Can I get a list of the Nominating Organizations so I know whom to contact to secure a nomination?
For the application process to work at its best, nominations are left to the discretion of the organizations. Nominators set their own criteria for choosing the best candidate, someone with whose work they are familiar. To this end, we do not get involved in lining up artists with the organizations.  In order for you to get an idea of the types of organizations that we fund, you can check out the Arts & Culture links page on this website for those grantees that supplied us with their web address.

Visual artists are permitted to submit images of their work, but Performing Artists are not encouraged to submit video or audio of performances. Why is this?
The Peer Panels that review the nominations prior to final selection by our Board of Directors are made up of members who represent various aspects of the artistic community. Since the Performing Arts encompasses such a wide variety of disciplines, from musicians to actors, composers to dancers, etc., an artist’s work is being evaluated by a diverse group of experts, rather than ones particularly trained in that specific medium. The disciplines within the Visual Arts are far more cohesive. Also, video and audio recordings would only represent excerpts of an artist’s work, which may not depict an accurate portrayal of the performance as a whole.

Why is the application process limited only to artists nominated by organizations that you have funded? Since most individual artists don’t work with organizations, don’t you feel that you are missing the most important segment of this population? Why not open it up to accept applications directly from artists?
One reason that the Fellowships are limited to nominations from our grantees is to make the program more manageable from our end. Since only 5 – 10 Fellowships are granted per cycle, it makes sense to place limits on the number of applications received. Also, by asking our grantee organizations to submit nominations, we are ensuring that we receive the best possible candidates for our Fellowships. The nominators are organizations with whose work we are familiar and we trust their judgment in selecting suitable candidates. By having the nomination process, we are ensuring that at least one of the applicant’s Letters of Recommendation (three are required, one from the Nominating Organization, and two from others who know the artist’s work) is from a source known to the Foundation and the Peer Panelists.

Why are there residency requirements?
Since the Independence Foundation limits its funding area to Philadelphia and its surrounding Pennsylvania counties (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties), Fellowship recipients must reside within these boundaries.

I won a Fellowship two years ago, am I eligible to apply again?
Artists who have received fellowships in the past are eligible to apply again five years after their fellowship period ends.

I applied for a fellowship but did not receive one. Can I get feedback on the reviewers’ comments about my application?
In order for the Panel to discuss applications candidly, the review process must be kept confidential. We understand this is difficult for applicants, but the Foundation depends on the honest opinions of its advisory panels and therefore, we have agreed not to share specific feedback.

I did not receive a fellowship this year. May I apply again next year?
Of course! We encourage applicants to reapply.


Our organization has identified a couple of artists whom we feel would be great candidates for fellowships. Could we nominate both?
If you would like to nominate more than one artist, please contact the Foundation directly.

Our organization is involved in both the Performing and Visual Arts. Can we nominate in both grant cycles?
Yes, an organization such as yours that is involved in both areas may nominate artists in each cycle. Please contact the Foundation with questions about nomination requirements.

Our Executive Director is doing some outstanding work as an individual artist. May we nominate her for a Fellowship?
Nominees selected may or may not be affiliated with your organization, but should not be a full-time salaried employee. If you have questions about whether an individual is an appropriate candidate, please contact the Foundation directly.