows must demonstrate that a minimum of 20% ($5,000) of the award is used toward self-care. Self-care expenses are those expenses made that are not directly in support of an individual creative project or work, but towards the artist’s personal support and sustenance. These expenses might include, but are not limited to, contingency savings, healthcare, rent, child-care, travel, or personal support to afford rest or work time.

Who will I be working with?

Artist Peer Facilitators, your fellow fellows, and the M-AAA Artist Services staff.

Who are artist peer facilitators?

Artist Peer Facilitators are artists from across the M-AAA region (Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas) who have been trained as facilitators for one of our professional artist programs, which include: Artist INC, Artist INC Express, Interchange, Artists 360, and Catalyze.

Do I have to attend the interchange retreats?

Yes, as peer-to-peer based learning is an important part of the Interchange program. All Interchange fellows must attend the Interchange Retreats in Kansas City, MO, August 10-11, 2024 and August 9-10, 2025, barring illness or emergency (Private Lodging, Meals and Transportation costs provided.)

What happens at the interchange retreats?

The retreat weekends allow time for all current fellows to gather as a cohort to share working and community space centered around developing practices and creative careers. Throughout the weekend, artists will work in both large and small groups, share meals, learn alongside each other with guidance from trained Artist Peer Facilitators, while building networks and community. Private lodging and meals for each fellow will be provided. Each Interchange Retreat is a two-day professional development workshop that serves four primary purposes:

  • To afford dedicated time and processes to consider and plan for use of Interchange grant funds;
  • To meet, engage with, learn from and share knowledge with peers across the region working in socially-engaged creative practices, and develop a community;
  • To feel validated, well cared for, and that socially-engaged creative practices are valued and supported; and To gain understanding of how the Interchange program works, the support it provides, and what fellows are required to do during the program
  • To gain understanding of how the Interchange program works, the support it provides, and what fellows are required to do during the program.

What can I expect in a one-on-one session?

One-On-Ones are opportunities to ask questions, set goals, discuss project specifics, and obtain feedback. Fellows will select from a list of artist peer facilitators from across the Mid-America region who facilitate programs across all Artist Services programs. One-On-One sessions are scheduled cooperatively by fellows and Artist Peer Facilitators for meetings outside the retreat weekend. These sessions typically take place in-person in public settings, virtually, or over the phone.

Have more questions or need assistance? Email us: artistservices@maaa.org.