For individuals pursuing an Arts degree, whether they’re interested in performing arts or graphic design, finding the best art scholarships can be a challenge. To this end, a list culling the most available and current offerings may be found below, in the hopes that aspiring artists of all sorts will find support to engage their studies and pursue a high level of personal excellence in their respective fields.
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- Must be American citizens or nationals.
- Must of at least 25 percent Asian or Pacific Islander descent.
- Must be pursuing an Arts education with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater.
The Against the Grain scholarship supports art students of Asian American descent in their pursuit of a degree. They may be invested in journalism, performing arts, graphic design, or mass communications. Students are assessed on the basis of their academic performance, quality of their essay or portfolio, a committee interview, letters of recommendation, and community service contribution. Each award will invest $1,000 directly to an institution of higher education or university in the recipient’s name in order to support an underrepresented demographic in the arts community.
2. AIA Chicago Diversity
- Demonstrates financial need.
- Shows creative potential.
- Fulfills diversity requirements.
Accepted to or enrolled in a NAAB-accredited degree program in architecture at an approved school.
The graduate scholarship from AIA Chicago is designed to increase diversity in the architectural profession by providing financial assistance to an incoming or currently enrolled graduate student at a Chicago-based school or architecture. Applicants are assessed based on a one-page resume, a portfolio of their work, letters of recommendation, a completed FAFSA, a 500-1000 word statement that speaks to the fulfillment of diversity requirements, and a two-minute video statement addressing their choice of architecture and why they feel they meet the standards of the institution of interest.
3. American Dance Festival Internships
- The American Dance Festival is held in Durham, NC, and students of Duke University in pursuit of an arts degree are assessed based on various criteria determined by the festival leadership.
While the summer internship offered by the American Dance Festival is not a monetary reward, it does fulfill another requirement of any student seeking a degree in dance or arts administration. Recipients will be provided with peerless experience in the field most relevant to their studies on a competitive basis. They will receive a complimentary ticket to all the festival performances, be treated to panel presentations, and learn the finer points of administering a major festival in the international arts community.
4. The Fryxell Scholarship
- Incoming freshmen with an interest in the humanities, journalism, or literature.
- Have declared a major in the humanities.
- Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Founded by Drs. Lucy and Donald Fryxell, who taught English at Augustana in the 1950s, the scholarship is awarded annually to students with a special interest in the humanities. Particularly, Lucy Fryxell wished to support individuals in pursuit of elegant, concise use of the English language to enrich the human world in all its endeavors.
5. A-AA Austrian Studies Scholarship
- Must be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs at a New England college or university.
- Project focus must pertain to Austria.
This $3,000 award is bestowed annually upon a single student who fulfills the basic requirements and submits an outstanding project proposal, a Curriculum Vitae, and two confidential letters of recommendation from faculty members. Applicants may explore topics from the arts, humanities, sciences and math, architecture, politics, or any relevant area of interest. Professor Harry Zohn instituted the award beginning in 1976, and the board continues to administer it annually in his memory.
6. NCTA and AWMF Scholarship
- Open to any female student attending an accredited university in the United States.
The NCTA is the principal trade group in the United States for the television and internet industries. Applicants must submit a project concept that addresses one of three topics specific to the industry. Additionally, they must submit a sample of their work, a letter of recommendation, and a brief statement indicating why they believe their topic is important. The $5,000 award is presented to the winning applicant in support of tuition costs.
7. Ford Emerging Voices Scholarship
- Open to all female students attending an accredited college or university in the United States.
The Ford Motor Company sponsors this scholarship competition each year. Applicants must submit an essay on a preselected topic, and two individuals are chosen. The first will receive a $3,000 scholarship. The runner up will be awarded $1,000. In addition, both recipients are invited to write two blog posts for All Women in Media (AWM).
8. Ford Empowering America Scholarship
- Open to any female student attending an accredited university or college in the United States.
