Ron Billings Emerging Artist Award for Artists with Disabilities

VSA Kentucky is pleased to offer the Annual Ron Billings Award for Emerging Artists with Disabilities for Kentucky residents who are age 18 or older.  Awards up to $500 will be provided to help “emerging” artists further their artistic career.

Our Emerging Artist Award is named after Ron Billings, Louisville, Ky., (1945-2004): Mr. Billings was a civil engineer and artist who redesigned his home to accommodate access for his wheelchair. He was a Disability rights advocate and former member of the Louisville and Jefferson County Human Relations Commission. He fought for equal access for disabled people to take Metro buses and advised the Louisville Zoo and the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center on accessibility issues for the handicapped.

Ron served on our VSA Kentucky Board of Directors for many years and provided important perspectives on accessibility and disability awareness.

To provide professional development funds to encourage promising “emerging” artists with disabilities to further develop their artistic abilities and careers.

How can this opportunity help you?
If you want to take your artistic career to the next level or improve your artistic and/or technical skills in visual or performing arts, you are eligible to apply. You may be needing professional development to learn how to market your work.  With this award, you can, for instance:

  • Hire a mentor in your art discipline to work with you
  • Attend a class or series of workshops to refine your artistic skills
  • Take classes on marketing your work
  • Develop a website
  • Develop a portfolio in order to pursue exhibiting your art
  • Buy materials you need to work in your arts discipline
  • Pay for transportation to and from classes or learning opportunities

Am I eligible?
You must meet the following guidelines in order to eligible for this award:

  • You must be an emerging artist
  • You must be age 18 or older
  • You must be a resident of Kentucky
  • You must have a disability (ANY disability; for instance, depression, learning disabilities, hearing impairment, vision loss or blindness, dyslexia, physical or developmental disability).
  • Complete the application and return it with all supporting materials to VSA Kentucky postmarked no later than April 5.

When will I hear if I receive an award?

  • Award selections should be announced no later than April 30.

If I receive an award, what must I do?

  • We will pay for class fees, supplies purchase, classes, materials, etc. when you submit your request with copies of all receipts and invoices from vendors, educational organizations, etc. You will need to work closely with the VSA Program Director in order to expedite all payments.
  • Awardees will submit an expense report to VSA Kentucky by June 15.
  • Document this with slides, photos, CD/DVD/audio/video.
  • Provide artwork for an exhibit for VSAKY or a performance at a possible future VSA event.

Call 270-904-7019 or email [email protected]


Ron Billings Emerging Artist Award Application and Guidelines

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, supports VSA Kentucky with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
© 2016 VSA Kentucky, All rights reserved.