ArtsAccelerator: An Incentive Grant for Visual Artists

Little Girl With Flower

ArtsMemphis is pleased to offer five $5,000 ArtsAccelerator grants annually to visual artists in Shelby County. The ArtsAccelerator Fund is intended to offset expenses related to a project or opportunity that will enhance an artist’s overall body of work or career. ArtsAccelerator supports artists working in any media, including painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, installation art, performance art, video art, or social practice.

“By supporting individual artists, we are able to provide real and accessible support for new work, and to send the message to visual artists that Memphis values their contributions to our region,” said Maysey Craddock, a member of ArtsMemphis’ board of trustees and chairman of the Artist Advisory Council. “We want to attract and retain a vibrant creative class in Memphis and contribute to the visibility of our artistic community as a whole, both regionally and nationally.”

(image by Carl E. Moore)

2017 ArtsAccelerator Grantees

This year we had a record number of 96 applicants.  2017 ArtsAccelerator applicants were judged by three distinguished judges from outside of the MidSouth area. 

We are pleased to announce the 2017 Grantees:

  • Haley Morris-Cafiero
  • Cat Peña
  • Christopher Reyes
  • Amanda Sparks
  • Lance Turner

Read about these artists and their projects here.

2017 ArtsAccelerator Judges

Recipients were selected by a three-member panel that included one artist, one curator, and one arts organization representative.

Learn about the 2017 distinguished panel of judges.

2018 ArtsAccelerator

To receive email notifications about the 2018 ArtsAccelerator grant, including deadlines and workshop information, sign up here

Past ArtsAccelerator Grantees

To learn more about 2013, 2014, 2016 Visual Artist Support grantees, click here.

Over 60 artists applied during the 2016 grant cycle. Paula Kovarik, Lawrence Matthews III, Madsen Minax, Michael Roy (Birdcap) and Lauren Sucsy received funds to purchase materials and tools, studio space, childcare to allow time for making art, travel expenses for projects within the US and to participate in an art festival in Europe 

(image by Mary Jo Karimnia)

Artist Advisory Council

ArtsMemphis created its Artist Advisory Council (AAC) in 2013 to help strengthen and galvanize the visual arts community, and to signal our city’s investment in that community.  The AAC was formed to help educate and inform ArtsMemphis about the needs of Memphis’ visual artists. The AAC is a highly engaged volunteer group, comprising professional artists, art collectors, and art curators.

Current Council Members include:

Maysey Craddock (Co-Chair and ArtsMemphis Board member)
Joel Parsons (Co-Chair)
Brittney Bullock
Nelson Gutierrez
Whitney Hardy 
Mary Jo Karimnia 
Terry Lynn 
Grace Stewart 
Kathy Gale Uhlhorn 

To learn more about the AAC we invite you to listen to this podcast by Con-fab-u-late. They talked with Memphis artist and AAC member Melissa Dunn about her role with ArtsMemphis and the ArtsAccelerator Grant. They also discussed the Memphis art community and those involved in making the grants a reality. 


ArtsMemphis ArtsAccelerator grant program is made possible thanks to the generous support of:

Hyde Family Foundations

Dianne and Myron Mall

Metropolitan Bank

and many other generous individuals.