Also sponsored by Ford Motor Company, this scholarship fund asks applicants to interview profile a significant female leader in their community. They will showcase why this woman influences those around her, preferably with links to the wider media community. The first place applicant receives a $3,000 scholarship. A runner up applicant will receive $2,000. Additionally, both winners are awarded two tickets to the Gracies Leadership Awards ceremony, held in the fall. Over the third and fourth quarters of the year, the first place winner will write two profile pieces for AWM, with guidance from the staff.
9. The Annual Alpay Scholarship University Student Juried Exhibition
- Current Art Students at Southern California University art programs.
The art exhibition is an assessed event in which students may submit up to three pieces in any media for consideration. Using local inspiration, students are encouraged to reveal as their main theme The Unexpected. The winning candidate will receive a $5,000 scholarship.
10. Big Arts Sanibel Island Classical Music Scholarship
- The scholarship is open to any student currently enrolled in an accredited Florida university or college music program. Applicants must be a current resident of Sanibel or Captiva Islands, currently employed or related to an employee on Sanibel or Captiva, or be a resident of Lee County.
This scholarship is sponsored by Sanibel Island Big Arts program and is designed to provide support for students with a serious interest in taking their music career in a professional direction, the scholarship fund supports the training needs of three students annually. First place is awarded with $15,000. Second and third placements receive $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.
11. Big Arts Sanibel Island Performing and Creative Arts Scholarship
- Rising college freshmen or currently enrolled students in any accredited Florida university or college may apply for this scholarship. Additionally, they must either be current residents of Sanibel or Captiva islands, a resident of Lee County, or be employed or related to an employee located on either aforementioned island.
Whether students are pursuing visual, performing, or literary arts, they may apply for the scholarship. While the funds may not be used for travel expenses, activities related to employment, and other non-relevant pursuits, they may cover many essential materials students require. Art supplies, additional coaching or training, tuition, books, and special equipment directly related to their field are acceptable investments.
12. Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship
- American citizens currently enrolled full time at an accredited institution.
- Students must be pursuing a career in the visual arts.
- Students will exhibit leadership and community service.
- They must have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA and be a qualified African American or Black constituent of a CBC member’s district.
The CBC Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship is intended to support the studies and career goals of students engaged in pursuit of a visual arts degree. Whether they study architecture, film, ceramics, graphic design, or any other visual art, they may be eligible. In addition to a resume, a recent photo suitable for publication, and two letters of recommendation, students must be ready to submit five original works of art and an official transcript for consideration.
13. The CINTAS Foundation Fellowship for the Arts
- Artists must be of Cuban or Cuban American heritage. Students enrolled in accredited visual arts programs are invited to submit their portfolio and application.
As per the mission of the CINTAS Foundation, this fellowship award is intended to support the creative efforts of a Cuban American artist. For more than 50 years, they have provided funding to artists from the island of Cuba and their descendants. Applicants may submit detailed proposals for visual arts, including installations, sculpture, painting, and design. Their portfolio should adhere to the limit of ten images of their work.
14. California State University William and Janey Lahey Scholarship
- Must be enrolled at least part-time, attending a California State University campus, and already have earned a bachelor’s degree in the arts.
- Must be pursuing an M.A. in Arts Education or an M.A. in Art or a visual specialization.
Established to honor William Lahey, who served as the Assistant Vice-Chancellor of the Arts in the CSU network from 1966 to 1986, this scholarship offers support to individuals pursuing a higher degree in the arts. Specific preference is given to those interested in arts education. An award of $10,000 nurtures these individuals as they pursue academic excellence focused toward inspiring and nourishing the artists of the generations to follow them.
15. Layton Scholarship
- Current students of Mt. Mary engaged full time in a degree program focused on the arts with a declared major may apply.
- Applicants must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher and have completed at least one art course at Mt. Mary or an equivalent university.
- Students must expect to complete between 12 and 24 credit hours following the term of their submission.
