Princess Grace Awards Program

Photo: Jacquelin Harris (Dance 2017) with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Identifying and Nurturing
Extraordinary Emerging Artists in
Theater, Dance, and Film

The Princess Grace Foundation-USA is dedicated to upholding the legacy of Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco, (née Grace Kelly) and elevating extraordinary emerging artists in theater, dance and film through career-advancing grants.


Her commitment to advance the arts in the United States is sustained by the Princess Grace Awards which supports and elevates extraordinary early career artists in theater, dance and film through game-changing grants; and nurtures and supports Princess Grace Award winners throughout their careers.

2021 Awards Program Update

In 2020 the Princess Grace Foundation embarked on an assessment of our Awards Program to evaluate how the Princess Grace Foundation ensures the Awards program stays true to the core mission of supporting and elevating extraordinary emerging talent.


The Princess Grace Foundation is proud of our nearly 40 year track record of supporting our artistic community and elevating a diverse range of artists across disciplines, geography, race, gender and sexuality. The review of the Awards Program recognized that the landscape of theater, dance and film has changed since our grant-making activity began in 1982, the need to ensure our application process remains equitable and accessible, and that funding to artists is optimized to be reflective of artists’ needs, particularly as the artistic communities emerge from the Covid-19 shutdown.


The assessment of the Awards Program was led by our Taskforce and members of the Arts Advisory Board. Thank you to members of the Taskforce and Arts Advisory Board for their time and dedication to the process.


Read Assessment Report Here

Please review the grant guidelines carefully as our Awards program has evolved for 2021.

Princess Grace Foundation Values

Values of the Princess Grace Foundation:

    • The Princess Grace Foundation is interested in artists’ unique voices and trajectories; and evaluates each artist through the lens of their individual journey.
    • The Princess Grace Foundation believes that extraordinary talent is found across diverse groups of artists and is committed to identifying and supporting diversity in all its forms: gender, race, sexuality, accessibility, etc.
    • The Princess Grace Foundation is committed to curating Selection Panels that reflect the diversity of the artistic landscapes considering form and geography as well as the diversity of artists including gender, race, sexuality, accessibility, etc. in its selection of Panelists.

Evaluation of Mission in Selection Process

Evaluation of Extraordinary: In its consideration of the mission during the evaluation of Princess Grace Award applicants, the selection panel considers the promise and potential of the applicant to be extraordinary; evaluating “extraordinary” with a multi-prong definition: artistic intentionality, demonstration of technique in artistic practice, potential for innovation or impact of the artist on their field. Applicants are not expected to already be extraordinary but demonstrate the promise of extraordinary.


Evaluation of Emerging: The Princess Grace Awards are for emerging artists, or artists at the onset of their careers. In its evaluation of emerging, the selection panel considers the aggregate of the applicant’s work.

The Nomination Process

Princess Grace Awards are available via nomination. Applicants must be nominated and nomination can come from:

    • Academic institutions such as universities, colleges and non-profit professional training program and must meet the following criteria:
      • Nominations should be on behalf of the entire department and come from the Dean/Chair of the School/College
      • Professional training program or accredited university
      • Universities/Colleges may one nominate 1 undergraduate artist and 1 graduate artist per category of theater, dance, choreography, film, and animation
      • Should the University have separate colleges or schools with programs that contain eligible applicants, each college or school may nominate an applicant
      • Non-profit training programs may only nominate 1 artist per year per category of theater, dance, choreography, film, and animation
    • Organizations such as non-profit theater companies, dance companies, media arts centers and must meet the following criteria:
      • Nominations should come from the Artistic Director or Executive Director
      • Be in continuous operation as an independent 501(C) (3) company or have a fiscal sponsor
      • Employ professional administrative staff
      • Theater companies, dance companies and media arts centers may only nominate 1 artist per year per category of theater, dance, choreography, film, and animation

New in 2021

    • Previous Princess Grace Award winners and honoraria
      • Nominations from Award winners do not need to be within their discipline, however Award winners should be able to speak authoritatively regarding the nominee’s artistic practice
      • Princess Grace Award winners and honoraria may only nominate 1 artist per year


In the application process, the nominated artist will begin the application (link below) and they will be prompted to fill out their nominator information including an email. Once the email is filled out, the nominator will be notified via email to submit their nomination.

