2017 Union Fellow Celeste Butler stands in front of two of her large quilts. She wears a yellow patterned head wrap and artist's smock, holding two paintbrushes. (Union fellowship header)


Fellowship Applications are Currently Closed

Created to serve artists living in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area, the Inside/Outside Fellowship program is an opportunity for deep immersion in both studio practice and community engagement: Fellows explore materials and ideas to advance their creative practices while developing art projects that contribute positively to this place we call home.

Every year, a jury comprising local and national voices selects five artists or artist collectives to participate in the Fellowship program. Successful applicants receive a free, 400 sq. ft. studio at The Union and a complimentary one-year pass to the Co-Op Studios with equipment to support ceramic, textile, print, film photography, and digital media.

In addition to providing space in which to create new work and connect with a group of peer artists, the Fellowship program is a place for critical dialogue and reflection on community-engaged art practices. Central to the program are monthly critiques facilitated by local arts and culture workers. The critiques provide avenues for thinking critically about how artists and communities can work together in mutually meaningful ways and how social issues, be they local or global, can inform an artist’s work for traditional gallery spaces or outside in public space.

We also encourage Fellows to share their work, knowledge, and passion with our community. Fellows are required to complete 50 hours of experiential learning over the course of the program with a community partner and/or at the Union. Fellows may work with Union staff to develop public programming within the Union’s Youth Programs, Abundance Garden, Performing Arts, or Co-Op Studios. Example opportunities for direct engagement include: hosting an artist talk + studio visit, teaching a hands-on workshop, or leading a neighborhood art project.

Overall, the Inside/Outside Fellowship program seeks to inspire the creation of imaginative, socially conscious, and culturally sensitive work in, for, and with communities. Peer-led critiques, public events, and a final project presentation support artists’ creative growth and make them indispensable to their peers, art lovers, and the broader community.


We accept applications from artists and artist duos working in any creative discipline and at any career level. A BFA or MFA degree is not required to apply. Ideal applicants have a practice that allows them to take full advantage of a private studio, as well as genuine interest in community engagement. Applicants must be based in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area or plan to relocate to Omaha at their own expense. At this time, we are unable to support relocation expenses or provide housing.

  • At least 21 years of age

  • U.S citizen or permanent legal resident

  • Reside in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area

  • Available to participate in all 11 months of the program

  • Not enrolled in a college or university during the program


  • A free private studio
  • $3,000 honorarium
  • $500 professional development funds
  • Complimentary one-year Co-Op pass (supplies not included)
  • Critique sessions with arts and culture workers
  • and more!

2024 Fellows

Visual arts programming at The Union for Contemporary Art (including our Fellowship, Exhibition, and Co-Op Studios programs) is generously supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the VIA | Wagner Incubator Grant Fund.

To learn more about the Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and their work in advancing the visual arts, visit: warholfoundation.org.

To learn more about the VIA | Wagner Incubator Grant Fund visit viaartfund.org and wfound.org.

Andy warhol foundation for the visual arts foundation and Wagner VIA Art Foundation Logos