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About the Book Arts Mentorship

The Book Arts Mentorship is an artist development program aimed at introducing book arts to early career artists whose primary medium is in another discipline. There are many reasons to explore book arts as a new artistic medium. As a highly malleable and versatile form of expression, book arts extend the possibilities of other art forms. You can create a conceptual space. Experiment with sequence and visual or verbal narrative. Use book art forms to extend, explore, document or reexamine work produced in other artistic disciplines.

Since 1985, the Jerome Foundation has helped artists push the boundaries of contemporary book arts by supporting the creation of new work. Book arts projects funded by 16 series of Fellowships (now known as Jerome Residency) and four prior series of Mentorships range from exquisitely crafted fine press volumes and sculptural books to documented performances and one-of-a-kind installations that “break the bindings” and redefine conventional notions of book form. 

Award and Eligibility

Three jurors representing diverse perspectives and practices will review all applications and select three mentorship recipients. Artists selected for the Book Arts Mentorship will receive:

  • $2,000 award for the purchase of materials and to supplement other project costs (subject to state and federal income tax guidelines)
  • Basic book arts training at MCBA through required workshops and trainings in letterpress, binding, and papermaking
  • An educational stipend of $1,400 to be used for required workshops and trainings as well as  additional workshops or private tutorials to gain skills to complete the project
  • 24/7 access to MCBA’s bookbinding, printing, and papermaking studios for 10 months 
  • The ability to receive mentorship support from MCBA staff through project meetings
  • One-year membership to MCBA (allowing for additional discounts for art supply purchases in MCBA’s retail store, The Shop)
  • One field trip to a local collection and one to a local book artist’s studio
  • Recognition through a culminating public exhibition in MCBA’s main gallery.

Artists in the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Literary arts (poetry, spoken word, fiction, creative nonfiction)
  • Visual arts (drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, new media)
  • Music (composing)
  • Film / video (filmmakers, animation)
  • Theater (playwriting)
  • Dance (choreography)

This is not an exhaustive list of creative disciplines eligible. Other creative generators are welcomed and encouraged to apply. 

The Jerome Foundation does not support musicians, actors, dancers, journalists, designers, architects. The focus of the Jerome Foundation’s support is for creators (generators) of new work versus the interpreters/performers of artistic work. In Film and Video, the director is the generative artist, therefore directors in Film and Video are supported but not in theater or music.

Applications must be submitted by early career artists. An early career artist is generally defined as an artist who shows significant potential, yet has not received a commensurate amount of professional recognition regardless of age or recognition in other fields. MCBA and the Jerome Foundation reserve the right to review and determine any applicant status as “early career” or “established”. Read more about how the Jerome Foundation defines, “early career” here

Minnesota Center for Book Arts provides equal opportunities to all applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants who do not meet all of the following criteria will not be considered..

● Artists who are at early stages in their careers

●Applicant must have maintained MN residency for at least one year prior to application deadline (August 2023). Please upload a copy of one of the following: MN driver’s license (or MN identification card); a utility bill in applicant’s name; lease; tribal ID; or other supporting documents. If using a utility bill or lease, a copy must be dated from the beginning of the residency requirement (August 2023)

● Artists must reside in the state until the end of the 12-month Fellowship period.

● Artists must be able to provide evidence that they are an early career artist. Resume/CV will demonstrate limited, but promising exhibition exposure and no more than a few grants or fellowships in direct support of their work.

● Artists must be willing to participate in all events scheduled for the Jerome Book Arts Mentorship including meetings, critiques, field trips, workshops, exhibition installation and related activities.

● Artists must comply with all MCBA studio rules and regulations, including proper maintenance and equipment use.

● Artists applying as a collaborative team must make sure each artist involved meets the eligibility requirements.

● Artists who have received the MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship/ Residency are not eligible.

● Artists who are mid-career, beyond early career status: artists who have been substantially celebrated within their field, the media, funding circles, or the public at large are not eligible for this program. Artists who have received a McKnight Fellowship, are tenure track faculty, or another award for established or mid-career artists not eligible for this program.

● Students who are or will be at the time of the application and during the grant period enrolled in a degree-granting program either full or part-time (including K-12, graduate or postgraduate studies) are not eligible for this program.

● MCBA Staff and Board and Jerome Foundation Staff and Board are not eligible.


Include the following required documents as four separate file uploads: 

-Letter of Intent explaining how the Jerome Mentorship at Minnesota Center for Book Arts will benefit your artistic development (no more than 500 words).

-Artist Statement should articulate past themes in your work, creative methods, and directions for future work (no more than 500 words).

-CV or Artist Resume, including exhibition history. (If applying as a collaborative, please upload a combined document with each artist's CV or Artist Resume, label artist A & B) 2 page maximum per artist.


You may upload up to ten (10) samples of your work. Samples should accurately reflect your current work. 

Each file must be under 5MB in size. 

Please name and upload each file in the order you wish them to be viewed (for example, 01.jpg, 02.jpg, etc.).

Label each artwork: Image_1_Titleofartwork (Example: Image_1_Waterfall.jpg, Image_2_Moon.jpg)

If desired, video or audio files may be substituted in place of images. Video or audio files cannot exceed a total of 10 minutes. 

A maximum of ten (10) work samples may be submitted, regardless of if they are image files, audio/video links, or a combination of both.


Please contact Director of Exhibitions and Artist Programs for questions and assistance

Anika Schneider



We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.