Mary L. Nohl Suitcase Export Fund Guidelines & Application


Please read carefully. The Suitcase Export Fund provides support for visual artists who are exporting their work for public display outside the four-county area (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington). The Fund operates on an annual cycle, disbursing awards in response to demand until the funds for that cycle are exhausted.

In this cycle (January 2024-December 2024), there is $20,000 to disburse to visual artists. Requests will be considered in the order received. Every attempt will be made to notify applicants of a decision within four weeks. There is no application deadline, but artists must apply prior to the opening of their exhibition or screening. Demand for the Suitcase Fund is high, so be sure to apply as early as possible.

The cycle has been divided into two parts to ensure that funds remain available to applicants throughout the year.
Winter Cycle: Beginning January 1, 2024, requests for exhibitions/screenings commencing between January 1, 2024 and August 31, 2024 will be considered periodically until a total of $10,000 has been expended.
Summer Cycle: Beginning July 5, 2024, requests for exhibitions/screenings commencing between July 1, 2024 and February 28, 2025 will be considered periodically until a total of $10,000 has been expended.

• transportation of the work (packing/shipping/insurance)
• transportation of the artist (travel only; no food or lodging)

• Only professionally active, originating visual artists are eligible to apply.
• Full- or part-time students are not eligible to apply.
• Applicants must have resided in the four-county area for the twelve months prior to application.
• Applicants who receive an award in the 2024 Winter Cycle (beginning January1, 2024) will not be eligible to apply again until the 2026 Winter Cycle (beginning January 2026).

• Applicants must provide proof of commitment of sponsor (a letter from the gallery, museum, festival,etc.). Exhibition/screening venue must be open to the public.
• Applicants must provide two examples of work being exported (or work representative of the artist’s production).
• Applications must be submitted prior to opening of exhibition/screening.
• For group exhibitions originating in the greater Milwaukee area and involving several eligible local artists (this includes collaborative or duo exhibitions), we will cap the total award at $1,500. This means that one person can apply on behalf of the entire group, or each individual can apply for a portion of the total amount. If you are applying on behalf of a group of at least three artists, you are able to apply as an individual in future Suitcase cycles without waiting for two years to elapse.
• Applicants for residencies are only eligible if the residency includes a public exhibition/screening.
• The Suitcase Fund supports the opportunities of primary artists rather than those providing programming or other supplemental collaboration during a primary artist’s exhibition. Performance, to be eligible, must be the primary activity and take place within a visual arts context.

Grantees are required to submit a final report including receipts and documentation of the event supported by the Suitcase Export Fund. Reimbursement will be provided prior to the completion of the project if receipts for the eligible items outlined in your request (such as an airline ticket) are submitted. Awardees who fail to submit a final report will not be considered for future funding.


Applicants are required to apply online via Submittable. If you do not have computer access or are unable to use this electronic form, please contact Polly Morris at (414) 446-8794. You will receive a paper copy of the guidelines and application via snail mail.

How to Apply
1. At the bottom of this page, you will find a link labelled “Click here for the online application.” Click this link to begin the application process. Please note that the link will only be active during the specified application period.

2. Create an account for your online application with Submittable. When you click the “Begin your online application” button below, it will take you to the Submittable “Sign In/Sign Up” page. You will be prompted to create a Submittable account or to log in if you already have an account.

To create your account you will need to provide your email address, a password, and your first and last names. Once you create your account, you will be taken to the “Welcome to Submittable” page. This page contains information about Submittable. To enter the Suitcase Export Fund application, click “Continue.”

If you already have an account, once you sign in you will be taken directly to the application.

3. Organize your application materials. We strongly recommend that you assemble all of the application components prior to beginning your application.

Fill Out Application Form
You will need to submit:
• Your personal contact information.
• The amount of your request, including the amounts requested for transportation of work (max. $1000) and/or transportation of artist (max. $1000), and the date funds are required. Total may not exceed $1,500. You will have an opportunity to explain these figures in a subsequent section.
• Purpose of request (gallery exhibition, museum exhibition, festival).
• Event information, including the sponsoring organization, the contact person, contact details including their website, and dates of exhibition or screening.
• Demographic information (year of birth, gender, race/ethnicity, income level). This information is collected solely for research and granting purposes, and has no bearing on award decisions.

Answer Questions
You will be able to answer these questions directly online. You should prepare your answers in a text document in advance and then paste them into the application. This is your opportunity to elaborate on the basic information provided in the application form. In detailing your budget, feel free to let us know about other expenses that will not be covered by the fund. If you are planning other events or activities in conjunction with your exhibition/screening, let us know about those, too. These answers are expected to be brief, and no more than 250 words.
1. Briefly describe the event for which you are requesting support and your involvement in it (number of pieces/ screenings, onsite activities, etc.).
2. Please provide an itemized budget for the requested funds. If you are requesting travel support for yourself, please explain why it is important for you to be present at the exhibition/festival. Make these numbers as accurate as possible: check airfares, mileage, rental fees, etc.
3. Please describe your access to other forms of support for this project (i.e., sponsor support, grants, home institution support). Note whether you have already received, or expect to receive, any of this support.
4. What will you do if you do not receive the full amount requested?

Upload Supporting Materials
• Upload two jpgs representing the work you are exporting (or if this is not possible, works representative of your production). Media artists should submit stills. Work samples will be kept to document the activities of the fund. Do not submit files larger than 1 MB. Label each file with your last name and the title of the work, (e.g., VanGogh_Starry Night).
• Upload a letter of invitation or commitment from the sponsoring organization. This may be a scanned email or letter, or it may be a text file. Label the file with your last name and “letter” (e.g., VanGogh_Letter).

Saving and Returning
Once you set up your account you can preview all the application questions. You can then log in and out of the application as many times as you wish before the deadline to add or edit materials. If you return using the link at the bottom of this page, you will be taken directly to the application once you sign in. If you return by signing in through, you will find your saved application in the upper left corner under “Submissions.”

Please be sure to save the information you have entered before logging out (there is a “Save Draft” button at the bottom of the application form). You do not have to complete the application in one session; however, once you have submitted your application it is final. When you submit your application, you should see a screen that says “Success” and you should receive a confirmation email from Submittable Notifications. If you do not receive an email, log back into your account and try submitting again. Although you will not be able to alter your application once you have submitted, you will continue to have access to your application materials via your Submittable account.

Contact Polly Morris via email at or at (414) 446-8794. Please put “Suitcase Fund” in the subject line.

Click here for the online application.

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