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Bring the arts to Duke

Visiting Artist Grants support projects that will enrich the life of the university and broader community, augment the curricular efforts of a range of departments and programs, facilitate the interaction of artists and scholars, foster the reputation of Duke as a place where the arts are vital and diverse, and contribute to the arts as a whole. Applications are reviewed once per year during the spring semester by a committee appointed by the Vice Provost for the Arts, which presents its recommendations to the Council for the Arts for ratification. Upon the Council’s recommendation, grants are awarded by the Vice Provost for the Arts in consultation with the Provost.

Grant Details

The grant provides funding for visiting artist residencies at Duke University, which can take many forms depending on the desires of the sponsoring unit and the artist’s requirements. Residencies can be can be as short as three days or as long as a semester, but all require a period of residency at Duke and a teaching component.

It is anticipated that most awards will be in the $8,000 – $12,000 range, but in extraordinary situations a maximum of $20,000 could be awarded. The amount and number of awards will be based on the total funding available for distribution.

The grant period typically lasts one year. Participants may petition the Vice Provost for the Arts to roll over their award to the next fiscal year.


  • Any program, department, or unit at Duke may apply for funding
  • The residency at Duke must have a minimum stay of at least three days and may be as long as a semester
  • The residency must include a teaching component
  • The visiting artist/recipient must be able to receive the funds. International recipients are responsible for obtaining the necessary visa in order to receive payment. For international recipients, the Department(s) hosting the recipient must assure that the visa process is appropriately handled by the recipient. The Department(s) is responsible for all arrangements relating to the residency including housing and all related expenses.

Note: Individual artists (whether Duke-affiliated or not) are not eligible to apply on their own behalf.

Selection Criteria

The committee will evaluate applications according to the following criteria:

  • The artistic significance of the proposed residency. Is the project of high quality? Does it address important issues?
  • Integration and interaction with students and faculty. How deeply can students and faculty observe, learn about, and enter into the artist’s creative process? What is the teaching component of the residency and how are Duke courses integrated with the residency? How will the residency enrich Duke’s curriculum? Does the project adequately plan for visiting artist(s) to engage with students, faculty, and guest scholars who are specialists in the artist’s field?
  • Impact on the broader community outside Duke. How can the broader community engage with the artist’s work? Is there a public presentation component?
  • Creation time for new work during the residency. (This is applicable primarily in longer term residencies). How does the residency provide a service to the artistic discipline beyond simply the presentation of work created prior to the residency?
  • Sponsoring unit’s capacity to manage the residency?

Note: Successful applications need not address all criteria equally, but will have particular strength on at least two criteria.

Submission Procedure

The application should be submitted by the Grant Applicant and include the following:

  1. Names, affiliations, and CVs of the visiting artist(s) and other key participants and identify the Lead Applicant.
  2. A narrative of no more than 5 pages including a description of the project including justification for level of support requested and an articulation of how the project will enrich the arts at Duke. The narrative should also explain the origins of the project and how the visiting artist(s) has been involved in the project planning to date.
  3. A letter from the visiting artist(s) regarding their commitment and availability, explaining how they would use their time at Duke and the departments, programs, or units with which they would be engaged.
  4. A letter from the Department Chair/Program Director demonstrating the Chair’s/Director’s knowledge that the proposal is being submitted. This can be a simple acknowledgement that the proposal is being submitted or an actual letter of support.
  5. An itinerary showing when the visiting artists will be on campus.
  6. A list of courses and/or co-curricular programs and faculty that will host visiting artists during the residency period. Documentation showing that faculty have agreed to participate in the project will strengthen the proposal.
  7. A detailed budget (including artist honoraria, living, and travel expenses and all other expenses connected with the project). The applicant should also indicate whether s/he has applied to the CFA to bring this artist to campus before and if so, whether funding through the Visiting Artist mechanism was awarded.
  8. A list of any other potential sources of funding (including grant deadlines).
  9. Proposals should be submitted in one pdf that includes all the components requested above.
  10. Applicants who would like to submit supplemental material are encouraged to do so through a website (Flickr, YouTube, their own site, etc.)