How Do I Apply For A Grant?

Application procedures and deadlines vary by grant category. Detailed information and application materials are available for each available discipline (theater, playwriting, dance, choreography, film and animation). The following is a guide:

    • All nominees must be U.S. citizens or have obtained permanent residency status.
    • All nominees (except playwrights, who may apply individually through, must be nominated by a school department chair/dean or company artistic director.
    • Self-nominations are not allowed.
    • The nominating organization must be a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.
    • Scholarships, apprenticeships and fellowships must be completed in the United States.
    • The next available grant period for all Princess Grace Awards is September 1, 2020 – August 31, 2021.

Applications for the 2020/21 grant period will be available in mid January 2020

I am in high school. Can I apply for a Princess Grace Award?

No, not yet.

    • To apply for a Theater Scholarship, you must be entering your final year of an undergraduate or graduate program at the time of application (so that the grant period occurs during your final year.)
    • To apply for a Dance Scholarship, you must have been at the institution for at least one year (or just about to complete the first year at the time of application). Students enrolled in dance education or graduate programs are not eligible.
    • To apply for a Film Scholarship, you must be ready to work on your thesis film, which typically happens toward the end of your degree tenure.

Can I apply for a Scholarship in a non-degreed training program?

To apply for a Theater Scholarship, you could be enrolled in a certificate program. However, the program must more than 1 year and you must be entering your final year of study during the grant period.

To apply for a Dance: Performance Scholarship, you DO NOT have to be enrolled in a degreed program. However, you must be studying full-time at a non-profit dance school.

To apply for a Film Scholarship, you must be a film major/concentration in an approved degreed program which results in a BA, BFA, MA, MFA, or Ph.D. A large majority of our applicants are completing MFA, BFA, and BA degrees.

Can I apply for a Scholarship to attend Summer Intensives, or Week/Month/Semester long Training programs?

No. You may not apply for a Princess Grace Award to attend short training programs, intensives, or film festivals.

Can I apply my grant to a program abroad?

Dance: PerformanceDance: Choreography and Film Scholarship grants can only be used in coordination with organizations located IN the United States. American university satellite campuses abroad do not qualify. The Playwriting Fellowship must be used in conjunction with New Dramatists.

I am not affiliated with a school or organization. Can I apply for individual project support?


To apply in the categories of TheaterDance: Performance, Choreography, or Film Scholarship , you MUST be affiliated with a school or organization.

The only category that does not require a nomination is the Playwriting Fellowship.

What types of organizations are eligible to nominate artists?

Theater, Dance and Film Scholarships (Universities and training programs):

    • Must be independent 501(c) (3) non-profit organizations. Schools holding 501(c)(3) status through a related party (e.g., pass-through foundation) are ineligible to apply.

Theater Apprenticeships/Fellowships & Dance Fellowships (Professional Non-Profit Theater and Dance Companies):

    • Must employ professional artistic and administrative staff
    • Must have been in continuous operation as a professional theater company who has held 501(c)(3) status, in its own name.
    • Must have a total of 20 weeks of rehearsal and performance for the current and previous 3 years
    • Must have demonstrated the ability to raise public and other private funds

Film Fellowships: Nominating media arts centers must meet the following criteria:

    • Media arts centers must be 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.
    • Nominating media arts centers should offer residency or fellowship programs and nominated applicants should have taken part or currently be involved in one of those programs offered by your organization. Within the grant period the applicant should either be participating in one of the programs offered or have ongoing mentorship/support that will allow the filmmaker to achieve their artistic goals. Details of this support should be clearly outlined in the letter of recommendation and program offering components of the application.
      Organizations holding 501(c)(3) status through a fiscal sponsor or related party (e.g., pass-through foundation) are ineligible to apply.

Can individuals working in the area of dramaturgy, arts administration, or stage management apply?

No. The Foundation provides grants only for actors, directors, lighting designers, set designers, costume designers, sound designers, projection designers and playwrights.

What is your review process?

Eligible applications are reviewed by specialists in relevant fields. Panels comprised of professional experts and practicing artists review application materials and make their determinations at panel meetings. Final notification is usually made in July of each year.

Learn more about the panel process here.

Is there an average grant amount?

Grant amounts generally range from $7,500 – $30,000.

Grant requests should be based on actual figures for annual salary, artistic fee, tuition, or project costs, whichever is applicable, and require substantiation (letter of verification from nominator). Benefits (materials, housing, insurance, and transportation) may not be included in the grant request.

When possible, the Foundation tries and in many cases is able to fully fund your request, but please note that sometimes the Foundation may not be able to fulfill your full request. The Foundation will never grant more than your request. It is up to you and your nominator to make sure your request is accurate and you ask for what you need.

How is the money allotted?

All grants are given directly to the organizations, not the individual. The organizations then disburse the money to the Award Winner. Each school/organization manages this differently based on its own internal system. However, the school/organization itself may not take any administrative fees from the grant.

