Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Asian Cultural Council Program

The Asian Cultural Council supports cultural exchange between Asia and the United States in the performing and visual arts, primarily by providing individual fellowship grants to artists, scholars, students, and specialists from Asia for study, research, travel and creative work in the United States. Grants are also awarded to Americans engaged in similar activities in Asia and to arts organizations and educational institutions for specific projects of particular significance to Asian-American cultural exchange. In addition, the Council awards a small number of grants in support of regional exchange activities within Asia.

The ACC’s geographic purview covers an extensive area of Asia ranging from Afghanistan to Japan. Because the Council’s grant funds are limited, however, priority consideration is currently being given to applicants from that area of Southeast and East Asia extending eastward from Burma through Japan.

Grants are made in the following fields: archaeology, architecture (design, theory, and history), art history, art and architectural conservation, crafts, dance, film, museology, music, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, theater, and video.

To apply click here

ACC Fellowships and Projects
Many of the Asian Cultural Council's fellowships are awarded with unrestricted grant funds, primarily to support artists and specialists from Asia pursuing research, training, and creative programs in the United States. In 2006, unrestricted funds provided support for sixteen individual fellowships and seventeen project grants.

The Council also awards grants in named programs that have been established with funds restricted for specific purposes. These are described below.

American Artists and Museum Professionals in Asia
American Artists and Museum Professionals in Asia is a new grant program established at the ACC in 2007 through the support of a three-year donation from The Henry Luce Foundation. The program provides individual fellowships to American artists and American museum professionals for research, study, and creative and collaborative projects in those countries of Asia extending from Burma eastward through Korea and Indonesia.

Asian Art and Religion Fellowship Program
This fellowship program focusing on the relationship between the artistic and religious traditions of Asia was established with an endowment gift from Laurance S. Rockefeller. The program enables American scholars, specialists, and artists to conduct research and undertake projects in Asia involving the interdisciplinary analysis of religion and the arts. The Council awards up to five research fellowships or travel grants each year through this program. Asian Art and Religion Fellowships have supported research in India on the iconography of Hindu deities, in Indonesia on the relationship between tantric religious thought and masked performance, and in Thailand on Buddhist architecture of northern Thailand.

Ford Foundation Fellowship Program
The Ford Foundation Fellowship Program of the ACC provides support for training, travel, and research in the United States by individuals from Asia engaged in the study, documentation, and preservation of Asian traditional arts. Funded by an endowment grant from the Ford Foundation, this program offers awards in archaeology, art history, conservation, dance ethnology, ethnomusicology, museology, and other disciplines involving traditional Asian culture.

Hong Kong Arts Program
The Council’s Hong Kong Arts Program, made possible by donations from a broad group of supporters in Hong Kong, provides fellowships to especially promising artists, students, and scholars from Hong Kong and other parts of China for research, study, and creative work in the United States. Limited support is also available for projects sponsored by Hong Kong institutions that involve Hong Kong-United States or Hong Kong-Asia cultural exchange. The Lee Hysan Foundation in Hong Kong is providing annual funding for two twelve-month fellowships, and eight other donors have made multi-year commitments to fund individual fellowships through the Hong Kong Arts Program: the Sir Kenneth Fung Ping Fan Foundation Trust I, the Hsin Chong-K.N. Godfrey Yeh Education Fund, Désirée and Hans Michael Jebsen, Raquel and Paul Li, Citi, Credit Suisse, the Sovereign Art Foundation, and AIA Foundation. The Asian Cultural Council awarded eighteen individual fellowships through the Hong Kong Arts Program in 2006.

Humanities Fellowship Program
Intended primarily to support American scholars and graduate students, the Council's Humanities Fellowship Program was initiated with a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and matching funds from The JDR 3rd Fund and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The program assists American scholars, doctoral students, and specialists in the humanities to undertake research, training, and study in Asia in the following fields: archaeology; conservation; museology; and the theory, history, and criticism of architecture, art, dance, film, music, photography, and theater. Fellowship grants range in duration from one to nine months. The program also supports American and Asian scholars participating in international conferences, exhibitions, visiting professorships, and similar projects.

