Princess Grace Awards Program

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

Application Deadline: February 15, 2023 (Midnight PT)

Applications open January 13, 2023

2023 Guidelines available December 2022

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).  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.

Guidelines for 2023 are currently under review and will be available in December 2022

Princess Grace Awards Program Update

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 continue to 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

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, including awards, residencies, and opportunities the artist has had to present their work, especially on national/international stages. While the Princess Grace Foundation views emerging as a spectrum, if you have received numerous awards, residencies, or presentations of your work this may not be the right opportunity for you.

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 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
    • 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,  choreographers, film directors, etc.) and performance-based creatives (including but not limited to actors, dancers, etc.). A Playwriting Fellowship* is offered through a partnership with New Dramatists.


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


Applicants self-identify the discipline(s) in which their work lives, and also self-identify in which discipline(s) they would like their work reviewed. Applicants self-identifying as multidisciplinary select a primary discipline and then any secondary disciplines. 

Multidisciplinary artists: It is strongly advised for applicants that identify as multidisciplinary and would like to be reviewed in multiple disciplines ONLY select disciplines in which they have work samples that reflect those disciplines.  i.e., if you identify as a performer working in dance and theater, your work samples should reflect both dance and acting work. 


*The Playwriting Fellowship is administered by our partners, New Dramatists.


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

Two-Part Application Process

The Princess Grace Awards is a 2-part application process

Round 1: The Nomination | Deadline February 15, 2022 (Midnight PT)

    • Artists are nominated and together with their nominator submit their nominator letter of recommendation, artist statement, a short work sample and headshot.


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


Round 2: Full Application | Deadline May 1, 2022 (Midnight PT)

    • 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 review stages consisting of both online and in person panel reviews by Adjudicators. Each Adjudicator brings their own experience and aesthetic to the table, however decisions are made by consensus.


Stages of Review

    • Round 1: The Nomination: Adjudicators evaluate each component of the application within their specific area(s) of expertise via the online application system.
    • Round 2: The Full Application:
      • Adjudicators review applicants within their specific area(s) of expertise via the online application evaluating each component of the Full Application including work samples.
      • Multidisciplinary artists: Adjudicators convene to discuss applicants who have identified themselves and wish to be reviewed by multiple disciplines. Adjudicators share knowledge and perspective from their respective disciplines.
      • Adjudicators convene in person to discuss the applications and select the Princess Grace Award winners.


About the Adjudicators 

Selection panels are curated collaboratively by the Arts Advisory Board, Director of Programming and CEO. Princess Grace Award Adjudicators participate and review applications in all stages of the review process. They are experts within the disciplines of theater, dance, choreography, film, and animation, and are also equipped to evaluate applicants based on the Princess Grace Foundation’s mission and values.


The Arts Advisory Board Chair and Director of Programming facilitate and moderate each stage of the process and are not voting members in the selection of the Princess Grace Awards.


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

Application Components

Round 1 | Nomination & Artist Statement

Deadline February 15, 2022 (Midnight PT)

  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. If 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 any way, and the applicant should speak directly to the camera.
  5. Work Sample: submit 1 work sample. This should be a short excerpt, and serves to introduce yourself through your work. Not to exceed 2 minutes. Multidisciplinary artists should submit a work sample that reflects their primary discipline.
  6. A headshot

Round 2 | Full Application from Invited Applicants

Deadline May 1, 2022

Panelists will still have access to Round 1 materials

  1. Application
  2. 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. The statement should help the panel understand how you approached the work and your process to achieve your vision. Not to exceed one page; minimum font: 12pt; 1” margins.
    • Performance based creatives: address your process to bring a role to life, and how your artistry helped you connect with the role and achieve your desired performance.
    • Creative Generators: It is helpful to include a brief description of the work, and collaboration with any key collaborators/project partners to achieve your vision.
  3. 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.
  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.
  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


Round 1 work sample: the total length of the sample may not be more than 2 minutes.

  • The work sample should be a continuous selection from 1 work sample. The panel will not view reels, trailers, etc.
  • Performance-based creatives, in particular dancers: it is highly recommended that your work sample be a solo. This can be performance footage or filmed in a studio with or without costume.

Round 2 work samples: 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 links submitted are live and accessible through July 31, 2022. We strongly recommend that that live streaming links be secure and the password provided to the Princess Grace Foundation-USA.
    • Adjudicators 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.
    • Adjudicators will not view promotional videos, trailers, commercials or PSA’s.
    • For performance-based creatives, the Adjudicators will not view media-enhanced, highly edited, or promotional-type submissions. Please do not use works edited with jumpcuts, dissolves, etc.
    • 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.
    • The panel views all work samples on a single channel screen with aspect 16:9 ratio.


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.
    • Photos: should you submit photos of a production, you are best served by submitting multiple photos from a variety of scenes.
    • 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 Adjudicators to view. The complete work may be any length (though we do recommend trying to limit the work to 20 minutes max), can be a complete version of one of your work samples or a different work. The Adjudicators 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.
    • Work samples can be performance footage or filmed in studio specifically for your 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.


    • Submit at least 1 solo.
    • It is recommended that the applicant submit contrasting work samples in terms of style and choreography within the genre and repertory of the artist.
    • Work samples can be performance footage or filmed in studio specifically for your work sample.
    • 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, unless you have selected to be reviewed in the choreography discipline as well.

Application Deadline: February 15, 2022

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