Mary Kiesau Community Fellowship Fund

Natural history education, especially place-based education that gives people a direct connection with and knowledge of the places in which they live, is more important now than ever before. – Mary Kiesau

Mary Kiesau was a remarkable naturalist, educator, and photographer. Many people have been touched by her passion for the flora and fauna of the Methow, and many homes are graced with her photographs. The Mary Kiesau Community Fellowship Fund was created in her honor. Through this fund, the spirit of Mary will live on in the form of creative and educational projects dreamed up by fellowship recipients. The fund supports the independent projects of artists, photographers, naturalists, and naturalist educators working to further their own creativity, professional development, and the community’s connection to the land, art, and each other.

We are pleased to announce that the application process for the 2022 Mary Kiesau Community Fellowship Fund is open from December 1, 2021 to February 1, 2022.

Through generous donations to the fund from Mary’s community of friends, family, and loved ones, we will offer 2 awards in the amount of $1,000 each in 2022.

Artists, photographers, naturalists, and naturalist educators are invited to apply for the Fellowship. These funds are designed to support your “field” work and ultimately the creation of artistic works and knowledge that can be shared with your community.

Mary Kiesau was a woman of extraordinary energy and drive. This fellowship will fund projects that honor Mary’s legacy and align with her values and artistic passions:

  • Living in harmony and balance with the earth and its finite resources.
  • Being observant, interested in, and connected with the natural world in order to gain a deep appreciation for the place one calls home.
  • Helping to create a strong, resilient, and enlightened community that is composed of the Methow flora, fauna, and people.

Before applying, we recommend spending time reviewing Mary’s work and values at her website:

There will be two stages of applicant review:

  1. Application review : Portfolio + Artist & Impact Statements
  2. Finalist in-person or virtual interview

Application Deadline: Midnight, February 1st, 2022
Panel Review and Finalist Interviews: Late February 2022
Award Announcement: March 15th, 2022
Funding Period: March 15th 2022 to November 15th 2022
Final Report Due: November 15th, 2022. Upon receipt of the final report, final payment will be issued.


  • Applicants must be 18 years or older, and not a student for the duration of the application period and project.
  • Applicants should demonstrate a connection to the Methow Valley as a resident (full-time or part-time), visiting artist, or researcher doing field work in the Methow Valley or vicinity.
  • Applicants must be generative, individual artists, photographers, and/or naturalists (Curators, organizers, producers, research groups, and artist teams are not eligible).
  • Applicants must be a US resident.


  1. In 250 words or less, tell us about who you are as an artist, photographer, and/or naturalist. You may also mention key things we should know about you.
  2. In 500 words or less, describe what you plan to do for your fellowship project, how the outcomes will be achieved, and how this project will further your goals as an artist, photographer and/or naturalist.
  3. Work samples (see below)
  4. Optional : If you do not live in the Methow Valley, but would like to spend a dedicated period of time here to advance your project, please describe what a ‘residency’ would look like (include preferred time of visit and what you would need to support the residency). We may be able to provide housing for you. (250 words or less).


Visual Artists/Photographers:

Upload ten (10) examples of artwork into your application, submitted as a single .PDF.

  • If you are submitting still images, a maximum of 10 individual pieces is allowed.
  • If you are submitting video, include the URL for Vimeo, YouTube, website, or other online platform. A maximum of 10 minutes will be reviewed. Indicate the time stamp where you would like the panel to start and stop viewing. (EX: Start 1:35, Stop 3:40)
  • If you are combining digital images and video, one image equals one minute of video and vice versa. For example: You have a 3-minute video you want to submit along with some still images – you would submit your video URL and 7 still images to meet the 10 piece submission maximum.


In a single .PDF, include a work sample of up to ten pages. This may include writing projects, journal entries, drawings, photographs, maps, data, and any other details that illustrate the way that you work. If you are submitting video, follow the guidelines for visual artists above. 1 min. of video = 1 page of the .PDF. If you are combining pages and video, the same rules apply as described above for visual artists. The .PDF should be formatted for viewing/printing 8.5″ x 11″.

If you are an artist/photographer AND a naturalist, follow the guidelines for the Naturalist work sample submittal.

Submit your final application documents in PDF form to

Please review the submission requirements carefully and be sure to submit correctly. Questions? Email Tori Karpenko at
We’re here to help!

2021 MKF award recipients :