Named for Frederick R. Layton, the scholarship offers support to individuals pursuing an undergraduate course of study in the arts. Layton founded the first gallery in Milwaukee in 1880. The Layton School of Arts was an organic outgrowth of that endeavor. While the original school was closed in 1974, its board of trustees established a fund to ensure Layton’s legacy would continue to inspire and nurture artists.
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16. Gensler Diversity Award
- Must be an underrepresented or minority student.
- Enrolled in a NAAB-accredited architecture program.
- Entering the final year of a program within the next 12 months.
Crafted to assist individuals from diverse or traditionally marginalized communities as they navigate their way into the world of design, this scholarship is earmarked for a specific student population. As underrepresented voices in the design and architecture communities, they offer chances to innovate, to take fresh approaches to familiar challenges. Gensler makes it a part of their mission to support and encourage this diversity and all the fresh promise of new vision it holds.
17. Brinkman Scholarship
- Must be enrolled in a CIDA-accredited interior design program.
- Entering the final year of a program in the next 12 months.
Don Brinkman was considered to be an inspirational and gifted interior designer who embodied vision, understood the essence of creative interior design, and served as a community leader. This scholarship is his memorial. Students enrolled in not-for-profit CIDA programs are invited to apply for both the scholarship and summer internship opportunities.
18. Distinguished Artist Award (DAA)
- Incoming first-year students to Hope College are invited to apply.
Intended for students with strong academic records and a portfolio of creative progress, the DAA is awarded to promising artists who apply to Hope College as first-year undergraduates. Whether they have distinguished themselves in dance, theater, creative writing, music, or classical visual arts, these are the bright lights the future needs. An organized portfolio exhibition should accompany an application for admission and an award application.
19. The John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship Fund
- Must be a citizen of the United States.
- Must be between the ages of 18 and 35.
The founders of the fund left strict instructions for the purpose of their legacy. Insisting that recipients dedicate their exploration to the pursuit of excellence in the Western artistic tradition, they sought to support an elevated standard in the study of form, drawing, color, painting, technique, and design characteristic of this school. The awards range between $500 and $5,000 dollars, all of which is disbursed at the discretion of the committee.
20. Poverty Is Not a Choice Scholarship
- Must be a senior or recent graduate of Lancaster County public or private schools.
Named for a documentary filmed by students, this award seeks to lighten the burden of poverty and support students who seek higher education in the arts. The donor founded the program with the hope that individuals directly impacted by childhood poverty would still be able to pursue their education by removing part of the significant financial roadblock to this end. A minimum reward of $3,000 may be renewed annually by reapplication.
21. The Robert Sherman Fine Art Scholarship
- Applicants must be a graduating senior currently enrolled in high school in Glenview or District 225.
- Must have been accepted to college with a planned major in visual arts.
- Submit a CD portfolio with at least ten images of their work.
- Submit two letters of recommendation, with at least one from an art teacher.
The Robert Sherman Fine Art Scholarship was established to nurture the study of art and enrich the development of arts practitioners. As a one-time scholarship of $1,000, the Glenview Art League awards it to any student applicant planning to pursue a path in the visual arts. It is given directly to the student to be used at their discretion to defray the costs of attending college.
22. The Portfolio Award
- Any student attending grades 7-12 in public or private institutions is invited to apply. Homeschooled students meeting the above criterion are also eligible.
Established in 1923, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have offered promising high school students support to pursue a degree in their chosen field of the Arts. This alone renders them one of the oldest and best art scholarships. Moreover, through participation in the society’s program, these students obtain a unique platform to showcase their work to the world. Via donations, sixteen Gold Medal Portfolio winners receive $10,000 scholarship awards. A panel also selects 30 Silver Medal Portfolio winners to receive a $1,000 scholarship award each year.
23. The Seattle Co-Arts Scholarship
- Any student currently enrolled in a recognized art school or program with at least one academic year remaining in their degree is invited to apply.
