Art Scholarships & Grants
For students who wish to pursue a course of study in the arts, many scholarships and grant opportunities are available.
Scholarships and grants are available for the study of Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Performing Arts, Visual Arts and many other art forms.
To apply for the grants and scholarships listed, check the website or resource for the award and make note of the application requirements and deadlines for submission.
Difference Between Scholarships and Grants
Scholarships are usually always merit-based, which means the scholarship requires the applicant to compete in an application process, an essay contest or a performance competition. Grants, on the other hand, may be need-based or merit-based. Grants may also be based on a proposal for a project, good academic standing or other criteria.
Grants and scholarships are not loans so the recipient does not pay back the funds as long as they abide by the terms of the grant or scholarship. Violation of terms often means the recipient must pay back the funds.
Music Scholarships and Grants
Music scholarships and grants may be directed at a certain population or course of study. For example, some scholarships and grants are available only to individuals who live in a certain state. Other scholarships and grants target music education or pastoral music studies. Still other funding is based in the course of study, such as the study of classical music.
Music scholarships are available through many foundations and organizations. For those students seeking professional education in Music, several grants and scholarships are available. However, some grants and scholarships are not just for those studying at the college level. Even scholarships for elementary and high school students are available, as well.
General Music Scholarships
SBO Magazine Essay Contest and Scholarship
The School Band and Orchestra magazine sponsors a yearly scholarship contest that requires participants to compete with a written essay for a one of 10 awards for $1,000. The contest is open to students from Grade 4 through high school, and is also open to home school students. Navigate to the SBOMagazine page and click the “Essay Contest” link in the top menu bar to view the scholarship details. Students may also call (800) 964-5150 for more information.
Gretchen E. Van Roy Music Education Scholarship
The Gretchen E. Van Roy Music Education Scholarship is awarded yearly to a college junior majoring in Music Education at an accredited college or university. The scholarship is administered by the National Federation of Music Clubs, which also manages other grant and scholarship opportunities. Download the application form and view the details about this scholarship opportunity on the NFMC-Music.org website.
BMI Foundation PeerMusic Latin Scholarship
The BMI Foundation awards a $5,000 scholarship to a composer or songwriter with the best song or composition in any Latin genre. The program is open to students of an accredited university in the US or Puerto Rico, and between ages 16 and 24. The web page provides details about applying for this award.
BMI Foundation John Lennon Scholarship
The BMI Foundation manages the John Lennon Scholarship for Yoko Ono. Each year, three awards totaling $20,000 are awarded to applicants for the best original songs. Over $300,000 has been awarded since the inception of the scholarship program in 1997.
Morton Gould Young Composers Award
The Morton Gould Young Composers Scholarship splits $30,000 per year among award recipients. The number of recipients varies each year. An original composition is submitted in application for this award. This scholarship is managed by ASCAP and the contact phone number for more information is (212) 621-6219.
Archibald Rutledge Scholarship
The Archibald Rutledge Scholarship is for young composers who are students of an accredited music program and residents of South Carolina. Each year four $4,000 awards are presented to recipients. Call (803) 734-8116 for more information. The scholarship does not maintain a website so you must call for details.
Arts Competition Scholarship
The Arts Competition Scholarship offers 125 awards per year for winners of the competitions. Awards range from $100 to $10,000 per recipient. This competition is sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts. Call the foundation at (800) 970-ARTS for more information about applying for the competition.
Carpe Diem Scholarships
The Carpe Diem Foundation offers scholarships to student composers. The number of annual awards varies. Around 20 recipients were awarded scholarships from the foundation in previous years. The awards range from $2,500 to $5,000 per year, and the student has the option of renewing the scholarship for three years after the first award. Check the website or email email@example.com for details.
Sigma Alpha Iota Conducting Scholarship
The SAI Conducting Scholarship is available to graduate students enrolled in a degree program with an emphasis on conducting. This $2,500 grant is awarded in memory of Bobbie Burk. E-mail MASDS@aol.com for more information.
The Associated Male Choruses of America – AMCOFA
The Associated Male Choruses of America provides scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $1,200 per year. Applicants must be enrolled in a music program at an accredited college or university. Preferences are given to vocal music students. However, instrumental musicians are also welcome to compete for the award. Candidates for scholarships must be sponsored by a member chorus.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Scholarship
The Cleveland Foundation funds and manages the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Scholarship for aspiring musicians. Applicants must be graduates or graduating from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and must be accepted into an accredited college or university music program. The applicant must also demonstrate financial need and an interest in a career in the music industry. Recipients of the scholarship must maintain a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale and remain in good standing at their school. Depending on the financial condition of the fund, the awards may be renewable.
