Fields Artist Fellowship

Advancing artists careers and sustaining their commitment to community.


An informational webinar was held online on Wednesday, May 10. A recording is available at this link. A log of the questions asked and answers from the webinar are available at this link. A full transcript of the webinar is at this link. The slides from the webinar are at this link.

The Fields Artist Fellowship was created to support individuals who address important issues in their communities and create meaningful change through creativity and cultural expression. 

The program was established in partnership with Oregon Humanities in 2019 to bring increased access, community impact, and visibility to Oregon-based artists and culture bearers while helping OCF and OH explore support structures for cultural leaders across the state.

Learn more about the program and awarded Fellows on our Community Impact page.

2023 Application Cycle


The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) and Oregon Humanities (OH) are collaborating to invest in individual artists, culture bearers, and their communities through the Fields Artist Fellowship. For the next fellowship cycle, OCF and OH will award four Fields Artist Fellows $150,000 each over a two-year period. Fellows also receive robust professional development, networking, and community-building opportunities throughout the fellowship. Eight finalists will also receive a one-time award of $10,000.

Fields Artist Fellowships were previously awarded in 2019 and 2021 to advance Fellows' careers and develop creative and meaningful responses to the opportunity gap in Oregon. In 2021, eight additional finalists also received $10,000 in support of their work.

The third cohort of the Fields Artist Fellowship aims to support artists and culture bearers who are at a pivotal moment or inflection point in their careers, where the fellowship can provide meaningful impact over the two-year term. The goals of the current fellowship cycle are to:

  • Enable Fields Artist Fellows to advance their artistic work and careers
  • Honor and sustain their commitment to creating social change within their community

How to Apply

The next application will open from May 2 - June 15, 2023 in SlideRoom, our online portal.

Sign up for our newsletter to learn when future application cycles are announced.

What We Mean by Culture Bearer

We use the term Culture Bearer in reference to individuals who carry and share ancestral and cultural knowledge that is passed down intergenerationally as a life-long tradition. Our intent is to hold an expansive view of who might be considered an artist or cultural practitioner that includes both tangible and intangible forms of artistic and cultural expression.

What We Mean by Social Change

This program was created to support individuals who address important issues in their communities and create meaningful change through creativity and cultural expression. For this iteration of the fellowship we are utilizing a national framework by Animating Democracy; a program of Americans for the Arts that inspires, informs, promotes, and connects arts and culture as potent contributors to community, civic, and social change. 

This framework uses the term social change as a broad umbrella to encompass a range of typical social and civic outcomes; from increased awareness and understanding, to attitudinal change, to increased civic participation, the building of public will, to policy change that corrects injustice. Acknowledging that social change must start with the individual, the framework emphasizes impact that happens at a broader institutional, group, or community level.

We are using this framework to give applicants, internal stakeholders and our team of community panelists who review applications and interview finalists tools to help: 1) Increase mutual understanding of the program goals, 2) Create shared language and terminology, 3) Better understand and evaluate creative work at the intersection of arts and civic engagement, community development, and justice. 

More information about Animating Democracy’s Aesthetic Perspective Framework can be found here:





To be considered for a Fields Artist Fellowship, applicants should have:

  • At least five years of professional practice in an artistic discipline or combination of disciplines
  • At least three years of residence in Oregon (non-continuous) and the intent to reside in Oregon for the majority of the fellowship term (May of 2024 to May of 2026)
  • Demonstrable evidence of artistic practice that can engage with community groups and organizations and/or address community concerns 

Selection Criteria

The Oregon Community Foundation and Oregon Humanities team will use an equity lens in the selection process for this fellowship, prioritizing and centering artists whose perspectives have been institutionally undervalued, ignored, generalized, or oppressed. The program aims for representation from artists in different regions of the state, as possible, and artists who use their artistic or cultural practice to create social change within their communities.

The Selection Committee will also consider:

  • The depth and resonance of applicants’ artistic or cultural practice
  • The potential for the fellowship to advance the applicants’ artistic or cultural work and career
  • The applicants’ demonstrated experience working towards social change through creative and cultural practices in Oregon
  • The combination of all four invited Fellows’ communities, regions, and artistic disciplines

OCF and OH's Partnership

Oregon Community Foundation is dedicated to improving life in Oregon and sees arts and culture as a valuable and necessary tool for that mission. Oregon Humanities is committed to inviting diverse perspectives, exploring challenging questions, and striving for more just communities, and values innovative and imaginative ways to achieve this vision. OCF and OH believe that collaborating on the Fields Artist Fellowship program will advance community dialogues and both visions in meaningful ways.

About Fred W. Fields

The Fields Artist Fellowship is supported by The Fred W. Fields Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. The fund was established in 2012 with gifts totaling roughly $150 million from the estate of Fred W. Fields to support education and the arts.

Born in Alexandria, Indiana, Fred Fields studied engineering at Indiana University and Purdue University. In 1947, Fields went to work for Coe Manufacturing Company, which designed and constructed machinery that milled veneer, plywood, and other products. Fields purchased Coe in 1976 and headed the company until 2000, when he sold it. Fields met and married Suzanne Schoenfeldt in 1958. He and Sue believed that art stretches the imagination and drives new ideas. 

“Fred’s humble roots shaped his life. He was never extravagant, though he had the means to be. He instead wanted to use his wealth to support causes that he and his wife, Sue, felt strongly about. His bequest will continue this legacy of generosity and we will be a better state for it,” said Fields estate trustee Bill Tagmyer.