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2025 Aminah Robinson Writer/Scholar/Researcher Residency

Application Portal
Application Portal


The Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) offers a U.S.-based African American writer, scholar, or researcher the gift of time and space to live in Aminah Robinson’s home studio and work on a writing or research project of their choice during a 90-day residency. We welcome expressions of interest from writers of fiction, nonfiction, drama and poetry and from scholars and researchers who focus on African American art and culture in all periods and media. Preference will be given to writers, scholars, and researchers interested in topics like those central to the work of MacArthur fellow Robinson, such as the documentation of African American culture and history or centrality of African American women to sustaining community. Residents whose projects relate to Robinson’s life and work will have access to her art, archives and library.

In exchange for a residency, writers agree to complete a community engagement project in consultation with CMA which may take the form of public writing workshops, readings, lectures or exhibitions.


Award Details

In 2025, the residency will include a $15,000 unrestricted cash award and the honor of living and working in Aminah’s home. Lodging and studio access is a part of the residency. Mutually agreed upon community engagement facilitated by CMA is required and residents will have many opportunities to interact with the vibrant Columbus arts community and make a public presentation. The resident will have access to local writers and scholars. Because Columbus does not have a robust transportation system, it is preferred that the participant bring a car or provide their own transportation in Columbus, if possible.


NOTE: The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) manages the applications for the residency.


Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants to the Writer Residency must:

  • Identify as African American
  • Be a permanent resident of the United States
  • Be a professional or pre-professional or emerging writer, scholar, or researcher (age 18 and older)

Definition: individuals who devote a significant portion of their time to the creation of written work for submission to a publication; or as a stand-alone publication; or in submission for a graduate degree. Individuals working in a creative industry primarily producing commercial work are not eligible. Collaborative applications are not accepted. Each writer must apply individually.

  • Produce work in any of the following media: fiction; non-fiction; poetry; drama; research for publication. The applicant must be the sole author of works.
  • Produce works deeply rooted in any of the following: storytelling, cultural traditions, and heritage; the centrality of African American women in art; race, racism and social activism in the arts; research about art related to the previous themes.
  • Not be enrolled as degree-seeking undergraduate student.

NOTE: Residents of Central Ohio are eligible to apply; however, recipients of the local Aminah Robinson Fellowship, are not eligible. Likewise, recipients of either an Aminah Robinson Art Residency or Aminah Robinson Writer Residency are prohibited from applying for any future Aminah Robinson programs.

To access the online application portal, visit:  If you have any technical questions, contact  


Application Opens October 1, 2024
Application Due December 9, 2024, 5:00 p.m.
Notification By December 8, 2024
Residency Begins May 1, 2025
Residency Ends July 30, 2025

Application Questions & Uploads

What is the application fee?

The application fee is $15 and payable via debit/credit card in the application, under the “Certification and Payment” tab. You will not be able to submit the application until you have completed the payment.

How often can I apply?

An applicant may be selected for the Aminah Writer/Scholar/Researcher Residency only once. If an applicant is not selected, they may apply again the following year.

Application questions:

  • Why are you interested in the Aminah Robinson Writer Residency?
  • How does your work align with Aminah Robinson’s life, art, and/or writing? Why should you be selected for this residency?
  • How do you think being in the Aminah Robinson home studio will affect your writing?
  • Describe the project you plan to work on or begin.

What are the required Supplemental Materials (uploads)?

All support materials must be uploaded digitally to the application portal.

  • Writer’s bio or resume (PDF only)
  • Writing Samples (up to three works which may include poetry, scripts, essays, and excerpts that do not exceed 20 pages). Applicants may submit published or works in progress.
  • List of publications, if applicable.

Where is Aminah’s home located?

The Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson home is located in a lovely pocket neighborhood in the Shepard neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, a short ten-minute drive from downtown Columbus.

Will I need a car while in residence?

It is preferred that the participant brings a car to Columbus, if possible. Columbus does not have a robust public transportation system and Aminah’s neighborhood home is a distance from bus transportation. However, we know this can be an issue for families or those without a vehicle. If this is the case, we will discuss options and might also recommend participants’ plans for extra expenditures related to car share fees, bus passes, etc.

May I bring my bicycle?

Columbus is a burgeoning cycling community, but it still reliant on automobiles. There are many bike trails and a few dedicated bike lanes (mostly downtown and campus areas) but riders should take extreme caution on roadways. We would only recommend bicycle as a primary mode of transportation for experienced daily bike commuters.

May I bring my family/friend to stay with me in the house during my residency?

No. Though we know that it may be difficult to be away from home and family, this residency is intended for you to engage in creative practices without the usual daily distractions or responsibilities. You are welcome to have visitors, but we ask that no guests stay more than five days.

May I bring my pet to stay with me in the house during my residency?

No. Because we consider Aminah’s house to be a sacred space, we do not allow any pets inside the home or studio. This helps to sustain the integrity of these historical spaces.

What is the house policy on smoking?

Because we consider Aminah’s house to be a sacred space, we do not permit smoking inside the home or studio. However, we do allow smoking outside on the porches, lawn or driveway if proper disposal practices are followed.

After Submitting - Reviews & Scoring

Review, evaluation, and selection

Writer Residency applications are reviewed by a selection jury that will include representatives from communities within which Aminah worked and lived, CMA and esteemed writers from across the country. The jury will review the applicant’s excellence and proficiency, innovation and creativity, use of storytelling, connection to cultural traditions and heritage and consider the applicant’s connection to or reflection of the aesthetic and spirit of Aminah Robinson.

Following a consensus selection from the jury, applicants will be notified by email of the determination.

After Awarded - Contracts, Payments, Reporting

To accept the award, you will receive a contract by email to review, sign and return via email. There will be no changes in the terms or residency timeline without prior written approval from CMA.

Residency Expectations

The recipient of the Writer Residency should be actively writing or researching during their 90 days and is required to participate in at least one community engagement opportunity facilitated by CMA.

Publicity/Donor Acknowledgement 

Once you are awarded, say “Thanks!” in a public way. CMA requires that all artists receiving funding demonstrate the public value of the arts by making others aware of awards received and acknowledging public funders.


Will be distributed as follows: Residents will receive 75% of the award upon receipt of the signed grant agreement and balance of the award following the completion of the Final Report.

Final Reports

Are used to collect feedback on your experience and are due 30 days after the completion of the fellowship term. To complete this Final Report, login into the application portal and you will see “Reports to Complete” on your dashboard.