Fellowships & Grants

The Asian Cultural Council makes fellowships and grants to support cultural exchange in the arts for practicing artists, scholars, and arts professionals.

Priority is given to process-driven activities that enable cultural immersion, relationship-building, collaboration, or the exchange of knowledge among peers. Examples of process-driven activities include research, training, study, and exploration. ACC fellowships and grants are not intended for production-focused activities such as touring, performing, exhibiting, publishing, or making work.

In addition to funding, ACC offers logistical and programmatic support to its fellowship and grant recipients. The level of support varies by fellowship or grant type and by destination country. Support may include recommendations of sites to visit or activities to participate in; personal introductions to relevant contacts; J-1 visa sponsorship for individuals traveling to the U.S.; and access to the global ACC community of alumni and partners. ACC has supported over 6,000 exchanges since 1964. By combining funding with advice, feedback, and personal introductions, ACC's program builds relationships that strengthen cross-cultural ties beyond the duration of the grant.

In order to be competitive, applicants must not only be eligible, but must also be a good fit for ACC’s support services, current program priorities, and available funds. Please read all the sections below to understand these factors before deciding to submit an application. After reading this overview, you will find more detailed guidelines on each fellowship and grant page, and answers to common questions in the FAQ. Applicants who have not studied this information are less likely to submit a competitive proposal.

These guidelines describe the broad scope of all ACC fellowship and grant programs. Within each program, eligibility may be more restricted and may change focus from year to year. Program-specific guidelines for the current application cycle can be found on each program page.

Individual applicants (those applying to the Individual Fellowship, New York Fellowship, Graduate Scholarship, and Travel Grant programs)

Organization and project applicants

  • Must be based in an eligible country / region
  • Must be a registered nonprofit or NGO, or have fiscal sponsorship from a nonprofit or NGO
  • May request ACC funding only for project participants who meet all the individual applicant eligibility criteria described above

Allowable Use of Funding

Unless otherwise specified in the program-specific guidelines, in all fellowship and grant programs ACC funds may only be used for activities that involve travel between one or more eligible countries / regions; funding cannot be used for any activities that take place in the individual's country of primary residence

ACC funds may be used for costs associated with travel and research only. Research is broadly defined as any activities in pursuit of creative, scholarly, or professional inquiry, and may take many different forms. The following examples of allowable expenses are not a complete list and are given as a general guideline only:

  • Allowable travel expenses may include international airfare, local transportation, visas, travel insurance, accommodations, traveler's health insurance, and living expenses.
  • Allowable research expenses may include admission fees and tickets to cultural institutions and events, fees for classes or workshops, and modest translator fees.*

*Projects requiring the extensive use of paid translators are unlikely to be funded. 

ACC funding cannot be used for:

  • Activities that do not involve travel
  • Commercial and industrial design
  • Commercial activity or commercial artists of any kind
  • Production costs (including exhibitions, tours, film production, and publication)
  • Arts in education
  • Undergraduate or secondary school study
  • Full graduate school tuition costs
  • Projects taking place outside the funding period
  • Regranting programs

Japan Virtual Exchange Program

A grants and fellowships program supporting virtual exchange and engagement in the arts between Japan and Asia, and between Japan and the United States.

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New York Fellowship

A six-month fellowship program based in New York City, with comprehensive logistical and programmatic support from ACC staff. Fellowships may involve targeted research projects or open-ended exploration.

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Individual Fellowship

One- to six-month fellowships for individuals, or up to two collaborators, undertaking self-directed research. Partial funding may be requested for longer dissertation research trips. Programmatic support from ACC staff is available as needed.

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Graduate Scholarship

A living stipend for students from Asia pursuing graduate degrees in the U.S., with priority given to students who do not have access to comparable programs at home, and to those studying in fields that are underrepresented in their home country.

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Travel Grant

Modest financial support for individuals, or up to two collaborators, undertaking short-term travel of less than one month.

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Organization and Project Grants

Funding for organizations to facilitate cultural exchange opportunities for individual project participants, or for collaborative projects involving three or more individuals. All applicants must have either official non-profit status or a fiscal sponsor with official non-profit status. The duration and scope of projects may range.

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