University of Maryland: The David C. and Thelma G. Driskell Award

We welcome submissions from emerging scholars and artists who will create new artistic or scholarly work that furthers the mission of The Driskell Center and the University of Maryland’s Arts for All initiative.

The University of Maryland is pleased to announce the 2024-2025 competition for The David C. and Thelma G. Driskell Award for Creative Excellence.

The David C. Driskell Center

The Driskell Center is a creative incubator at the University of Maryland dedicated to a world where Black artists exist at its center. We invite inquiry, experimentation, and dialogue to reexamine histories and shape shared futures. Housing artistic collections, archival papers, and a research library, The Driskell Center is a major repository for studying Black visual culture. A description of major collections can be found here.

About the Award

The David C. and Thelma G. Driskell Award for Creative Excellence allows emerging artists from around the world to work with The Driskell Center’s collections and archives in self-directed research, leading to the creation of a new artistic work. 

For 2024-2025, awards will be granted to collaborative teams of artists for low-residency/ remote fellowships. The Driskell Center staff will guide the participating team through their residency process. During the fall semester, the Center will provide remote access to its art and archival collections with one onsite visit (5-7 days) in October 2024. As part of the process, a featured exhibition of the artist’s work will be installed in The Driskell Center gallery in mid-January 2025 with an in-person public program on April 3, 2025.

While the Driskell Center will serve as the primary research location, the University of Maryland’s proximity to Washington, D.C., also opens up other locations for study, including the Smithsonian Museums, the Archives of American Art, the National Gallery of Art, and a variety of historical sites and monuments.


The awardee will receive a combined stipend of $5,000 and lodging on or near the University of Maryland’s College Park campus for two site visits in October 2024 and April 2025. During their residency, the awardees will also be expected to develop 2-3 social media posts related to their work at The Driskell Center in collaboration with the Assistant Director. 

Eligibility and Evaluation

We welcome proposals from teams of emerging artists (2-3 total team members), including those who have completed graduate degrees within the last five years. You are eligible to apply if the following applies to you:

  • You have a demonstrated record of artistic accomplishment.
  • You can create a strong research proposal that utilizes The Driskell Center’s specific resources.
  • You are self-reliant and flexible.
  • You have proficiency in written and spoken English.
  • You can travel to the Washington DC area for the aforementioned dates.

To apply, please upload the following materials at the link listed below before July 1, 2024:

  1. A resume for each participating artist.
  2. A project proposal of no more than 1000 words (max 5 pages) that includes an outline of relevant experience and accomplishments, the proposed creative or research topic, an explanation of how The Driskell Center’s holdings will support that topic, and a proposed timeline for the project.
  3. Sample of work (submitted via URL).
  4. List of three professional references. References will be contacted and asked to submit letters of recommendation after the application closing date.

Apply HERE:

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