Elon University Music Scholarships
Elon University offers $500 to $8,000 each year in scholarships to students majoring in music performance, music education or in a general music program to students enrolled at Elon. Scholarships are awarded via audition process. Call (336) 278-5600 for more information.
Scholarships For Music Students With Special Needs
The SAI Musicians With Special Needs Scholarship
The SAI Musicians With Special Needs program awards $1,500 to one student with a qualifying disability each year. Scholarship may be applied directly to tuition and fees.
The R.L. Gillette Scholarship
The R.L. Gillette Scholarship applicants will be legally-blind women enrolled in a four-year college or university in a literature or music program. The amount for the annual award is $1,000 and two awards are made each year. The scholarship is managed by the American Foundation for the Blind. Contact the foundation at (212) 502-7661.
Joyce Walsh Junior Disability Award
The Joyce Walsh Junior Disability Award is a scholarship offered through the National Federation of Music Clubs. Applicants must be a member of the federation in order to qualify. Seven awards are presented each year ranging from $500 to $1,500 to music students with special needs. Call (573) 888-3998 for more information.
Classical Music Scholarships
BMI Student Composer Awards
The BMI Foundation sponsors a scholarship for students who compose classical music. Applicants must be age 28 or younger and live in a western hemisphere country. Additional scholarships are available for those who apply for the Student Composer Award. The William Schuman Prize is awarded to the most outstanding competitor each year. The Carlos Surinach Prizes are awarded to the youngest competitors each year.
VSA Arts International Young Soloist Award
Each year the VSA Arts organization awards $5,000 to the best young classical soloist each year. Any musician with a disability may apply for the award. Instruments as well as vocalists may apply, as well. For US residents, the scholarship is open to those 25 years and younger. For those applying from outside the US, age 30 is the maximum age to apply.
The Colburn-Pledge Music Scholarship
The Colburn-Pledge Music Scholarship is targeted for those students in Texas who plan to study classical music. This scholarship awards a prize of $2,000 each year. Contact the administrator for more information and to apply at Colburn-Pledge Music Scholarship Foundation, 6322 Cornplanter, San Antonio, TX 78209.
The Doris and Clarence Glick Classical Music Scholarship
Managed by the Hawaii Community Foundation, the Doris and Clarence Glick Classical Music Scholarship is open to all residents of Hawaii who are students majoring in Music with an emphasis or concentration on classical music. The award averages about $1,500 and four awards are provided to students each year. Call the Hawaii Community Foundation for more information at (888) 731-3863 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jazz Music Scholarships
Jazz Studies Scholarship
The Jazz Studies Scholarship is funded by the fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota. Applicants must be initiated members in good financial standing with the fraternity to apply. Applicants must be studying music at an accredited institution with a focus on jazz studies. This scholarship awards recipients $1,500 each annual cycle. Call the Director of the Jazz Studies Scholarship program at (828) 251-0606 for details.
SAI Jazz Performance Awards
This scholarship is only offered every three years. However, the award amounts are $1,500 and $2,000. Two scholarships are awarded during each third-year cycle and the funds may be applied toward undergraduate or graduate music studies with an emphasis on jazz. This jazz scholarship is also managed and funded by the Sigma Alpha Iota fraternity. Call the Director of the Jazz Studies Scholarship program at (828) 251-0606 for details.
Church Music Scholarships
The Bach Organ and Keyboard Music Scholarship
The Bach Organ and Keyboard Scholarship is a private scholarship that is awarded to students who aspire to be church organists. Students who are awarded this scholarship receive up to $1,000 to continue their professional development.
The Charlotte Hoyt Bagnall Scholarship for Church Musicians
This scholarship is managed and funded by the First Church of Christ. The number of awards varies per year and the award amounts are between $300 and $1,500. Visit the website or call James Bagnall at (860) 658-7405 for more information.
The Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers Scholarship
This scholarship is open to any music student. The scholarship is awarded annually and may be used for one summer or one academic year. Visit the website for more information about how to apply.
Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts Memorial Scholarships
This scholarship is open to students who have been a member of the United Methodist church for at least one year. Four scholarships are awarded each year at $1,000 per award.
