2017 Emily and Harold E. Valentine and Evelyn Gable Clark Scholarship Fund

Request for Proposals

Advancing the Professional Development of Emerging Artists at the Post-College Level


The Westchester Community Foundation’s Emily and Harold E. Valentine and Evelyn Gable Clark Scholarship Fund supports fellowships for talented, culturally diverse, economically disadvantaged artists and musicians who are seriously dedicated to a career in the arts.

This round of grants will provide assistance to arts organizations and institutions to administer fellowships in all artistic disciplines to individual artists at the post-college level to help them make the transition to professional careers. Artists must have a strong connection to Westchester County, i.e., resident, or graduated from a Westchester high school. Agencies located in the New York metropolitan area and the lower Hudson Valley are eligible to apply.


The purpose of the fellowship is to help emerging artists achieve a significant professional experience that can lead to future career opportunities. Grants will range up to a maximum of $40,000 for each organization, depending upon the number of fellowships covered.

Proposals are due no later than 3 p.m. January 6, 2017. Only complete proposals as specified in this Request for Proposals (RFP) will be considered. We will announce the grants in April 2017. Please review the instructions and download the proposal form at www.wcf-ny.org.

Qualifications of Organizations

Grants will be made to tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organizations administering educational or fellowship programs that promote the professional development of talented young people in all artistic disciplines. The fellowship activities and support may be provided directly by the sponsoring organization or in cooperation with another group. In all cases, the grantee will be responsible for recruiting and selecting fellowship recipients; assuring that resources are provided; monitoring the artists’ progress over the term of the fellowship and tracking professional career developments after its completion. The agency can be located in the metropolitan area or lower Hudson Valley.

Groups with active grants from WCF are eligible to apply for this round.

Grantees must demonstrate plans for sustainability of the fellowship.


Qualifications of Fellowship Program

We will consider programs that provide fellowships at the post-college and post-formal training levels. Fellowship activities must help artists who have a connection to Westchester County. Recipients should generally be age 30 or younger, with demonstrated financial need. Priority is given to agencies that will assist young artists from populations historically underrepresented in the arts, especially underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Grants will not be made to provide fellowships to students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs.

Fellowship activities should be appropriate to both the art form and the development needs of the individual artists. We support a broad range of activities and related costs, such as advanced training and coaching; equipment, instruments, and supplies; commissioning; mentoring; rehearsal and work space; opportunities to create, produce, perform, or publish; professional conferences; and travel and living expenses. We will consider grants only where the primary purpose is to benefit the professional development of the fellowship recipient, rather than the sponsoring organization.

Terms of Award

The purpose of the award is to provide direct support to specific young artists with priority to artists from historically underrepresented populations in the arts, especially underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Funds may be used to support or expand an existing effort, or to begin a new program. Grants are intended primarily to cover fellowship costs; however, a limited amount of administrative costs attributable to the fellowship program may be requested. Supplemental grants and funds from other sources are encouraged.

Groups may choose to support either the same artists over the term of the grant, or different artists for shorter periods. The size and duration of each fellowship should be based upon the activities involved, and the resources and time needed for the artists to achieve a significant professional experience that will advance their careers.

The Foundation will require grantees to submit interim and final reports on the program as a whole and on the status of each fellowship recipient; generate line-item budgets that demonstrate how the grant money is spent; and establish procedures for tracking the artistic achievement of recipients following the completion of the fellowships.



Review Criteria

Factors considered in selecting grantees include:

  1. Program design and the probability that it will advance a young artist’s career.

  2. Extent of knowledge about the issues involved in helping young artists begin professional careers.

  3. Soundness of the organization’s management and qualifications of staff.

  4. Scope of monitoring and tracking procedures.

  5. Commitment and ability of the organization to continue the fellowship program after the term of the grant.

  6. Agency’s capacity to help the fellow make professional contacts.


Application forms

Download the proposal instructions, proposal form, and budget form from our website, www.wcf-ny.org. Carefully read and follow the submission instructions noted there.

Proposal narrative should cover at least the following topics:

  1. Description of the applicant’s current programs for individual artists, including history; purpose; arts disciplines covered; activities; measures of success; outreach procedures; numbers served annually; ethnic groups, ages, and special populations served.

  2. Methods used to identify and select fellowship recipients, including determination of financial need.

  3. Number of fellowships to be provided, including the name of the recipients if known, or of prototypes to be selected.

  4. Description of the activities, resources, opportunities, and support services to be provided to fellows, including any direct financial support.  If another organization will be involved, describe its role and qualifications.

  5. Approach to helping fellowship recipients identify career goals and establish plans to achieve them.

  6. Plan for monitoring each artist’s progress and for tracking the artist’s career development after the fellowship ends.

  7. Strategy for continuing the fellowship program after WCF support has concluded.

The project budget should indicate the annual and total cost of all fellowships; include an itemization of the costs per artist (e.g., stipend, space rental, supplies, administration, etc.).


A completed proposal packet includes the following:


  1. Proposal, including budget. The proposal instructions, proposal form, and budget form are available on our website (www.wcf-ny.org) under “Receive.”

  2. A list of the members of the governing board. Put an (E) next to the names of the Executive Committee, if applicable.

  3. Current-year, board-approved organization operating budget.

  4. For collaborations in which another entity plays a significant role, you must provide a memorandum of understanding defining specific roles and responsibilities.

  5. Letters in support from partners are encouraged, but not mandatory.


Submit your completed proposal packet by e-mail to [email protected], and to Program Officer Robin Melén at [email protected] by 3 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2017


A hard copy of the proposal must be postmarked by the due date and mailed to the address below. Hand-delivered and faxed proposals will not be accepted. 

Robin Melén

Program Officer

210 North Central Ave.

Suite 310

Hartsdale, NY 10530

914-948-5166, ext. 7

[email protected]