The Art of the Application | The Excerpt Explanation & Technical Statement

The Art of the Application | The Excerpt Explanation & Technical Statement

Shine in each aspect of your NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship submission with the latest from the Art of the Application.

In this edition of The Art of the Application, we clarify what an Excerpt Explanation is and give pointers on what to include in a Technical Statement. Be sure to always read through the Application Guidelines for a full understanding of what you are required to submit in your application.

Excerpt Explanation

It may be a tongue twister, but it’s more simple than it sounds.The Excerpt Explanation is a 400-word statement that allows you to explain how the excerpted work sample(s) in your application relates to the entire original piece. For example, if you are a writer or work in a time-based medium, your work sample may not represent the entire original work. Use the Excerpt Explanation to expand upon the excerpt(s) you submitted and to unpack the various components and concepts of your practice.This statement should help to provide context for interpreting your work samples and gives you the chance to highlight information that may not be evident from your work samples.

Consider itemizing your Excerpt Explanation, discussing each submitted work sample individually. This will give the panel a clear and direct interpretation of your work.


Technical Statement

Your Technical Statement is an optional 200-word statement that should describe the key technical aspects of your work samples. In this statement, talk about how the work was made, particularly if you used techniques which may not be self-evident.

For example:

  • Do you use a unique tool, instrument, or process to create your work?
  • Do you create your work in certain conditions, spaces, or settings?

If you’re working collaboratively, this is also a good opportunity to describe each artist’s role in creating or executing the work.

Depending on your practice, you can talk about the circumstances in which the viewer or audience normally would experience the work. If your work is performative or interactive, please explain that here. Be sure to highlight whether your work samples represent documentation of a performance, installation, or experience, as opposed to a single piece.

For more information about the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship, visit our website and view our Fellowships FAQ.

– Hannah Berry, Program Associate, NYFA Grants


NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships are administered with leadership support from New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Find out about additional awards and grants here. Sign up for our free bi-weekly newsletter NYFA News to receive announcements about future NYFA events and programs.

Images, from top: Ronald Amstutz (Fellow in Performance Art/Multidisciplinary Work ‘03 & Video/Film ‘15), LoVid (Fellows in Interdisciplinary ‘09, Digital/Electronic Arts ‘17)

Amy Aronoff
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