The M. Louise Miller Scholarship
The M. Louise Miller scholarship is a fund that is managed by the American Guild of Organists and is available to undergraduates studying music and inclined toward a career in church music and performing with the organ. This scholarship awards each recipient $2,000 and one award is provided per year.
The National Association of Pastoral Musicians Scholarships
The National Association of Pastoral Musicians offers several scholarships from their website for individuals studying church performance and worship arts. Applicants must be members of the association and awards vary between $3,000 and $1,000 per award.
Ruth K. Jacobs Memorial Scholarship Fund
This scholarship provides awards to students who are enrolling full-time at a university or college and plan to enter a church music ministry. The amount of the award is $1,000 per recipient and the number of recipients varies each year. E-mail the scholarship administrator at email@example.com or call (972) 840-3113 for more information.
Music Scholarships for Specific Instruments
Chopin Piano Competition
The Chopin Piano Competition is for participants between ages 16 and 22. This competition awards scholarships of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,500 each year. This scholarship is funded by the Kosciuszko Foundation and their contact number is (212) 734-2130.
The Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra Senior Concerto Competition
Managed by the Carpe Diem Foundation, the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra Senior Concerto Competition awards first- and second-place prizes. The first place prize for the competition is $6,000 and second place is $4,000. Visit the Carpe Diem Foundation website for details and deadlines for the competition. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (970) 482-4823 for more information.
MTNA Senior Performance Competition
The MTNA Senior Performance Competition is open to Brass, Piano Solo, Piano Duet, String, Voice and Woodwind contestants. This competition awards first and second-place prizes of $2,000 and $1,000, respectively, as well as $100 merit awards. The number of awards varies by year. The entry fee for the competition is $110. Contact the national program coordinator at email@example.com for details.
MTNA Young Artist Performance Competition
The MTNA Young Artist Performance Competition is open to Piano, Brass, String, Woodwind and Voice contestants. There is an entry fee of $120 for the competition. Awards for the Young Artist competition are $100, $1,500 and $3,000. Contact the national coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Johansen International Competition for Young String Players
The Johansen Competition is open to contestants between ages 13 and 17. Nine awards are provided to recipients each year and awards are $5,000, $7,000 and $10,000. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Music grants are available to undergraduate and graduate students studying a music curriculum at a college or university.
Sigma Alpha Iota Career Performance Grant
The SAI Career Performance grant is a $5,000 annual fund awarded to a graduate student who is a member of the SAI fraternity. Students must be 32 years old or younger to qualify. There is a three-year rotation for awards. Year 1 will award a grant to a piano student. Year 2 will award the grant to a Voice student and Year 3 will award the grant to a Strings, Woodwind or Bass student. Applicants must be in good financial standing with the fraternity and current with national fees.
SAI also offers several additional grant and scholarship opportunities for music students. Visit the website at www.sai-national.org for more information.
Grants.gov lists all types of grants for undergraduate, as well as graduate, students. One grant that all students who experience financial need should apply for is the standard Pell Grant. The Pell Frant awards an average of $2,600 to students based on financial need. Though Pell Grants are not limited to art or music students, all students should take advantage of the Pell Grant.
Dance Scholarships and Grants
Many corporations and private entities offer scholarships for the study of dance. In addition, many colleges and universities with developed dance departments offer funding opportunities for students.
American Harlequin Corporation
The American Harlequin Corporation manufactures dance flooring. This company also supports dance by providing scholarships to dancers for further study. Recipients must be between 15 and 21 years of age, and must be enrolled in a dance program. Applicants must be nominated by a dance instructor and final awards are given by drawing. The awards are:
- One $5,000 Award
- Two $3,000 Awards
- Three $2,000 Awards
- Two $1,000 Awards
- 12 $500 Awards
Visit the American Harlequin Corporation’s Dance Scholarship website for more information.
Washington Post Dance Scholarships
The Washington Post offers dance scholarships to student residents of Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Scholarships are offered to students who wish to pursue and education in dance at an accredited college or university. Applicants are encouraged to apply when they are juniors in high school. Applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale to qualify. Scholarships of $1,500 are awarded directly to the school of choice for tuition and fees.
Gregory Hines Youth Scholarship
The Gregory Hines Youth Scholarship is a dance scholarship fund administered by the American Tap Dance Foundation. This award provides partial and full scholarships for students to study dance. Though the foundation often provides partial scholarships, a few full scholarships are also awarded each year. Scholarships are based on merit and financial need. The amount of awards, as well as the number of recipients, varies by year.
