Call for Submissions: David C. And Thelma G. Driskell Award for Creative Excellence

The University of Maryland is pleased to announce the 2023–24 competition for The David C. and Thelma G. Driskell Award for Creative Excellence.

The David C. Driskell Center

Committed to preserving the rich heritage of African American visual art and culture, the David C. Driskell Center was established in 2001 to provide an intellectual home for artists, museum professionals, art administrators and scholars who are working to expand and deepen the field of African diasporic studies in the visual arts. Housing artistic collections, archival papers and a research library, the Driskell Center is a major repository for the study of African American visual culture. A description of major collections can be found here.

About the Award

The David C. and Thelma G. Driskell Award for Creative Excellence provides emerging scholars and artists from around the world the opportunity to work in the Driskell Center’s collections and archives in self-directed research leading to the creation of a new artistic and/or scholarly work. While the Driskell Center will serve as the primary location of research, the University of Maryland’s proximity to Washington, D.C., also opens up other locations for study, including the Smithsonian Museums, the Archives of American Art, the National Gallery of Art and a variety of historical sites and monuments. Awardees will spend two to three weeks in residence at the Driskell Center immersed in its collections.


Residencies will take place between September 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024; exact dates will be coordinated with the director and staff. The awardee will receive a stipend of $5,000 and lodging on or near the University of Maryland’s College Park campus for the duration of their award period (between two and three weeks). A work space inside the Driskell Center library will also be provided. Within two months following the completion of their residency, the awardee will submit an illustrated narrative of their work at the Driskell Center (max 750 words). 

Eligibility and Evaluation

We welcome proposals from emerging scholars, including graduate students and those who have completed graduate degrees within the last five years. To apply, please send (1) a project proposal of no more than 1000 words, (2) a resume and (3) one letter of reference to by May 15, 2023. The proposal should outline relevant experience and accomplishments, the proposed creative or research topic, an explanation of how the center’s holdings will support that topic and a proposed timeline for the residency of either two or three weeks.


Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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