Call Detail
Irene Yamamoto Arts Writers Fellowship
Entry Deadline: 5/7/23
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements Images:0

Call Type: Fellowships
Eligibility: National
State: California

About NCPD:

The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy (NCPD) at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), convenes and educates people of all ages about democracy to transform attitudes, celebrate culture, and promote civic engagement. NCPD is a place for dialogue about race and social justice, where visitors can examine contemporary and historical frameworks, including the Asian American experience.

Award Purpose:

Arts writing in the United States has traditionally privileged elitist, Eurocentric perspectives. It is also a difficult field to break into, requiring specialized knowledge and language, while generally paying very little. Under these conditions, art rooted in other cultural traditions and experiences is often misunderstood by writers who don’t have the background or expertise to fully represent it, or it might not be written about at all. The Irene Yamamoto Arts Writers Fellowship recognizes that writers of color have knowledge and experiences that differ from dominant Eurocentric ones, and that their perspectives can give art produced by marginalized communities the depth of attention and consideration it deserves. The Yamamoto Fellowship encourages arts writers of color to continue writing about art from their own cultural and political perspectives in order to enrich and broaden arts writing as a practice and profession. By supporting and highlighting these voices, the fellowship seeks to broaden public discourse around art and strengthen its ties to diverse communities.

Award / Duration:

The Irene Yamamoto Arts Writers Fellowship is an annual award given to two (2) emerging writers of color focused on criticism or journalism about the visual, performing, or media arts, each of whom receive a $5,000 award to be spent over a six-month period. The awards are unrestricted. Funds may be used for any purpose that helps the fellows advance their careers, including paying themselves to write. The fellows are selected by a panel of arts writers based on their work history and writing samples submitted. The fellowship is limited to writers who reside in the United States. In addition to the cash award, the fellows are given the opportunity to write about an exhibition for the NCPD blog as well as the opportunity to deliver a talk at the NCPD@JANM on their work. A brief, written report in the form of a letter accounting for the use of funds is required at the end of the fellowship period. No receipts or other documentation is required.

Application Requirements

Application Details:

  • Name, contact information, gender, race/ethnicity, etc.
  • Artist's Statement (1000 character limit)
  • Cover letter. Applicants must submit a brief cover letter (Word or PDF) introducing themselves, their work, and additional information on why they are applying for the fellowship. (1-2 pages)
  • Resume or CV (Word/PDF) that includes all relevant published works. (1-2 pages)
  • Short biography summarizing your background and writing interests (500 words)
  • Anything else you’d like the panel to know
  • Deadline Extension* Application closes on 5/07/2023 at 10:59 PST (11:59 MST)

Writing samples

  • You may upload up to three (3) writing samples in a Word or PDF format.
  • All writing samples together should not exceed 3,000 words.
  • NOTE: Links to Websites where the sample was published are not a substitute for the actual written sample.
  • NOTE: The written sample should include information as to where and when the piece was published or appeared.
  • NOTE: Please do not submit works whose final, published form is an interview.

Eligibility Criteria


Eligible applicants must:

  • Reside in the United States
  • Identify as a member of a community with ancestry in one of the original peoples of Africa, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, or Pacific Islands
  • Have two to five years of demonstrated publication experience, which may include a blog or self-publishing
  • Be at least 18 years of age

*Immediate relatives of a JANM or NCPD employee are not eligible.