South Arts assembles a layered series of adjudicated panels to select the Southern Prize and State Fellowships recipients. The process consists of three panels of jurors composed of arts leaders of both regional and national stature. In the first phase, two jurors work together to identify a pool of top applicants from each state, based on artistic excellence that reflects and represents the diversity of the region. In the next round, using the same criteria, the State Fellowships jury selects one recipient per eligible state, for a group of nine State Fellows. Lastly, a third national panel, the Southern Prize jury, convenes to evaluate the body of work represented by the nine State Fellowship recipients to select the Southern Prize winner and finalist.