Questions Regarding the Program
Who can apply for a Union Fellowship?
Applicants must be at least 18 years old and live in the greater Omaha/Council Bluffs
area. Our studios are not live/work spaces, so Fellows will need to be able to get to our
location at 2417 Burdette Street in North Omaha.
Do I need to be a visual artist to apply?
Absolutely not. Our Studio Fellowship program is meant to support anyone in need of
space for their creative practice: writers, film makers, fashion designers, musicians,
graphic designers, architects, performance artists, etc. are all encouraged to apply.
Who is on the jury and what are we being judged on?
The jury consists of one Union board member and two art professionals from the greater
Omaha community: professors, curators, teaching artists, etc. While we look at the application as a whole, extra attention is paid to the proposed community service project and how the applicants feel receiving the Fellowship can help their creative practice.
Are there any other obligations beside the community service project?
Each Fellow will be asked to write a blog entry for our website – it can be about anything
art or community-based that you’d like to discuss and is totally painless. We also try to
bring the Fellows together for a community dinner once every couple of months – these
meals are not a requirement, they are a great way to connect with the other Fellows (and
are super fun!).
When do Fellows receive their stipends?
Incoming Fellows will receive the first installment of their stipend once they sign their
contract and turn in the necessary tax documents ($300). They receive the second
installment ($300) after their three-month review, once it has been proven that they are
working on their community service projects.
What is the difference between a fellowship and a residency?
The definition of “Fellowship” is: a friendly relationship among people; the relationship
of people who share interests or feelings; a group of people who have similar interests.
The Union refers to our residents as Fellows because we believe that the artists we serve
are working with us to support the community while they receive support from our
program. The program was built on a foundation that is heavily based on community,
whereas traditional residencies often have artists working on their own in seclusion.
I’ve already been a Union Fellow, can I reapply?
Absolutely! We’re totally open to having former Fellows reapply… chances are; we’ve
really missed you!
I have a studio at home, but would still like to apply. Can I?
Most definitely… The Fellowship program isn’t just about space, it’s a chance to connect
with your community, get some professional development assistance, participate in an
exhibition and receive critique and/or feedback on your work.
Questions Regarding the Studios
How large are the studios?
The studios vary in size, but are pretty close to 12” x 10” spaces. Some have windows,
others are larger. We try to place incoming Fellows in studios that seem to fit their
How safe is the building + neighborhood?
Our building is located in the Near North Side neighborhood of North Omaha. Our
building a surrounding land are well lit, safe + secure, but as we’re in an urban area,
common sense should prevail (e.g. don’t leave your bag open on your car seat and walk
Can I live in my studio?
Sorry, but the studios are work spaces only, you cannot reside in our facility.
Can I run a business out of my studio?
Again, no go. The spaces are meant to support your creative practice. If you should
happen to sell a piece of artwork out of your space during a studio visit, that perfectly
acceptable. But, you cannot set up shop and have customers or clients coming in and out
of your studio.
If I sell work out of my studio, will The Union take a commission?
No, The Union will only take a commission on works sold during the final group
exhibition and that would be a 60/40 split that favors the artists.
So, I just get to use The Co-Op whenever I want to?
membership will continue on for six-months after the end of your Fellowship.
Can I host an event in my studio or the gallery?
Yes – within limits. We ask that you reach out to let us know what you’d like to do before
making it official, and that you be respectful of the other artists in the building.
Can I alter my space (paint, move in furniture, etc.)?
Yes. If you want to paint or decorate your space, please do! We want you to be as
comfortable as possible, we only ask that you return your space to white box before the
end of your time with us.
Questions Regarding the Community Service
Why are we required to do community service in North Omaha?
Working for social justice in North Omaha is an integral part of our mission. We believe
that connecting artists with the community will help its residents develop a greater
appreciation for the arts and the work of artists. We also believe that North Omaha has
received a bad rap in the past, and that by connecting people with the community, we’re
providing people with an opportunity to form their own opinions about it.
Can I do anything I want for my project?
Within reason. We ask that Fellows do not take on anything political or religious in
nature as their service project. We also ask that your project benefit people in the
community… we’re totally pet people, but working for the Humane Society won’t count as
your service requirement.
Can you give me some examples of what other Fellows have done?
Our Fellows’ service simple things like volunteering with another organization (Habitat
for Humanity, Heart Ministry Center, Boys + Girls Club, etc.) to larger endeavors like
starting a Tool Library, creating a community art project, painting a mural, etc. Many of
our Fellows teach in our youth outreach program. We suggest that you pick a project that
you’ve always wanted to try – large or small, our staff will be happy to assist you in
making it happen if you need extra help.
Do I have to put in an hour of service every week?
No. We leave it up to the Fellows to decide how to spend their hours. Some put in an hour
each week, other “bank” hours for a larger project.
Are my service hours going to be tracked?
Three months into the Fellowship, each Fellow takes part in a mid-term review. During
those meeting, you’ll be asked for an update on your community service. We will not be
tracking your hours, but we’ll question your progress if you’re not actively engaged.
What happens if I don’t do a service project?
Unfortunately, since the community service is not an optional part of the Fellowship, you
will be asked to leave the program and return your stipend if you are not fulfilling the
What happens if I do more than the required 25 hours?
You’ll have earned our undying gratitude, have made a huge impact on our community
and our Executive Director will probably bake you something delicious.
>> Have a question that's not listed above? Please feel free to reach out to Paige Reitz at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (402) 933-3161 and we'l get you an answer, asap!