The Brother Thomas Fund
The Brother Thomas Fund was established at the Boston Foundation in 2007 to honor the legacy of Brother Thomas Bezanson, a Benedictine monk and world-renowned ceramic artist, who wanted the sale of his work to support “struggling artists.”
The goal of the biennial Brother Thomas Fellowship program is to support and celebrate a diverse group of Greater Boston artists working at a high level of excellence in a range of disciplines—the visual, performing, literary, media and craft arts—and to enhance their ability to thrive and create new work. The Boston Foundation also hopes that fellowship winners will have greater access to a variety of markets, including galleries, residencies and commissions, and that the importance of artists to the vitality of Boston will be more broadly recognized.
Each Brother Thomas Fellow receives an unrestricted award of $15,000. Fellowships— given without stipulation as to how the funds are spent—match the needs of artists as well as the wishes of the donor who wanted to help other artists as his friends had helped him.
Brother Thomas Fellows are selected in alternate years based on an inclusive, two-step process of nomination and panel review. A diverse group of nominators selected from among Boston’s large pool of nonprofit arts leaders, academics, gallerists, collectors and for profit arts presenters select the initial pool of artists. The nominators are asked to focus their attention on mid-career and established artists to assure that the fellowships are awarded to individuals who have made a firm commitment to their art and are working at a high level of achievement. Nominators also give extra consideration to artists that are at a catalytic moment in their life and career when a fellowship could have a transformative impact. The Fellowship program acknowledges that even established artists often struggle for the resources they need to advance their art.
The nominated artists submit work samples, resumes and a artist statements for consideration by a multi-disciplinary panel convened at the Boston Foundation. Over time, as former Brother Thomas Fellows welcome the new award winners, the awards will create a community of artists of recognized excellence.
Contribute to the Brother Thomas Fund.