AAC Awarded $720,000 from the McKnight Foundation

ACA Staff
October 14, 2020

The Alliance of Artists Communities (AAC) has been awarded $720,000 from the McKnight Foundation to design and implement a new consortium program that will build equitable capacity in the artist communities field and connect McKnight Artist Fellows with national and international residency opportunities. 

AAC consortium programs are long-term regranting partnerships with funders that provide direct support to artists to attend residencies and for residency programs to host artists. These programs often offer pathways for artists that have been historically underrepresented in the residency field. 

In its first three years, the McKnight Artist Residencies program will support up to 98 McKnight Artist Fellows with residency opportunities at 20 partner sites. The participating artists will have access to a generative space where they can fully focus on their creative practice; collaborate with their fellow artists; and experiment with new media, materials, and ideas. 

“We are inspired and profoundly grateful to partner with the McKnight Foundation,” said Lisa Funderburke Hoffman, Executive Director of the AAC. “The launch of this program is a momentous occasion for artist communities and underscores how critical residencies are for artists’ careers. This collaboration will enrich the artist residency field and provide these distinguished McKnight Fellows with extraordinary experiences to advance their creative practices.”

This consortium aims to support the development of residency environments where any artist can thrive. Participating residencies will receive resources and guidance around assessing and building their equitable capacity—enabling programs to develop fair and just policies and practice and begin to dismantle white body supremacy. Program partners will participate in a peer working group and receive dedicated training on AAC’s Healthy Residency Framework
McKnight Artist Fellowships provide Minnesota-based mid-career artists with $25,000 in unrestricted support as well as discipline-specific professional development opportunities. “This new partnership creates a pathway for McKnight Artist Fellows to expand their artistic practice through robust residency experiences,” says Arleta Little, Program Officer and Director of Artist Fellowships at the McKnight Foundation. “We are making history for both of our organizations.”

The AAC’s international residency network includes 400 programs in 50 U.S. states and 24 countries. Residency programs will be invited to apply to participate in the McKnight Artist Residencies program in the coming weeks. If your organization or program is interested in becoming a partner, please contact info [at] artistcommunities.org.



The Alliance of Artists Communities (AAC) is the international service organization for artist residency programs and artist-centered organizations. AAC's mission is to advocate for and support artist residency programs as a means of advancing the endeavors of all artists. Founded in 1991, AAC currently has more than 400 members in 50 U.S. states and 20 countries, and works on behalf of 1,500 residency programs worldwide. Since 2004, AAC has provided more than $4 million in direct grant funding to artists and residency centers. For more information, please visit the website: artistcommunities.org.


Founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive, the McKnight Foundation’s Arts program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Support for individual working Minnesota artists has been a cornerstone of the program since it began in 1981. The McKnight Artist Fellowships Program provides annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in 14 different creative disciplines. Program partner organizations administer the fellowships and structure them to respond to the unique challenges of different disciplines. Currently, the Foundation contributes about $2.8 million per year to its statewide fellowships. For more information, please visit mcknight.org.