The Jose Limon Scholarship
The Jose Limon Scholarship is targeted to male dancers who would like to study with Michigan’s Dance Gallery Studio. This scholarship is based on financial need and dance performance and abilities.
The Margot Fonteyn Scholarship
The Margot Fonteyn Scholarship is targeted to female dances for study with Michigan’s Dance Gallery Studio. This scholarship is based on financial need and dance abilities.
Dance Talent Scholarship
George Mason University in the state of Virginia has a very developed dance department that offers scholarships to incoming freshmen who show a great deal of promise in their auditions. Scholarships range from $12,000 to $20,000 which is disbursed over a four-year period. Students must attend the university and maintain a 3.0 GPA to retain the scholarship, and must be an active participant in the dance department’s performances. Two scholarships are awarded per year.
The Shubert Foundation
The Shubert Foundation provides grants for theater and dance. Primarily, the Shubert Foundation supports non-profit dance and theater companies. However, the foundation will fund individuals as well.
Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation
The Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation provides funding apprenticeship programs for full-time and part-time dance students. The students must be seeking training with the Isadora Duncan Dance Company. These apprenticeships are by invitation only and invitees must audition. Full apprentice scholars will study with the company as well as perform on stage.
Alma College Scholarships
Alma College is a liberal arts college in Michigan that offers scholarships for dance. Most awards are for $1,500 and based in part on financial need. Each award may be different, based on need and accomplishment.
Arizona State University Student Enrichment Grants
Arizona State University provides Student Enrichment Grants through the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts to support the professional development of Dance, as well as Art and Design, graduate students. Students must be enrolled at Arizona State University and reside on campus in order to qualify for these funds. The funds support travel, research and other costs for graduate students in the arts.
The TEACH Grant
For dance and art students who intend to teach in public or private high schools or elementary schools upon graduation, the TEACH Grant provides up to $4,000 per year. Recipients of the TEACH Grant must agree to teach in an underserved public or private school for a period of time. If the recipient fails to uphold the agreement, the funds are converted to a Stafford Loan and interest is charged on the loan. The funds must be paid back to the US Department of Education.
Juilliard Summer Grants
Juilliard offers grants to enrolled students to accomplish projects over the summer. Many diverse student projects are funded through this program, including:
- Seminars and classes taught by guest artists
- Concerts to raise money for charity
- Stage productions to raise consciousness
Preference for this funding considers academic and professional development, as well as social value of the proposed project. Projects that are geared to underserved populations or regions get top consideration.
Hofstra University Drama and Dance Scholarships
Hofstra University offers Drama and Dance scholarships with awards ranging between $500 and $5,000. These scholarships are renewable and applicants must audition for them. In addition to the university grants and scholarships, departmental funds are also available for continuing students.
Fine Arts Scholarships and Grants
Mount St. Mary’s University Fine Arts Scholarships
Mount St. Mary’s University offers a Fine Arts scholarship each year to a student in a theater, dance, music or other fine arts program at the school. The yearly award is $2,000 and is renewable for four years for a total award amount of $8,000.
National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Young Arts Scholarship
The Young Arts Scholarship is a generous fund provided by the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts. This scholarship is open to any high school senior who is interested in pursuing an education in theater, dance, music or any of the arts. The first-place award is $10,000. Second place is $5,000 and several third-level awards range from $1,000 to $3,000. Also, those applicants whose work deserves recognition will receive $250 honorable mention funding and all students who submit an excellent application and audition will receive $100.
Illinois Wesleyan Alumni Fine Arts Scholarship
Illinois Wesleyan offers several Alumni Scholarships. One such scholarship is the Alumni Fine Arts Scholarship. This scholarship is merit-based and the award ranges from $2,000 to $12,000. The scholarship spans over the student’s four-year pursuit of a degree at the school. The student must maintain a specified grade point average for renewal each year.
WorldStudio AIGA Art Scholarships
WorldStudio AIGA offers art scholarships for fine arts students based on financial need. However, merit is also a consideration for the award. The student must be enrolled in an accredited college or university to qualify for the award. Scholarship awards range from $2,000 to $6,000 and awards are paid to the learning institution for payment of tuition and fees.
University of the Incarnate Word Performing Arts Scholarships
University of the Incarnate Word offers performing arts scholarships for students enrolled in the Fine Arts, Theater or Music programs or the marching band. Awards vary and are offered on a limited basis. Auditions are required in addition to application materials.