Am I Eligible to Apply

The Princess Grace Awards recognize both creative generators (including but not limited to theater directors, designers, playwrights*, choreographers, film directors, etc.) and performance-based creatives (including but not limited to actors, dancers, etc.). The Princess Grace Award is an unrestricted cash grant of $10,000 paid directly to the artist.**

    • Open to U.S. based artists currently living and working in the United States. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens must have permanent work authorization from USCIS
    • All applicants must be nominated by a non-profit university, organization, media arts center or previous Princess Grace Award winner
    • Self-nominations are not allowed
    • An artist can only be nominated by 1 organization or individual in a given year. Applications are evaluated on the individual artist’s artistic merits


*The Playwriting Fellowship will continue to be administered by our project partners, New Dramatists in 2021. The 2020 applications that were in process when the Awards program closed will be evaluated in 2021 and a 2021 Princess Grace Award Playwright will be selected from those pool of applicants. There will not be an updated Playwriting Fellowship application for 2021.


**For information on how the grant is paid please visit our FAQ.  

Two-Part Application Process

Beginning in 2021, the Princess Grace Awards is a 2-part application process

Round 1: The Nomination | Deadline February 15, 2021

    • Artists are nominated and together with their nominator submit their nominator letter of recommendation, artist statement, an additional letter of recommendation and headshot.


Invited artists are invited to continue in the application process by March 31


Round 2: Full Application | Deadline May 1

    • Applicants invited to continue in the application process submit additional written material and work samples.

Adjudication Process

Award winners are selected annually by experts in theater, dance and film. Applicants are assessed in 3 review stages consisting of both online and in person panel reviews by Adjudicators and Panelists. Each Adjudicator and Panelist brings their own experience and aesthetic to the table, however decisions are made by panel consensus.


The 3 Stages of Review

    • Round 1: The Nomination: Adjudicators and Panelists evaluate each component of the application within their specific area(s) of expertise via the online application system.
    • Round 2a: The Full Application: Adjudicators and Panelists review applicants within their specific area(s) of expertise via the online application evaluating each component of the Full Application including work samples.
    • Round 2b: Adjudicators convene in person to discuss the finalist applications and select the Princess Grace Award winners.


About Adjudicators

Adjudicators serve a 3-year term and are nominated by the Arts Advisory Board, Director of Programs and CEO. Princess Grace Award Adjudicators participate and review applications in all stages of the review process. They are experts within specific form(s) but are also equipped to evaluate applicants based on the Princess Grace Foundation’s mission and values.


About Panelists

Princess Grace Award Adjudicators are joined by additional panelists representing specific areas of expertise within the disciplines of theater, dance, choreography, film, and animation. Panelists review applications within their specific disciplines for Rounds 1 and 2a. These additional panelists serve annually.


The Arts Advisory Board Chair and Director of Programs moderate both the online and in-person panel discussions. They facilitate and moderate each stage of the process and are not voting members in the view process.


Learn more about the Arts Advisory Board, Adjudicators and the panel process here.

Application Components

Round 1 | Nomination & Artist Statement

Deadline February 15, 2021

  1. Application
  2. Resume
  3. Recommendation letter from Nominator: Please tell us why you consider your nominee to be deserving of a Princess Grace Award. The recommendation should include how the artist has demonstrated their promise of extraordinary talent based on the Princess Grace Foundation’s multi-prong definition of artistic intentionality, demonstration of technique in artistic practice and potential for innovation or impact of the artist on their field. Not to exceed one page; minimum font 12pt; 1″ margins.
  4. Applicant Artist Statement (written or video): Please describe your current artistic work, career trajectory, and the ambitions and aspirations you hold for your artistry.
    1. Written: Not to exceed one page; minimum font 12pt; 1″ margins.
    2. Video: Not exceed 3 minutes. Should you select video format applicants should still address the prompt above. The video should not include a presentation of your work or highly edited in anyway, and the applicant should speak directly to the camera.
  5. Additional Letter of Recommendation: applicants must submit 1 additional letter of recommendation from a teacher, mentor or peer in their field. Not to exceed one page; minimum font 12pt; 1″ margins.
  6. A headshot

