Artist Grants

NCC proudly facilitates eight grant programs for current students, recent graduates, and emerging and mid-career artists, all of which are outlined below. Learn about the application process and your eligibility at a free information session in NCC’s library on Thursday, January 9, from 6 – 7 pm. No reservations are required. Please watch our website for additional info sessions at sites around the metro area and state. If you are interested in having a presentation at your school or organization (in Minnesota or almost anywhere in the country), we are always happy to take our show on the road via ZOOM, a remote access platform, and share these opportunities. Have questions about the eligibility of your work, or how to make your application as successful as possible? Please contact NCC’s Deputy Director and Director of Operations & Artist Services, Kyle Rudy-Kohlhepp, at

Each year we want to increase our reach into the depth of talent in the region, the nation, and the globe. We have updated our application process to be more inclusive of a variety of backgrounds. Grants and Residencies are open to those who have traveled the traditional paths of apprenticeship, those who have followed academic training, and those who have intensely pursued their craft in studios around the globe. Now is the time to step up and apply for one of the many grants and residencies offered at Northern Clay Center. Together we will demonstrate the depth and talent of the clay community to the greater world. NCC encourages applicants who represent the full range of artistic styles, and is committed to supporting a diverse pool of artists whose work demonstrates strong artistic merit. Accordingly, awards for our grant programs will represent, as possible, artists and initiatives that are diverse in genre, expertise, gender, race, ethnicity, and geography. We are always available to answer questions and give feedback on your submissions. Mark your calendar today to submit your application by the following deadlines.


Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant
The Jerome Foundation has supported emerging ceramic artists from Minnesota since 1990. The Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant program recognizes Minnesota ceramic artists at relatively early stages in their careers, as they accomplish short-term, specific objectives. In 2020, the program will provide three grants of $6,000 each, for projects to take place between April 1 and December 31, 2020.

Projects may include, but are not limited to: experimenting with new techniques and materials; working with or studying with a mentor; purchasing equipment to facilitate an aesthetic or technical investigation; providing studio time, studio rental, supplies, technical support, collaborations between ceramic artists and artists working in other media; education or exhibition opportunities; and travel.

An exhibition of work produced during the grant period will take place at Northern Clay Center after the conclusion of the grant. Additionally, recipients will provide a brief artist talk on their work in conjunction with the exhibition.

The deadline for the 2020 Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant application is Monday, February 10, 2020, by 5 pm.

McKnight Fellowships
In its 23rd year of programming, the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Ceramic Artists will support outstanding Minnesota ceramic artists who identify with any methodology: functional, sculptural, relational—all techniques are welcome. The intent of this program is to recognize and support midcareer artists living and working in Minnesota, who demonstrate a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence. Two $25,000 grants will be awarded in 2020. Fellowship support may be pursued for, but is not limited to: experimenting with new techniques and materials; purchasing materials and equipment; collaborating with other artists; and pursuing education, exhibition, or travel opportunities. The McKnight Fellowship recipients will be featured in a workshop and an exhibition with a corresponding catalogue at the end of their grant year.

This program is made possible by the generous support of the McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The deadline for the 2020 McKnight Fellowship application is Friday, May 22, 2020, by 5 pm.

Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award (WMAA)
The WMAA, founded in 2014, provides an opportunity for students and emerging artists to continue their ceramic research and education for a period of up to twelve consecutive months within the grant year, further expanding their professional development. This award is available to current undergraduate or graduate students, recent graduates (within one year), or those who have completed a university-equivalent training in ceramics (including apprenticeships) within the year prior to the application deadline.

During the grant year, the recipients can research a new technique or process, study with a mentor or in an apprenticeship setting, travel to other ceramic art centers or institutions for classes and workshops, collaborate with artists of another media, and travel. Proposals to fund large capital equipment purchases will not be accepted. One or two cash awards will be made in 2020, up to $3,000 each, for projects taking place between May 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021. Recipients contribute project updates to NCC’s social media and are required to give a public presentation at their school or other institution. See updates from past recipients at

This award is made possible through the support of generous individual and institutional donors in honor of MacKenzie’s legacy of ceramic education, both traditional and non-traditional.

The deadline for the Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award application is Friday, April 17, 2020, by 5 pm.


Emerging Artist Residencies (EAR)
The Emerging Artist Residency program encompasses two unique Fellowships, designed to provide up to three ceramic artists with an opportunity to be in residence for one year at Northern Clay Center, where they can develop their own work, as well as exchange ideas and knowledge with other ceramic artists.

Each residency recipient will have a furnished studio space with 24/7 access to NCC’s facilities from September 1, 2020, to July 31, 2021. In addition to the workspace, each fellowship includes an annual materials and firing stipend and professional development and enrichment opportunities through NCC’s education, exhibitions, and sales gallery programs, for qualified and interested fellows. A group exhibition featuring work produced during the fellowship period will take place in January 2022, at Northern Clay Center, at the conclusion of the grant period. Recipients have the opportunity to present a brief slide lecture on their work in conjunction with the exhibition.

The Anonymous Artist Studio Fellowship will be awarded to two emerging ceramic artists working in a functional, sculptural, relational, or installation-based manner. Fellows will share a furnished studio space with 24/7 access to NCC’s facilities. The Fogelberg Studio Fellowship will support one emerging ceramic artist who is a Minnesota resident, working in a strictly functional manner, and interested in pursuing a career in studio pottery.

These programs are made possible by generous contributions from several anonymous donors, as well as various secondary market sales at Northern Clay Center, with the intention to nurture the creative expression of aspiring ceramic artists.

Please note: you must indicate which award you are applying for in your application, a Fogelberg Fellowship or an Anonymous Artist Fellowship. Utilitarian potters from Minnesota planning a career as such are eligible for both fellowships and may submit two applications.

The deadline to apply for the Emerging Artist Residencies is Friday, April 17, 2020, by 5 pm.

McKnight Residency
The McKnight Artist Residency for Ceramic Artists program, in its 23rd year at NCC, intends to recognize and support mid-career ceramic artists whose work demonstrates exceptional artistic merit and who have already proven their abilities in the field. The program is intended to provide these ceramic artists with an opportunity to be in residence for three months at Northern Clay Center, where they can develop their own work and, at the same time, exchange ideas and knowledge with Minnesota ceramic artists. Up to three, 3-month residencies will be awarded in 2020, to take place during the 2021 calendar year, through a competitive application process. NCC will invite one or two other artists through a nominative process.

Each resident artist will receive a $6,000 award (for a three-month residency), studio space provided at no cost, and a glaze and firing allowance. During the residency, each artist will present a public lecture, for which they will receive an additional honorarium. At the culmination of the grant period, recipients will be featured in a catalogue and group exhibition at Northern Clay Center. The exhibition will also travel to 3 – 5 sites around the state of Minnesota. Recipients are also required to submit a final report at the end of the grant period.

This program is made possible by the generous support of the McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis.

The deadline to apply for the McKnight Residency is Friday, May 22, 2020, by 5 pm.


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