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The Ellie Awards Call for Entries

Published April 26, 2019

Miami’s Visual Art Awards is excited to begin accepting applications for the second year of The Ellies. The Ellies celebrate the individual artists who are the backbone of Miami’s visual arts community. Artists have helped Miami become one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the United States. For longtime residents and first-time visitors alike, the visual arts are a central part of the Miami experience. It is the MVVA’s hope that this grant program, which is offering up to $500,000 this year, will be a game changer both for visual artists and the city by providing working artists with the resources they need to do their best work.

The 2018 recipients are busy launching exhibitions in San Francisco, Detroit and Berlin, planning ambitious public art installations, and in the case of teachers, preparing to travel this summer to Spain, Italy and across the United States in order to bring new knowledge back to their classrooms. You can get a taste of the work through the above video about GeoVanna Gonzalez’s Supplement Projects, where she turned her home into an exhibition space for local artists.


The Ellies are offered in three categories to support Miami-Dade working and emerging artists, art educators, and established, professionally accomplished artists.

  • The Creator Awards support working artists with grants of $2,500 to $25,000 to realize a significant visual arts project that will advance their careers. Oolite Arts is looking for bold ideas that speak to their community and our times. These awards are open to all Miami-Dade artists. A panel of arts leaders will select recipients from the applicant pool. Open call for applications coming soon!


  • Teacher Travel Grants will provide K-12 teachers with $5,000 in funds for travel that will ultimately enrich their classroom curriculum. By encouraging teachers to explore and share art experiences with their students, these grants will help create the audiences that our museums and arts organizations need to thrive. Applicants must write a maximum 300-word essay describing where they would travel with the grant, and why. The opportunity is open to all Miami-Dade teachers, grades K-12. A panel of arts leaders will select the recipients. Application opens April 17, through Monday, May 20, 2019 at 6 p.m.


  • The Michael Richards Award will be given to a Miami-Dade artist who has created a recognized body of original, high-quality works of art over a sustained period of time and who, through their practice, is achieving the highest levels of professional distinction in the visual arts. The award will support the selected artist’s practice and creative growth through a stipend of $75,000 over a two-year period, and the opportunity to be commissioned by Oolite Arts in collaboration with The Bass, to create a work to be exhibited at the museum. Michael Richards (1963–2001), to whom this award pays tribute, was an incisive, provocative, and poetic artist whose body of work primarily addresses racial inequity and social injustice. Richards, an Oolite Arts alum, passed away tragically in his art studio in the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. A jury of national and local curators and experts will both nominate candidates and select the award winner.