Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award

Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award

Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award

The WMAA, founded in 2014, provides an opportunity for students and emerging artists to continue their ceramic research and education for a period of up to twelve consecutive months within the grant year, further expanding their professional development.

One cash award, up to $2,000, is made annually for travel, education, or research.

Applications open January 26, 2024. The deadline for the WMAA is Sunday, March 31, 2024, at 5 pm CT.

This award is available to current undergraduate or graduate students, recent graduates (within one year), or those who have completed a university-equivalent training in ceramics (including apprenticeship and mentorship programs) within the year prior to the application deadline.

During the grant year, the recipient can research a new technique or process, study with a mentor or in an apprenticeship setting, travel to other ceramic art centers or institutions for classes and workshops, collaborate with artists of another media, and travel. Proposals to fund large capital equipment purchases will not be accepted. One cash award will be made in 2024 for a project taking place between May 1, 2024, and April 30, 2025. The recipient will contribute project updates to NCC’s social media and is required to give a public presentation at their school or other institution following the completion of their proposed activities.

2023 Selection Panel

This award is made possible through the support of generous individual and institutional donors in honor of Warren MacKenzie’s legacy of ceramic education, both traditional and non-traditional.


  • Eligibility is restricted to clay artists residing the United States (with US citizenship or student Visa status through the end of the grant year: April 30, 2024). ​who are currently pursuing a BA or BFA in ceramics at an accredited US institution, or
    • who are currently enrolled in a graduate level ceramics program at an accredited US institution, or
    • who have completed undergraduate or graduate academic training in the last year (prior to the application deadline), or
    • who have completed a university equivalent training or education in ceramics (including apprenticeships) in the last year (prior to the application deadline).
  • Recipients must not hold summer or school-year academic appointments in excess of .25 Full Time Equivalents (.25 FTEs).
  • In one application round, you CAN APPLY for all, but CANNOT RECEIVE any combination of the Early Career Artist Residencies, the Materials Technician/Resident Artist position, or the Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award.
  • All Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award recipients are ineligible for future Warren MacKenzie Advancement Awards. 

Application Process

Applications open January 26, 2024.
Applications are due Sunday, March 31, 2024, by 5 pm CT

Application materials will be reviewed by a three-member panel, who will select the recipients on the basis of perceived merit. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process by mid-May of 2024..

There is no fee to apply. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Please label and format all documents as follows:

  • Written documents should be submitted as pdfs and should include your name at the top of each page.
  • Images must be submitted as jpgs or pngs, 1500 px on the shortest side and 300 ppi. DO NOT include your name on your images.
  • Format all file names as LastNameFirstInitialDocument.xxx (i.e. LongleySResume.pdf or LongleySImage1.jpg).

The following materials must be submitted online:

  • Proposal – max 2 pages. Including: a brief description of the research project; the anticipated work product of the project (e.g. article, book chapter, an artistic work); the importance or scholarly/creative contribution of the project; the ways in which the project will contribute to your academic experience, professional development, and degree progress.
  • Budget – Please note: the maximum request from Northern Clay Center is $2,000, with no more than 10% of the request to be earmarked for materials and equipment.
  • Resume – maximum of 2 pages or two minutes of recorded audio.
  • Artist statement –  maximum 1 written page or two minutes of recorded audio.
  • An image list that includes artist’s name, date of work, medium, and dimensions of work.
  • 10 images of completed work

You must also obtain a letter of support from a faculty member at your current or graduating institution or apprenticeship program. Letters may be emailed to seanlofton@northernclaycenter.org or mailed to: Northern Clay Center Attn: Sean Lofton 2424 Franklin Avenue East, Minneapolis MN 55406. All letters must be received by April 4 at 5 pm.