United States Artists

United States Artists (USA) is a national arts funding organization based in Chicago. USA is dedicated to supporting living artists and cultural practitioners across the United States by granting unrestricted awards.

United States Artists
United States Artists logo.svg
TypePhilanthropic arts organization
FocusAmerican artists
  • Chicago, Illinois
Area served
United States
MethodAwards unrestricted grants of $50,000 to 50 artists per annum[1]
Key people
Deana Haggag, CEO[2]
EndowmentInitial seed funding of (US) $22.6M[3] provided by Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Prudential Foundation, and Rasmuson Foundation[4]


The organization's stated mission is "Believe in Artists".[5] In addition, the organization asserts that "USA Fellowships honor and award an artist's unique vision as a whole rather than funding a particular project. Artists at different career levels, from emerging to established, are eligible.[6]"


Berresford PrizeEdit

Established in 2019, The Berresford Prize is an unrestricted $25,000 award given annually to a cultural practitioner who has contributed significantly to the advancement, well-being, and care of artists in society.[7]

USA FellowshipsEdit

USA Fellowships are annual $50,000 unrestricted awards recognizing the most compelling artists working and living in the United States at every stage of their career. Grants are awarded annually to artists working in ten disciplines:

A full list of USA Fellowship recipients can be found here.

Selection ProcessEdit

Every year, a geographically diverse group of nominators consist of scholars, critics, arts administrators, producers, curators, artists, field experts, and other cultural professionals are asked to nominate those they think deserve the USA fellowship. Then, the nominees are invited to submit applications with work samples, which are reviewed by a selected groups of discipline-specific panels composed of artists, curators, historians, experts, academics, and producers. After the panels select the finalists, the Board of Trustees go over the finalists together and approve.[9]



Every year, USA invites each year’s class of awardees to connect them with their donors, stakeholders and community partners. It’s a three-day retreat that includes presentations by USA fellows, a keynote by the Berresford Prize recipient, and various workshops designed to provide artists care for themselves and their practices. [10]


Anthology is an annual publication produced by interns at USA. Each edition highlights different themes working with each year’s class of USA Fellows and provides deeper connections and understandings of them through the glimpse of their daily life. The first edition, A Slow Unfolding (2019), covers a theme of  “Nourishment” and the second edition, Grazing: A Nationwide Study of Artists and Their Snacks (2020), explores the relationship between artists and their snacks.[11]

Artist ReliefEdit

In order to support the life of artists during COVID-19 crisis, USA and a group of national arts grant makers have created an emergency fund to offer financial aid and useful informational resources for artist across the country. The fund will run through September 2020 in 5 rounds.[12] A full list of the partners can be found here.


  1. ^ Stephanie Strom, "New Charity to Start Plan for $50,000 Artists' Grants", The New York Times, September 5. 2006 ]
  2. ^ United States Artists Official Website. About
  3. ^ Stephanie Strom, "An Artist's Grant that Even Pays For Glasses", The New York Times, October 7, 2007
  4. ^ United States Artists Official Website. Common Questions
  5. ^ "United States Artists » About". Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  6. ^ "United States Artists » Award". Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  7. ^ "United States Artists » Berresford Prize". Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  8. ^ "United States Artists » Award". Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  9. ^ "United States Artists » Award". Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  10. ^ "United States Artists » Programs". Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  11. ^ "United States Artists » Programs". Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  12. ^ "Artist Relief". Artist Relief. Retrieved April 16, 2020.

External linksEdit