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NCPD@JANM Announces the Irene Yamamoto Arts Writers Fellowship for Emerging Writers of Color

LOS ANGELES, CA – The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy at the Japanese American National Museum (NCPD@JANM) announces the Irene Yamamoto Arts Writers Fellowship (Yamamoto Fellowship).

The Yamamoto Fellowship will be awarded to two emerging writers of color who have demonstrated commitment to writing about the art of communities of color and whose unique perspectives or points of view contribute to arts writing. Each writer will receive a $5,000 award to be spent over six months.

“This fellowship empowers arts writers to combat current efforts to erase the contributions and accomplishments of people of color in America. By giving these writers a platform to voice their perspectives about art created by their communities, this fellowship will give them the power to shape how that art is critiqued and represented in American art history and current events,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of JANM.

The Yamamoto Fellowship encourages arts writers of color to write about art from their own cultural and political perspectives to enrich and broaden arts writing as a practice and profession. 

“We recognize that these writers have knowledge and experiences that differ from dominant Eurocentric writers,” said Burroughs. “Perspectives from writers of color give art that is produced by marginalized communities the attention and consideration it deserves. By supporting and highlighting these voices, this fellowship aims to broaden public discourse around art and strengthen its ties to diverse communities.” 

Submissions are currently open and are being accepted until Monday, May 1, 2023. Applications will be reviewed by a judging panel and the fellowship will begin on Thursday, July 6, 2023. 

Eligible applicants must:

  • Reside in the United States 
  • Identify as a member of a community with ancestry in one of the original peoples of Africa, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, or Pacific Islands
  • Have two to five years of demonstrated publication experience, which may include a blog or self-publishing
  • Be at least eighteen years of age 

More information is available at

The Irene Yamamoto Arts Writers Fellowship is made possible through a gift from Sharon Mizota to honor the late Irene Yamamoto. The project is also supported by Critical Minded, an initiative to invest in cultural critics of color cofounded by The Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Ford Foundation.


About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)

Established in 1985, JANM promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories and strives to provide a voice for Japanese Americans as well as a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public in 1992, JANM has presented over 70 exhibitions onsite while traveling 17 exhibits to venues such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and to several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America. JANM is open on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday–Sunday from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and is free on Thursday from 12 p.m.–8 p.m. Starting in January 2023, JANM will be free every third Thursday of the month. On all other Thursdays, JANM will be free from 5 p.m.–8 p.m. For more information, visit or follow us on social media @jamuseum.

About the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy (NCPD)

The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy at the Japanese American National Museum (NCPD@JANM), convenes and educates people of all ages about democracy to transform attitudes, influence culture, and promote civic engagement. The NCPD@JANM is a place for dialogue about race and social justice, where visitors can examine contemporary and historical frameworks, including the Asian American experience.