OVERVIEW: The Princess Grace Foundation gives higher ed performance arts grants in the form of scholarships and fellowships in the areas of theater, dance, and film. Depending on the grant category, funds are allocated towards either tuition or project costs.
IP TAKE: You must be nominated for a Princess Grace Foundation award, so make sure your school is one that works with the foundation. There really is no other way in.
PROFILE: Now well into its fourth decade, the Princess Grace Foundation was founded in honor of Grace Kelly by her late husband, Prince Rainier III of Monaco. The foundation takes its name by her royal title, Princess Grace of Monaco.
The foundation is “dedicated to identifying and assisting emerging talent in theater, dance, and film by awarding grants in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships.” According to the foundation, it has awarded more than $11 million in the form of over 800 separate awards over the course of its history. Among its grantees, the foundation counts Tony, Golden Globe, and MacArthur “genius grant” award winners.
As stated above, the Princess Grace Foundation focuses its grants on individual artists rather than companies or organizations. To receive a higher ed award, the individual must be nominated by the dean/chair of his or her academic organization. Additionally, all applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and all work related to the grant must be completed within the United States.
According to the foundation, grants typically range in size from $7,000 to $30,000 (depending on factors such as tuition and project costs).
Students in dance are eligible for Princess Grace Dance Scholarships. In order to apply for this award, the student must have least one year of schooling under his/her belt, but does not need to be enrolled in a degree-granting program. Dance scholarships “go directly toward tuition costs.”
As with dance scholarships, theater scholarships “go directly toward tuition costs” and may not be used for any other purpose - any money from the award that exceeds tuition goes back to the foundation. If you are in a non-degree-granting program, the foundation recommends you call them directly, “as the response to this question is under review.”
For film students, funding is available for “students enrolled in university at graduate and undergraduate film programs.” The funds are passed to the school, which then administers them to the grantee. In contrast to the foundation’s theater awards, film grants may only be used “toward the production of the film,” and cannot be put towards other expenses like tuition or director’s fees. To be eligible, the student needs to be enrolled full-time in “a film major/concentration in a degreed program which results in a BA, BFA, MA, MFA, or Ph.D.,” “must have already completed one film,” and “must be ready to work on your thesis film.” Furthermore, the award is only open to students from an existing list of select schools, which can be viewed on the foundation’s FAQs’ page (under the heading “Who May Apply for a Film Scholarship?”
You can get some good background on which organizations the Princess Grace Foundation tends to favor by browsing other past award winners. They can be viewed by year or by discipline, which should help to provide some insight into the foundation's giving.
For past winners, the foundation provides several forms additional assistance beyond the award period. These include “Special Project” awards, a “Works in Progress” residency in partnership with the Baryshnikov Arts Center, professional development support, and choreography mentorships.
Separately, the foundation also offers one early-career playwright a year with a $7,500 fellowship in conjunction with a single-season residency at New Dramatists in New York. There is also a The choreography fellowship $10,000 for “ individuals affiliated with non-profit dance companies or organizations.”
Applications are available on the foundation's website in February of each year. Deadlines vary by award field, so check the specific award you’re interested in.
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