VSA Emerging Young Artist Grant Application

About the Program

The VSA Emerging Young Artists Program, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program, amplifies the voices of emerging artists with career development and professional empowerment. The competition seeks excellent work from emerging artists with disabilities, ages 16-25, residing in the United States.

*Volkswagen Group of America is the VSA Emerging Young Artists Program Presenting Sponsor.


Fifteen winning artists are selected by jury. Grand Prize is $20,000, First Prize is $10,000, Second Prize is $6,000, and the remaining Awards of Excellence are $2,000 each. For winning artists, one of the submitted artworks will be selected to travel in a yearlong national exhibition. Artists are required to attend an all-expenses-paid professional development workshop at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. for four days in September 2020.

Application Process

The application deadline is May 20, 2020 and finalists will be notified by July 15, 2020. Artwork will be judged by a panel of experts looking for a high level of skill, expression of original ideas, and reflection of the Merge theme.

To request an accommodation or receive the application materials in an alternate format, contact Katharine Mead, kmead@kennedy-center.org at least two weeks prior to the entry deadline.

In addition to portfolio, application includes a written biography (2000 words or fewer), an artist’s statement (1000 characters or fewer), and optional demographic information.

To learn more about eligibility and application process:
Merge Artists Apply Here

Deadline: May 20, 2020

Wendy Finklea
Arts4All Florida
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