Due to the impact of COVID-19 the 2020 Princess Grace Awards program has been suspended for this year. We look forward to resuming our Awards program and celebrating excellence in emerging artists in theater, dance, and film in 2021. Should you have questions please contact Program Director, Diana Kemppainen.


The Princess Grace Awards seeks to discover performers, designers and directors and nurture their artistic pursuits throughout their careers. Princess Grace Theater Awards are available to emerging theater artists; artists at the outset of their careers or early stages of professional development.

    • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or have obtained permanent residency status.
    • Applicants must be nominated by a school department chair/dean or company artistic director.
    • Self-nominations are not allowed.
    • Scholarships, apprenticeships and fellowships must be completed in the United States.
    • The nominating organization must be a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.
    • Professional non-profit dance companies must meet the following requirements:
      • Employ professional management staff
      • Be in continuous operation as an independent 501(c)(3) company
      • Have a total of 20 weeks of rehearsal and performance per year
      • Have demonstrated the ability to raise public and private funds

SCHOLARSHIPS are awarded for tuition assistance for the last year of professional training at a non-profit school located in the United States. Please note, grants are based on tuition costs only; no other expenses (i.e. room and board, materials, books, etc.) may be included.

APPRENTICESHIPS and FELLOWSHIPS are awarded for artistic compensation for an individual artist (exclusive of benefits) nominated by a professional, non-profit theater company. Nominees may not have worked with the company for more than five years at the time of application.

Apprenticeship applies to an individual who is “learning the trade” under the mentorship of a skilled staff person. The apprentice will work closely with the artistic director or a senior artist on the company’s mainstage production(s) throughout the grant period (e.g., as an assistant director or designer or an actor in a supporting role). The apprenticeship should also include the opportunity for the nominee to do his/her own work in a workshop or second stage venue.


Fellowship applies to an individual artist who will have a substantial relationship with the nominating company. This artist will assume significant responsibilities on one or more production(s) in the company’s mainstage season during the grant period (e.g., director, lead actor, or primary designer on a production). Significant responsibility for a second stage season will also be considered (e.g., director, lead actor, or primary designer).


Princess Grace Theater Awards grants average between $15,000-$30,000.


The Princess Grace Awards is interested in identifying and nurturing emerging theater artists. Primary consideration is given to artistic excellence and evaluation of the artist’s potential to make an impact on the field.

Apprenticeship and Fellowship categories: PGF-USA seeks to foster relationships that nurture and support the applicant’s artistic growth during the grant period. With a primary emphasis on artistic excellence, the panel also considers the following components in evaluating applications:

    • Proposed activities: the panel is interested in activities that foster the applicant’s artistic development and growth. The majority of activities must provide opportunities for the applicant opportunity to work on their craft.
    • The strength of the relationship between the artist and nominating company. PGF-USA takes into consideration the level of engagement the artist has with the organization and the nominator.


Required from Nominee:

    • Completed application
    • Resume including dates of productions and employment
    • Personal Statement: Please describe, in your own words, the ambitions and aspirations you hold for your role as a theater artist; describe where you currently are as an artist and your future goals. Include your name at the top of the page, left aligned. Not to exceed one page; minimum font: 12pt; 1” margins.
    • Directors and Designers Only: Submit a statement of your directorial/design approach to the mounting of one of the work samples included in your application. Be sure to include a brief description of this work and speak about your collaboration with designers, actors, and directors to achieve your vision. Include your name at the top of the page, left aligned. Not to exceed one page; minimum font: 12pt; 1” margins.
    • Headshot: High res (300 dpi) photo of nominee suitable for publicity
    • Work Samples: Submit two to three work samples (via links such as vimeo or youtube) that you feel best represent your work as an artist. Submitted materials become the property of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA.

Required from Nominator:

    • Nominator’s recommendation : Please tell us why you consider this candidate outstanding in the field and deserving of a Princess Grace Award, and how the candidate has demonstrated their excellence and future promise as an outstanding artist. Not to exceed one page; minimum font 12pt; 1″ margins.
      • Include a general timeline of the applicant’s schedule during the grant period.
      • For Apprenticeship and Fellowship applications: please describe the applicant’s proposed project(s), their specific artistic responsibilities, and the artist(s) with which they will be working during the grant period (September 2020 – August 2021). Be as specific as possible as to how the relationship between the nominating organization and the nominee contributes to their artistic growth.
    • Biography of nominator: Not to exceed one page; minimum font 12pt; 1″ margins.
    • Grant Request Verification:
      • Tuition Verification (Scholarships only): Please provide verification of tuition from the bursar’s office for the 2020-2021 school year, exclusive of room and board, living expenses, etc.
      • Salary Verification (Apprenticeships and Fellowships): Please provide a letter on company stationery verifying the requested grant amount for the applicant. The request amount is for the salary/artistic fee only, exclusive of benefits. Please explain your reasoning for the requested amount.
    • Scholarships Only: Schools should submit the following documents:
      • Description of program offerings
      • List of faculty
      • Copy of IRS determination letter certifying 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status
    • Apprenticeships and Fellowships Only: Professional Non-Profit Theater companies should submit the following documents:
      • Most recent financial and/or annual report
      • Copy of IRS determination letter certifying 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status
      • List of artistic and administrative staff, board of directors/trustees, and company members
      • Company description/mission statement


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

  • Please make sure the link submitted is live and accessible by April 30, 2020 through July 31, 2020. We strongly recommend that that live streaming links be secure and the password provided to the Princess Grace Foundation-USA with passwords.
  • The total length of the work samples cannot exceed 10 minutes. Samples longer than 10 minutes will not be viewed.


    • The panel views all work samples on a single channel screen with aspect 16:9 ratio. It is helpful to use the field below to describe how your work was originally viewed and is intended to be seen by the audience.
    • Performers: It is strongly recommended that the applicant submit contrasting work samples in terms of genre and style (contemporary vs. classical) 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
    • Directors/Designers: Submit work samples that demonstrate the variety of your work. 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 some samples showing how your directorial/design vision is realized on stage.
    • Directors: please only submit theatrical productions. The Panel will not view film you directed.
    • Designers: 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.
    • Designers: may mail portfolios of work to the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. Please make sure to have the work sample postmarked by March 31, 2020 and clearly label your work so we know to whom it belongs. If you would like your portfolio returned, self addressed packaging with appropriate postage must be included with your submission.

Diana Kemppainen, Program Director
150 East 58th Street, 25th Floor
New York, NY 10155

If you would like your portfolio returned, self-addressed packing with appropriate postage must be included with your submission.

Have a question? Visit our FAQ

Photo credit: Christopher Annas Lee (2018 Princess Grace Award winner)

The nomination should be on behalf of the Film School's Dean/Dept. Chair or Media Art Center's Executive Director. However if there is someone on faculty or staff that can better speak to the filmmaker's work and artistic excellence, they may write the letter of recommendation.