Downers Grove South High School Friends of Fine Arts Scholarhips
The Friends of Fine Arts organization from Downers Grove South High School in Illinois provides several scholarship opportunities for fine arts students. Various awards are provided for continuing studies for fine arts students, visiting musician funding and event funding.
AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts
AMDA provides several grants and scholarships for students attending the school. Programs also include work-study opportunities where students perform work in their field of study.
Brigham Young Student Scholarships and Grants
Brigham Young University offers several scholarships and grants for those seeking to pursue an education at the university in fine arts, dance, music, theater and media arts. Check the Scholarship and Awards page on the byu.edu website to view respective contact information for each funding opportunity. Scholarships and grants are available to students of BYU.
Bradley University Department of Art Fine Arts Talent Scholarship
Bradley University in Peoria, IL offers Fine Arts Talent Scholarships for students of the Department of Fine Arts at the university. Scholarship applications are evaluated based on the talent demonstrated by the applicant and the scholarships are entirely merit-based.
Newman University Fine Arts Scholarship
Fine Arts students enrolled in Newman University may submit an application and portfolio for consideration for the Fine Arts Scholarship. Award amounts and number of recipients vary.
Illinois State University Fine Arts Scholarships
Illinois State University offers several Fine Arts scholarship opportunities. In addition, the university offers scholarship and grant funds for students pursuing careers in dance and theater. Many well-known movie and television personalities have developed their performance skills through the Fine Arts department at Illinois State University including Sue Linch and Gary Cole.
The Illinois State University Fine Arts Department also manages several private scholarships, including:
- Jean Scharfenberg Scholarship
- Caroline Gordon Scholarship
- Blackfriars Scholarship
- Norman J. Funk, Jr., Scholarship
Digital Arts, Performing Arts and Filmmaking Scholarships and Grants
The Carole Fielding Student Grants for Filmmakers
The University Film and Video Association offers grants to filmmakers through their foundation. Visit the website for the details about grant programs that are accepting applications.
Stella Blum Student Research Grant
The Stella Blum Student Research Grant is provided each year to a student working toward a degree in costuming. Applicants must be a member of the Costume Society. Each year, $2,000 is awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student for research or other educational expenses. An additional $500 is available for travel, as well. Visit the website for all application requirements and deadlines.
Elon University Performing Arts Grants
Elon University offers grants ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 each year for students who are interested in music theater, and $500 to $2,000 each year for students interested in the theater arts. Awards are based on an application and an interview or audition. Call (336) 278-5600 for more information.
Miscellaneous Art Scholarships, Fellowships and Grants
Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon
Swann Foundation Fellowships award one stipend of up to $15,000 per year to fund research and other projects in caricature and the cartoon arts. The award may be given to one recipient or split among several. To be eligible, the applicant must be a Masters or PhD candidate in a graduate program in the US, Canada or Mexico.
NEA Art Works Grant
The National Endowment for the Arts provides grants for innovative, community-conscious art projects. Grants from this agency range from $10,000 to $100,000 and are awarded twice per year. Student status is not required. However, a project proposal will need to be submitted with the application.
NEA National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award
The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program funds organizations and programs for youth. These grants are awarded in $10,000 increments to development of in-school and after-school youth art programs in communities.
Furman University Art Grant
Furman University offers art grants for students each year. Submissions must be received by November 15 for early consideration or January 15 for regular consideration. Students must submit a portfolio of their work and the grant is competitive.
The George Snow Scholarship
The George Snow Scholarship fund offers awards to art students entering their first year of college. The scholarships are available to graduating seniors of Broward County High School or Palm Beach County High School and must have financial need. The scholarship fund is open to students studying visual and performing arts, photojournalism, culinary arts as well as medicine, nursing, pharmacy studies or engineering.
University of Texas Fine Arts Travel Grants
The University of Texas offers Fine Arts students the chance to apply for travel funds to attend performances and professional development activities.
Minnesota State University Talent Grants
Minnesota State University Talent Grants are available to incoming freshman and transfer students of theater and dance. Auditions and interviews are held twice per year. Students must attend or plan to attend the Minnesota State University Mankato Theater and Dance program.
Muhlenberg Theater and Dance Scholarships
The Muhlenberg Theater and Dance Program offers renewable scholarships to theater and dance students attending Muhlenberg. Work-study grants are also available to students and are renewable based on continued participation in the program.
Many colleges and universities offer scholarships and grants to those pursuing careers in the arts. Be sure to check with your prospective institutions of higher education and take advantage of the grant and scholarship opportunities available through the school.