While the Seattle Co-Arts group was founded in the late 1920s, it was reimagined in 1950 as a non-profit organization. Its mission remains unchanged. In the spirit of the original group, the organization seeks to foster creative endeavors and develop the original artistic visions of creators. It offers several scholarship awards to this end.
24. The Support Creativity Scholarships
- Be a dedicated student of the arts, preferably located in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania.
While not restricted exclusively to New York and the surrounding states, these scholarships are intended to support the passionate pursuit of the visual arts. These awards include a World Scholarship, an Undergraduate and a Graduate award—all of which may be awarded to any student, irrespective of GPA or creative field.
25. The TalNexus Scholarship
- Any rising graduate student admitted to an MFA program in good standing is invited to apply.
- Preferred candidates have a background in writing, creative visual arts, and an undergraduate degree in a relevant field.
Administered by the Taliesin Nexus group, these awards provide support for graduate students pursuing Master of Fine Arts degrees, and specifically focus on those deemed visual storytellers. Grants of up to $4,000 per year are available, and recognize a dedication to exploring themes of diversity, innovation, and community through the use of visual media. Scholarship recipients are also welcomed into the Taliesin Nexus Writers Workshop or Film Lab.
26. The Whitaker Foundation Art Scholarship
- Students enrolled in a nationally-accredited degree program in the fields of Museum Studies, Art History, or Fine Arts may apply.
- Must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and be at least 18 at the time of application.
There are two scholarships offered by the Frederick and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation, each in the amount of $2,000. These are intended to support the exploration of a watercolor arts degree or an undergraduate art history or museum studies path. The originators of the foundation felt it was vital to encourage skilled representation in these fields through future generations.
27. The Gordon Hay Scholarship
- Any student who is pursuing a non-performing career in the performing arts, such as management, administration, or other organizational roles, may apply.
Rising first or second-year undergraduates and current high school seniors with records of academic excellence, dedication to community engagement, and a demonstrable pursuit of personal and artistic excellence are preferred.
Sponsored by the Blumenthal Performing Arts Organization, the Gordon Hay award was instituted to honor an individual recognized as an organizational development professional and his belief in transformational change through authentic emotional and empathetic engagement. Each year, one student from the Charlotte region is awarded with a $5,000 scholarship in recognition of their passionate alignment with this ethos.
28. Kress Foundation Interpretive Fellowships
- Students who have completed a Bachelor, Master, or PhD in the fields of art history, museum studies, and art education and seek to continue their education or obtain professional placement in their field may apply to an institution hosting a Kress Fellow.
Each year, Kress Fellowships are awarded to American art museums for a period of twelve months or less. The award of $30,000 must be rendered in full as a stipend for a selected fellow. These monies are intended to support the intensive, hands-on learning of an individual or individuals in museum history and art education, provide experience in communication with diverse audiences, and to aid the development of both expertise and confidence.
29. The Mary Doctor Scholarship
- Must be a Charlotte-area high school senior who demonstrates exceptional academic ability and dedication to the performing arts.
- Students must be accepted as full-time scholars at an accredited institution, with a degree focus on performing arts.
- Must demonstrate financial need.
Founded in memory of Mary Doctor, who was an avid supporter of both the Blumenthal Arts organization and the performing arts more generally, this scholarship awards two students with a fund of up to $10,000. It is renewable through repeated applications each year.
30. Whitney French Design Scholarship
- Must be a woman pursuing a degree in the field of design, with an emphasis on digital production in the final or penultimate year of study.
- Attending a college in North Carolina or Virginia
- Good academic standing, with a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a 3.4 or higher in design courses.
Founded in remembrance of Whitney French, an inspiring and inspired product designer with Willow Tree, this scholarship awards a $5,000 yearly fund to a woman pursuing a design degree. If a junior is selected, this will total $10,000. If a senior is recognized, she will receive $5,000 for her final year of studies.
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