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)


  • 2023 Inside/Outside Fellowship Applications Now 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 community art projects that contribute positively to this place we call home. Where in traditional residencies artists often work on their own in seclusion, Fellows at The Union are encouraged to be active participants in the civic life of North Omaha, recognizing the potential of art and artists to spark social change.

Every year, a jury comprising local and national voices selects five artists or artist collectives to participate in the Fellowship program. The successful applicants receive a free, 400 sq. ft. studio at The Union and a complimentary one-year pass to The Co-Op with equipment to support ceramic, textile, print, film photography, and digital media. Studio visits, peer-led critiques, public events, and a final project presentation serve to further support artists’ creative growth.

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 dinner workshops facilitated by local and national arts and culture workers. The workshops 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.

The workshops are complemented by direct interaction with community members: All Fellows contribute 50 hours of experiential learning volunteer hours to local organizations and causes, getting out of the studio to build relationships with neighbors and gain deeper understanding of community challenges and celebrations. Artists in the past cohorts worked with Heart Ministry Center, Lutheran Family Services, Charles Drew Community Health Clinic, Yale Park residents, and Omaha Public Library to explore such issues as food insecurity, mental health, sex education, and refugee resettlement. These experiences are meant to inform Fellows’ final projects, which are presented to the public at the end of the year.

Overall, the Inside/Outside Fellowship program seeks to inspire the creation of imaginative, socially conscious, and culturally sensitive work in, for, and with communities.

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 getting outside the studio to engage with the community. 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

  • Vaccinated for COVID-19 (including the updated bivalent booster)

  • Available to participate in all 10 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)
  • One-on-one technical assistance
  • Catered dinner workshops
  • Studio visits with arts and culture workers
  • Experiential learning placement
  • Critique sessions
  • and more!


  • Application opens: September 16, 2022
  • Deadline to apply: Monday November 7, 2022 (midnight)

  • Applicants notified of decisions: End of January, 2023

  • Fellowship period: March through mid-December, 2023

Please read the Application FAQs + Work Sample Guidelines before starting your application.

2022: Performing Arts Fellowship

In 2022, The Union for Contemporary Art’s Inside/Outside Fellowship program will focus on supporting the creative and professional development of theatre practitioners of multiple disciplines. This Performing Arts Collective + Inside/Outside Fellowship will embody the collaborative spirit of The Union’s Fellowship and Performing Arts programs, and seeks to create a space for new, emerging, and established talents to create and grow together.

This interdisciplinary Fellowship year is an opportunity for theatre artists to collaborate and create within a multi-track creative experience, designed to grow the practices of individual artists, culminating in the production of a theatrical work rooted in community storytelling.

2022 Fellows

  • We’ve supported more than 50 artists through Union Fellowships since 2012.

  • 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