Here are some specific details:
Theater Scholarships and Dance: Performance Scholarships go directly toward tuition costs. Monies may not be used for rent/room and board, books, living expenses, etc. If you already have a tuition scholarship from your college/university/program and receive a Princess Grace Award (therefore making your combined scholarship monies exceed the cost of tuition), the school might lessen your tuition scholarship for the college/university/program and replace it with the Princess Grace Award. The Princess Grace money allotment may not roll-over into living expenses.

Undergraduate and Graduate Film Scholarships are disbursed to the school, who in turn, allots the money designated by the Foundation to the filmmaking student. This money in this category MAY NOT go toward tuition or matriculation fees. It MUST go toward the production of the film (location scouting, shooting costs, editing, etc.). PGF-USA funds MAY NOT be used to pay the nominee a director’s fee or other fees.

Theater ApprenticeshipsTheater Fellowships and Dance: Performance Fellowships are disbursed to the organization to pay the salary  or artistic fees for the grantee. The money must be used to pay salary only, EXCLUSIVE OF benefits. Please note: A nominating organization can request a grant amount that would give the grantee a raise.

Film Fellowships are distributed to the organization to be used towards the filmmaker’s proposed project expenses as outlined in the budget in the application.

Choreography Fellowship is a set amount of $10,000. The company must disburse the money as follows: $8,000 must be paid to the choreographer for their fee; the remaining $2,000 should be used to cover production costs.

Playwriting Fellowship is a year long residency with New Dramatists and a $7,500 grant.

What is the difference between a Theater Apprenticeship and Theater Fellowship?

While both categories involve the nominee’s association with a non-profit theater, the Apprenticeship is a mentorship opportunity between the applicant and an artist at the theater. The Fellowship looks to give an individual the opportunity to assume significant artistic responsibilities of a mainstage show.

How long is the playwriting residency at New Dramatists?

The grant period occurs from September 1-August 31. The residency must happen within that time period, but when and how is determined on a case by case basis between the winning playwright and New Dramatists. Some playwriting winners living in NYC at the time of the grant choose to spread out the residency over the year. Others (particularly those outside the NYC) choose to do a concentrated residency over the set period weeks.

How is “organization that hosts choreographic residencies” defined?

It is defined as any 501(c)(3) non-profit dance organization or a festival that can demonstrate a minimum three-year history of hosting residencies for emerging choreographers that culminates in a public performance of work created during that residency.

Can choreographers who have their own company apply for a residency and set the work on their company?

No. The choreographer must set their work on either the nominating organization’s dancers or project based dancers specifically contracted for this new work. The project may not include personnel currently employed by or working for the nominated choreographer, or the choreographer themself.

I am making a film as my final project, but am not enrolled in the film department. Can I still apply for a Film Scholarship?

Students who are making a thesis film or project where the moving image is the primary focus, but are not receiving their degree from the film department may still be considered. However, your nomination must come from the film department, and you must receive permission from the dean of the film school to be nominated over the film school’s students

How do I make a film budget for my application?

PGF-USA has a budget in the film and animation applications. The budget is a key component of your application, and represents your project in quantitative terms. It is important that your budget include both detailed expenses and income, and that the total income is greater than or equal to the expenses. There is a separate column to show where PGF-USA funds are requested.

Example of a complete and detailed budget. This budget is successful because the expense section clearly details all line item expenses for the film including specifics for each line item; and the income section notes any additional sources of income. Note in this budget the income is slightly higher than the expenses. This is fine.

Do you support independent film projects?

Yes, new in 2020, the Foundation offers a Film Fellowship. The filmmaker should be affiliated with a non-profit media arts center through one of their residency/fellowship programs, and the media arts center must nominate the filmmaker.

I attend a Film School on your list of approved programs. However, I would like to shoot my thesis film abroad. May I still apply?

Yes. Film projects can be shot abroad, but the filmmaker’s school/media arts center must be located in the United States.

If I do not receive a Princess Grace Award, can I reapply?

In all categories, you may reapply if you did not receive a Princess Grace Award as long as you still meet all the criteria in the guidelines.

What are some good tips for compiling competitive work samples?

  • Work samples are a significant component of your application and we urge you to use care in selecting the samples you submit.
  • Work samples are viewed on a single channel screen with 16:9 aspect ratio. If you sample was originally created to be viewed in another format it is helpful to use the work sample chart in the application to clearly describe your work as it was meant to be seen by the audience.
  • Do NOT include media-enhanced, highly edited, or promotional-type submissions. Please do not submit promotional videos, trailers, commercials or PSA’s.

Theater and Dance:

  • Make sure the samples show a range of the nominee’s abilities.
  • Include rehearsal and performance footage
  • Make sure the work sample is in focus and filmed with a steady hand
  • Make sure the nominee is clearly visible (particularly if shot as part of a group)


  • Competitive applicants, in general, submit at least one continuous scene from their film(s), and when possible submit works which are stylistically relevant to the proposed thesis project.
  • If there are rough scenes of the proposed thesis project available, include these clips in the application. Only include this material if the scenes are far enough along to accurately represent the project. Concisely and carefully describe their relevance.

Have a question not on the FAQ? Email Program Director, Diana Kemppainen