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Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award

Click here to view a video clip of Warren MacKenzie discussing the inception of NCC and its early days.

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.
You can request a training session on preparing an application at your organization through this form. 


  • Eligibility is restricted to clay artists residing the United States (with US citizenship or student Visa status through the end of the grant year: April 30, 2021). ​
    • who are currently pursuing a BA or BFA in ceramics at an accredited US institution, or
    • who are currently enrolled in a graduate level ceramics program at an accredited US institution, or
    • who have completed undergraduate or graduate academic training in the last year (prior to the application deadline of April 17), or
    • who have completed a university equivalent training or education in ceramics (including apprenticeships) in the last year (prior to the application deadline of April 17).
  • Recipients must not hold summer or school-year academic appointments in excess of .25 Full Time Equivalents (.25 FTEs).
  • In one application round, you CAN APPLY for all, but CANNOT RECEIVE any combination of the Emerging Artist Residencies, the Materials Technician/Resident Artist position, or the Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award.
  • All Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award recipients are ineligible for future Warren MacKenzie Advancement Awards.

Application Process

Applications for the 2020 Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award are due by 5 pm on Friday, April 17, 2020.


  • A completed online application form. All applications must be submitted online, but you can download a copy of the form to help you prepare.
  • A proposal, maximum of two single-spaced pages (formatted as a PDF  and file should be labeled with last name, first initial, and PROPOSAL (example: doejPROPOSAL.pdf)) that includes the following information:
    • Brief description of the research project.
    • Anticipated work product of the project (e.g. article, book chapter, an artistic work).
    • The importance or scholarly/creative contribution of the project.
    • The ways in which the project will contribute to your academic experience, professional development, and degree progress.
  • A budget of anticipated expenses (maximum of one, 8-1/2” x 11” page, formatted as a PDF) with artist’s name at the top.  Please note: the maximum request from Northern Clay Center is $3,000, with no more than 10% of the request to be earmarked for materials and equipment. File should be labeled with last name, first initial, and BUDGET (example: doejBUDGET.pdf)
  • 10 digital images via webform submission. Please do not display your name on the image. Images will be projected on the wall and viewed one at a time. Image files should be labeled with last name, first initial, and numbers indicating your preferred viewing order (example: doej1.jpg). Do not include any other information in the filename. Digital images must be saved as JPGs at 96 pixels per inch (ppi) and should not measure greater than 1024 pixels along the image’s longest dimension. Additional information regarding image size and format is available at our digital image submission page.
  • Image list for all digital images, which must include artist name, titles, date of work, dimensions of work, medium, and image orientation, and should be formatted as a PDF. File should be labeled with last name, first initial, and IMAGES (example: doejIMAGES.pdf)
  • A current resume (maximum of two, 8-1/2" x 11" pages, formatted as a PDF) with artist’s name at the top of each page. File should be labeled with last name, first initial, and RESUME (example: doejRESUME.pdf)
  • An artist statement (maximum of one, 8-1/2" x 11" page, formatted as a PDF). File should be labeled with last name, first initial, and STATEMENT (example: doejSTATEMENT.pdf)
  • Letter of support from a faculty member at your current or graduating institution or apprenticeship program. Letters may be emailed to or mailed to: Northern Clay Center Attn: Kyle Rudy-Kohlhepp, 2424 Franklin Avenue East, Minneapolis MN 55406. All letters must be received by April 17 at 5 pm.

Please review our tips for using our online forms, and review other FAQs here.

Download sample application from past recipients:

Please note:  During the tenure of their research/travel, recipients must share their progress via monthly updates to an NCC website-hosted blog, in narrative, pictorial, and/or video format. Additionally, upon completion of their research/travel, recipients must present their travel/research results at their academic institution (or other approved institution) within 90 days.  This presentation can take the form of a lecture or workshop or hands-on class, and must be documented and made available for NCC use. 


Applications for the 2020 Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award are due by 5 pm on Friday, April 17, 2020. All completed application forms and materials must be complete and received through by this date and time.  No hard copy, faxed, e-mailed, or late applications will be accepted.

Application materials will be reviewed by a panel that will select the award recipients on the basis of merit. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process by late-May of 2020.

For more information, contact Kyle Rudy-Kohlhepp at

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