Bay Area Black Artist Studio Fellowship

Monday, August 10, 2020

Root Division is currently seeking applicants for the 2020-21 Bay Area Black Artist Studio Fellowship. Application process includes submitting completed Fellowship Application Form and required materials. Finalists must be available between August 18-27, 2020 for virtual interviews.

In the event that the COVID-19 situation continues to affect our programming into the fall and winter months, we will work alongside the selected artist to structure this fellowship accordingly.


In its inaugural year, the Bay Area Black Artist Studio Fellowship provides free studio workspace and a monetary stipend to an emerging artist in exchange for being an integral part of Root Division’s Studios Program. In large part, the commitment involves a service project that aligns and enhances Root Division's mission to empower artists, foster community service, inspire youth, and enrich the Bay Area through engagement in the visual arts. Service projects should be based in one or more of Root Division's key programs -- Youth Education, Adult Education, and/or  Exhibitions & Events. Our hope is to provide a mutually beneficial exchange in which Root Division provides the artist with space, resources, and our network, while the artist shares their creativity, experience, and service with the community through the organization.

Possible Service Projects could be to: 

  •  Develop curriculum and teach free art classes to youth (See past projects)
  •  Design and instruct classes and workshops for adults (View current offerings/ format)
  •  Curate and produce an exhibition and/ or public programming (Explore past projects)
  •  Develop and share social justice frameworks for artists, educators, and/or youth
  •  Create and lead innovative virtual arts programming
  •  Another community-focused creative endeavor

In exchange for this Service Project and program involvement, the artist will receive:

  • Free studio work space for 9 months* in our Studios Program facility located at 1131 Mission Street, SF. 
  • Fellowship Stipend of $3,500 (Payment schedule based on quarterly project milestones)
  • Access to a network of peers and resources for creative and professional development, including staff support and  a co-selected mentor in the field.
  • Opportunity to exhibit in our Studio Artist Project Space Gallery.

Among the features of our space:

  • 24-hour access (WORK ONLY / NOT LIVE-IN).
  • Free Wi-Fi.
  • Shared lounge, kitchen, bathrooms, & utility sinks.
  • Shared woodshop and tools.
  • Access to Digital Lab, including low-cost production use of large format printer, 3D printer, scanners, and other tools.

(*We intend to offer this fellowship for 12 months in our 2021-22 program year)


Strong candidates...

  • Demonstrate excellence in their studio practice and/or art-making
  • Have a minimum of one year of experience teaching or facilitating projects with groups of youth and/or adults
  • Have a passion for working with and supporting under-resourced and/or marginalized groups 
  • Show enthusiasm for working individually and collaboratively to serve the community
  • Are based in the San Francisco Bay Area


Awarded fellow will be asked to commit to...

  • Develop and implement a Service Project (~80-90 hours)
    • This includes meeting periodically with a mentor (co-selected by the fellow and staff to align with project needs/ interests) 
  • Participate in the Studios Program (~30 hours) from Sept 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 
    • This includes monthly All Artist Meetings (one Wednesday evening per month) from Sept 2020-June 2021
    • This includes helping support two fundraising events: Art Auction (Oct 2020) & Spring event (Apr 2021)


If possible, please submit all documents as PDFs (images can be JPGs) and email to with heading: BABASF App - Your Last Name.



Please submit the following materials for review:

  1. Application Form: Completed as Digital Application Form
  2. Cover Letter (PDF: 1 page max): Please introduce yourself, tell us why you are interested in the Root Division community, and how this fellowship would impact you as an artist, educator, and/or facilitator. Please add two references (contact name, email, phone) at the bottom of the letter.
  3. Images of your current artwork (up to 12) and corresponding image info (Title, Year, Media, Size); Ideally the image jpgs and info are compiled and attached into a single PDF at 10MB max.)
  4. Artist Statement about your artwork (PDF: 1 page max)
  5. Artist Resume and/or Professional resume (PDF: 1-2 page max)
  6. Service Project proposal (PDF: 1-2 page max) A strong proposal includes a brief overview of the participants, activities, a basic timeline, and the audience served. (See our suggested template here.)
  7. Support materials/ samples (2 page PDF and/or links): Images and/or text from prior experience that supports capacity to complete the project. This could be student artwork/ lesson plans, course syllabi, a curated show, etc. 

Application process includes submitting completed Fellowship Application Form and required materials. Finalists must be available between August 18-27, 2020 for interviewing with Root Division’s Artist Selection Committee.



We encourage fellowship applicants to learn more about Root Division by reviewing the info on our Studios Program page as well as checking out our current Studio Artists

For any additional questions about the fellowship or application, you can either email or attend our open Q&A session on Thursday, August 6 from 6:30-7:00 pm by emailing us here to sign up.