Ends on December 22, 2017

Do you know a Citizen Artist? 

The Kennedy Center, a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, honors our 35th President everyday by uplifting ideals from his legacy (service, justice, freedom, courage, and gratitude) that live through the arts. As part of this celebration of legacy, the Kennedy Center launched the “Citizen Artist Fellow Recognition” in 2016, which recognizes emerging artists across the country who utilize their art form for positive impact on communities. The recognized Citizen Artists Fellows will be mentored by Yo-Yo Ma, Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor at Large, among other Kennedy Center artistic partners. Additionally, they will receive national attention for their impact in their local communities and opportunities to showcase their voice and work on stage, through exhibition, and at national convenings.

The recognized Citizen Artist Fellows are a signature component of our annual spring Arts Summit, a national platform for shining a spotlight on stories of Citizen Artists who live up to President Kennedy's ideals. The recognized Citizen Artist Fellows represent the overall diversity of the national audience the Kennedy Center strives to reflect and serve. 

To learn more about characteristics of a great Citizen Artist nominee, please visit our website to see the inaugural cohort of Citizen Artists, who were recognized at the 2017 Arts Summit @ http://www.kennedy-center.org/pages/specialevents/summit

Nominating a Citizen Artist Fellow

Please complete this nomination by December 22, 2017, for an artist, teaching artist, social entrepreneur, or other individual who embodies community connection, impact and at least one of the ideals attributed to the work and life of John F. Kennedy (service, justice, freedom, courage, and gratitude).

Nominees must be available to attend both Arts Summits and the Summer Retreat in order to receive the recognition.


Citizen Artist Fellows must be 21 years of age and older.The Kennedy Center will recognize one Citizen Artist Fellow from each of five US regions (West Coast/Hawaii/Alaska; Southwest; Midwest; Southeast/Virgin Islands; Northeast). Nominators should select the region in which the nominee primarily works and lives. If the nominee works and lives in different regions, please select the region in which the nominee primarily works. 

Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, US Virgin Islands

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

West Coast
Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Nomination Timeline 

  • December 22, 2017: Nominations due
  • January 19, 2018: First Round Review (all nominations reviewed, select nominees notified) 
  • February 9, 2018: Second Round Review (second round nominations reviewed; select nominees notified)
  • March 1, 2018 : Finalists Notified (Kennedy Center 2017/2018 Citizen Artist Fellows notified) 

More Details About the Recognition

Selected Citizen Artist Fellows will...

  • Attend, present, and participate in Kennedy Center’s Annual Arts Summit, April 14-16, 2018, designed to bring thought leaders from the arts and related fields together for conversation and connection

  • Collaborate, share practices, and receive mentorship from Yo-Yo Ma and others at the Summer Retreat 

  • Regularly connect on conference calls with each other and Kennedy Center staff

  • Receive opportunities and information regarding national convenings, grant applications, and other resources from top partners such as Aspen Institute, National Endowment for the Arts, ArtChangeUS, and Citizen University

  • Attend, present, and participate in Kennedy Center’s 2019 Arts Summit. 

All transportation and housing for Arts Summits and Summer Retreat will be provided by Kennedy Center!

Nominees must be available to attend both Arts Summits and the Summer Retreat in order to receive the recognition.
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