Round 2 | Full Application from Invited Applicants

Deadline May 1, 2021

Panelists will still have access to Round 1 materials

  1. Application
  2. 2nd Artist Statement: Write a statement describing what distinguishes you as an artist, how you measure success in your artistic form(s), and how your craft and/or skills help you define success in your field. Not to exceed one page; minimum font: 12pt; 1” margins.
  3. Creative Process: submit a statement describing your process or approach to the creation (Creative Generators) or performance (Performance-based creatives) of one of your work samples included in your application. Include a brief description of the work, speak about your collaboration with any key collaborators/project partners to achieve your vision or performance and connect your work sample to your future artistic goals. Not to exceed one page; minimum font: 12pt; 1” margins.
  4. Work Samples: Submit 2-3 work samples. The total duration of all work samples may not exceed 10 minutes. The panel will not view more than 10 minutes of required work samples and it is up to the applicant to edit their samples to fit within the 10-minute timeframe. Tips for successful work samples.
  5. Optional for Film and Choreography: there is an option to submit a full work (film, choreographic piece, etc) as supplemental viewing material. Supplemental material can be a complete version of one of your work samples or a different work samples, and does not count toward your 10-minute sample limit.

Work Sample Guidelines


    • The total length of the 2-3 work samples cannot exceed 10 minutes. Samples longer than 10 minutes will not be viewed.
    • Please make sure the link submitted is live and accessible by May 1, 2021 through July 31, 2021. We strongly recommend that that live streaming links be secure and the password provided to the Princess Grace Foundation-USA.
    • The Review panels have limited time in which to view your work samples, and may not be able to view the work in its entirety. It is helpful to keep that in mind when selecting work samples, and you may provide specific cue points in your description for the panel to use as viewing reference.
    • The Review Panels will not view promotional videos, trailers, commercials or PSA’s.
    • For performance-based creatives, the Review Panels will not media-enhanced, highly edited, or promotional-type submissions. Please do not use works edited with jumpcuts, dissolves, etc.
    • The panel views all work samples on a single channel screen with aspect 16:9 ratio. For creative generators, you should describe how your work was originally viewed and how it is intended to be seen by the audience. This will allow the Review Panels to envision the work as it is intended to be seen. Space will be provided in the work sample component of the application.
    • Note for VR applicants: we use VR Box as our playing device. We accept MP4, MKV or other commonly compatible container formats. You can include a short paragraph of specific technology you used (such as sound etc.) if applied.


Work samples are a significant component of your application and we urge you to use care in selecting the samples you submit.


Creative Generators: i.e., theater directors, film directors, choreographers, designers (set, sound, costume, lighting, projection, etc.), etc.

    • Applicants should submit work samples that best represent their artistic style.
    • Submit only samples created/directed by the applicant.
    • Competitive applicants, in general, submit at least one continuous scene of their work.
    • Applicants can submit a work in progress. Only include this material if it is far enough along to accurately represent your work. Concisely and carefully describe its relevance and where you are in the creation process.
    • Live performance footage: it is helpful to use footage that is well lit and framed on screen.
    • Theater Directors/Designers: It is strongly recommended that applicants include at least one video from a production as work sample. We understand providing video can be a challenge, but if possible, we encourage you to send at least 1 video sample.
    • Designers: When submitting photos, submit multiple photos from each production, including if possible, renderings, sketches, and photos of fully realized productions.
    • Sound designers: Specify if you are the composer of the music included in the work sample and how the sound was utilized in the performance and venue.


Optional Full Work for Choreography and Film based artists:

For those artists that work in choreography or film mediums, there is an option to submit a full work as supplemental viewing material that is optional for the Review Panels to view. The complete work may be of any length, can be a complete version of one of your work samples or a different work. The Review Panelists may have limited time to review your full length work and it is helpful to indicate your preferred viewing sections of the supplemental material.



Performance-based Creatives: i.e., actors, dancers, etc.

It is strongly recommended that the applicant submit contrasting work samples in terms of genre and style and work samples that highlight their range of artistic abilities. Competitive applicants, in general, do the following:


    • Submit at least one monologue and one scene work sample
    • Ensure that the performer is clearly visible
    • In at least one piece, position the camera to enable a static shot framing the performer’s body from the waist up


    • It is recommended that the applicant submit contrasting work samples in terms of style and choreography within the genre and repertory of the artist
    • Ensure that the performer is clearly visible. If submitting a sample of a group piece, clearly identify the applicant.
    • It is not recommended to use the nominee’s own choreography.

The application closed on February 15, 2021

2022 Applications will be available in January 2022

Have a question? Visit our FAQ