Japan-United States Arts Program
The Japan-United States Arts Program of the ACC provides grants to individuals and institutions in Japan and the United States for exchange activities that encourage the study and understanding of Japanese art and culture. This program is made possible with funds contributed by the Seibu Saison Group and provided to the ACC through an endowment gift from the Japan Foundation. Since 1989, the Saison Foundation has contributed annual supplementary funding for the program, and additional support is provided through the ACC's Blanchette H. Rockefeller Fellowship Fund in Japan. Individual fellowship grants enable Japanese artists, scholars, and specialists to travel to the United States for research, observation, and creative work and allow their American counterparts to visit Japan for similar purposes. The Council also provides limited assistance for performances, exhibitions, and other projects of unusual importance for the development of Japanese-American cultural exchange. In 2006, the program supported thirteen individuals and seven institutional projects. The Japan-United States Arts Program is administered with the assistance of the ACC's office in Tokyo.

Mekong Region Fellowship Program
The Mekong Region Fellowship program is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. The program assists individual artists and specialists from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and China’s Yunnan Province in undertaking research, study, and creative projects in the United States and Asia. The program also provides funds for special projects that encourage regional collaboration and partnership. Beginning in 2006, the Mekong Region program is supporting the regional projects of Arts Network Asia.

Philippines Fellowship Program
The Philippines Fellowship Program of the Asian Cultural Council was formally inaugurated in 2000 in association with the ACC Philippines Foundation, a foundation established in Manila to collaborate with the ACC in raising funds and making grants for Philippines-U.S. cultural exchange. Through the ACC Philippines Foundation a range of donors in both countries are contributing to the Philippines Fellowship Program, which emphasizes support for artists, scholars, and specialists from the Philippines undertaking research, study, and creative work in the United States. Some grants are also made to Americans pursuing similar activities in the Philippines and to institutions engaged in Philippines-U.S. or Philippines-Asia exchange projects. Additional information

Starr Foundation Fellowship Program
The contemporary visual arts of Asia are the focus of the ACC's Starr Foundation Fellowship Program, which was established in 1983 with an initial endowment grant from the Starr Foundation. Assistance is provided to artists and arts specialists from Asia for creative research, training, and observation in the United States for periods ranging from one month to one year. Grants are made in the fields of art criticism, crafts, film, museology, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video. In 2006, seventeen Starr Foundation Fellowship Program grants supported artists, curators, and critics from Asia traveling to the United States.

Taiwan Fellowship Program

The ACC's Taiwan Fellowship Program was created in 1995 in collaboration with the Sino-American Asian Cultural Foundation, a foundation established in Taipei specifically to serve as the ACC's partner in raising funds and making grants to artists, scholars, and specialists from Taiwan for research, study, and creative work in the United States. The program also supports American and Asian arts specialists visiting Taiwan to participate in cultural exchange projects organized by local arts institutions. Fundraising, application procedures, and grantee programming are administered with the assistance of the ACC-SAACF office in Taipei. Through the Sino-American Asian Cultural Foundation, a variety of individual, corporate, and foundation donors have contributed to the program, which supports eight to twelve grant recipients each year.

John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award
Each year the ACC presents the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award of the Asian Cultural Council to an individual from Asia or the United States who has made a significant contribution to the international understanding, practice, or study of the visual or performing arts of Asia. This $30,000 award for outstanding professional achievement commemorates the deep and long standing interest of John D. Rockefeller 3rd in Asian art and culture.

Candidates for the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award must be nominated by artists, scholars, and others professionally involved in Asian art and culture. Recipients are selected by the trustees of the Asian Cultural Council in consultation with various specialists in the candidates' fields as well as with qualified individuals having firsthand knowledge of the nominees' professional activities and accomplishments. The award enables recipients to pursue work in some aspect of the arts of Asia through international travel and research. Individuals from Asia and the United States who are active in any field of the visual or performing arts of Asia, whether affiliated with an institution or working independently, are eligible for award consideration. Funds for the Award are made possible by an endowment gift to the Asian Cultural Council from The JDR 3rd Fund. The recipient of the 2006 John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award is Lin Hwai Min, dancer/choreographer and director of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan.

To apply click here

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