McKnight Fellowships for Choreographers: Guidelines

The Cowles Center is pleased to announce the 2020 round of the McKnight Fellowships for Choreographers. This program is made possible by the generous support of the McKnight Foundation. Read the full guidelines below.


Three unrestricted fellowships of $25,000 will be awarded.


1. Intent to Apply Deadline has passed

Applicants who missed the Intent to Apply deadline may still submit a final application. However, they will not receive program updates, are not eligible for application assistance, and their live performances will not be viewed by panelists.

First time applicants who miss the Intent to Apply deadline may send us an email for further info at

2. Final Application: Monday, March 30, 2020 at 3:00 pm CST

Our website will be open to accepting final applications after mid-January, 2020. The final deadline is firm, the application site will close down at exactly 3:00 pm (CST) on the deadline date. There is no cost to apply for a fellowship.

Applicants will be notified of the decisions in early June 2020. 


Fellowships provide recognition and financial support for Minnesota choreographers. The program is designed to award mid-career choreographers whose work is of exceptional artistic merit and who have created a substantial body of work over a period of time.

The intent of this program is to recognize and support midcareer artists living and working in Minnesota who demonstrate a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence. 

Resumé and application materials should indicate a history of sustained professional choreographic work over a period of at least five years, demonstrated through performances, creative work, residencies, grants, fellowships, or other recognition. Accomplishments must be outside of accredited degree programs, i.e. student performances will not count towards the minimum five-year period of professional accomplishment.


Artists who are eligible for these fellowships:
·       Have or maintain MN residency for at least one year prior to application and for the duration of the fellowship year.
·       Are mid-career with a body of work that demonstrates a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence.
·       Can only apply to one McKnight Artist Fellowship in any artistic discipline within a year.
·       Have not been a recipient of a McKnight Artist Fellowship within any artistic discipline in the last five years (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
·       Demonstrate growth and ongoing artistry since their most recent McKnight Artist Fellowship.
·       Are not staff, board, or immediate family of the McKnight Foundation or fellowship administrative partners.
·       Are not enrolled full-time in an academic program. 
.       Individual choreographers and choreographic collaborations are eligible to apply. A choreographer whose principal body of work has been created in collaboration is not able to apply as an individual unless s/he has a significant body of independent work in her/his recent career. Work samples and resume should clearly support this.


A panel of one Minnesota and three out-of-state choreographers and arts professionals will review applications and select fellowship recipients. As possible throughout the season, the local panelist will view applicants' live performances.


Awarded fellows are eligible to apply for a national residency with one of our program partners. Fellows receive additional support for career development and are invited to attend a four-day retreat in rural Minnesota.


Tech support 

If you have questions about the technical aspects of the application or online submission, contact the SlideRoom Support team at They are open 9 am - 9pm Mon - Sat and will respond within an hour.

If you need access to a computer and the internet, go to your public library or Springboard for the Arts.

For more information and Frequently Asked Questions, visit our FAQ page