Define American Announces the Five Artists Chosen for its National 2022 “Define American Fellowship”

May 13, 2022

Media Contact:
Ximena N. Larkin
Communications Consultant, C1 Revolution

Bethany Wearden
Associate Director, Storyteller Support and Advocacy, Define American

The fellowship is one of the few art grants available to undocumented artists. Artists and storytellers in film, writing, podcasting, mural design, digital arts, and illustration from immigrant backgrounds were selected.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Define American continues its commitment to supporting talented immigrant artists and storytellers with its fourth annual fellowship cohort. Founded in 2019 with support from the Kresge Foundation, the fellowship supports immigrant creatives working in narrative art forms. Recognizing the unique hurdles immigrant artists in these fields face, the five fellows selected for the Define American Fellowship each receive a $5,000 stipend and are connected with additional resources to help develop their careers and expand their audiences.

“The Define American Creative Fellowship is one of the few U.S. artistic fellowship opportunities that welcomes any applicant regardless of immigration status, including undocumented creatives,” says Jose Antonio Vargas, author, journalist, filmmaker and founder of Define American. “We’re proud to showcase such a broad range of personal and artistic backgrounds, representing perspectives that are not always highlighted by the mainstream art and film worlds.”

More than 250 artists applied. The five following artists selected for the 2022 cohort are:

The fellowship is designed to create a space for emerging artists, many of which are undocumented and underrepresented in the art world. At the center of the Define American Fellowship is the importance of telling one’s own story, and understanding the intricacies and intersections of art and lived experience.

“Too often immigrant artists are barred from accessing [resources] that establish us as artists,” says Charlotte Abotsi, poet, filmmaker and 2021 alumna. “The Define American Fellowship eliminates these barriers, letting all emerging artists, regardless of status and stature, to explore their unique experiences through their personal lens.”

In addition to the $5,000 stipend, fellows will also engage in regular check-ins with Define American staff, as well as professional development workshops, facilitated conversations, networking opportunities with other artists, and additional funding opportunities.

“The Define American fellowship understands that, historically, support for immigrant artists has been lacking,” says Abotsi. “It also understands that the art world needs varied voices, perspectives, and visions. This fellowship is fully dedicated to letting each individual artist grow, providing a more enriching and expansive artistic and communal experience.”

The 2022 Define American Fellowship runs from May 1, 2022 through November 30, 2022. It is generously supported by grants from the Kresge Foundation, WarnerMedia, and the CAA Foundation.

About Define American:
Define American is a culture change organization that uses the power of narrative to humanize conversations about immigrants. Our advocacy within news, entertainment, and digital media is creating an America where everyone belongs. More at