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J. Sanford Miller Family Arts Scholars Arts Awards

Between 2007 and 2013, the designation of “Arts Scholar” was offered to a small group of rising fourth-year students through grants used for intensive summer pursuit of arts experiences, either in Charlottesville or at sites around the world—from Hamburg to Ghana. A dance student spent the summer of 2008 in residency with a company in New York, studying both modern and ballet technique while learning new repertory with this internationally renowned company. “This was one of the best experiences of my life so far,” she said of her summer work. “I started the program as a student who studied dance. I left as a dancer.” Miller Arts Scholars also enabled a student majoring in Studio Art to spend his summer immersed in the artistic environment of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. in preparation for the writing of his Distinguished Majors thesis in the fall of 2009. As he tells us, “my experience with the Hirshhorn allowed me to grasp a fuller picture of the museum’s function in the nexus it shares with the art history academy and art practice itself.” Other Arts Scholars pursued similarly ambitious programs of study in repertory theater, sculpture, dance, and musical performance around the nation and the world.

In 2013, Miller Arts Scholars opened the award process to include its third and fourth year participants. Any participant of the program in good standing is eligible. To remain in good standing with the program, participants must have attended CASS 1010 or CASS 1011, enrolled in a minimum of four, credit-bearing art courses within their respective nominating department between their second and fourth year of study, remained in the College as a major or minor, and have minimum GPA of 3.4 in all arts classes and 3.2 at the University. Applications are due to mr2xk@virginia.edu on February 26 of each year. Awards will be announced by mid May. Work on these projects should continue from May through the following April. The outcomes of these projects will be shared with the public at a presentation in April of the following academic year. This year's presentation will occur on April 23, 2017. Participants may schedule a presentation using this form (due by March 3, 2017.) Click here and here for multi-page pdfs presenting overviews of the process.

Third-Year Awards

Participants meeting basic Miller Arts Scholars requirements may apply as a rising 3nd year during the spring semester for an Arts Scholars Arts Award to support research for arts related project. A maximum of 14, third-year student projects will receive research support. These awards currently range between $800 and $1500.00.

Fourth-Year Awards

Participants meeting basic Miller Arts Scholars requirements may apply as a rising 4th year during the spring semester for an Arts Scholars Arts Award to support research for arts related project. A maximum of 14, third-year student projects will receive research support. These awards currently range between $800 and $3000.00.

Award Criteria

  • These projects may be single research projects or collaborations.
  • Must be actively engaged in the College of Arts and Sciences, either through majoring or minoring in the college.
  • Must have enrolled in CASS 1010 or CASS 1011 to apply.
  • Rising third-year proposals should be conservative in scope compared to possible fourth-year Arts Scholars proposals.
  • Formal written proposals meeting universal standards for grant writing will be required to apply for this support.
  • All projects require a faculty advisor recommendation from the discipline in the College of Arts and Sciences related to the scope of request, as part of the application process.
  • Faculty mentors will read and recommend proposals and then support the execution of funded proposals. Each will be identified as a “Miller Arts Scholar Mentor” for dedicated participation and will receive a small research fund for providing their assistance with funded proposals.
  • The outcomes of these scholarly research projects in the arts will be shared with the public at an outcome presentation in April during the following academic year.

Application for Third and Fourth-Year Awards

  • Include an unofficial transcript with application.
  • Include current resume.
  • Include examples of your work. Visual artists may submit a small portfolio containing up to five high-resolution jpg images labeled with title, dimension, materials, date, etc. Performing artists my send a video or audio recording up to ten minutes in length. Make sure examples are clear and easy for committee members to digest and access. Full length videos are not accepted unless they are under 10 minutes in length. All digital files submitted via email should have file names formatted as “Last Name_First Name_image1.jpg” or “Last Name_First Name_musicexample1.mp3” Do not send full length videos or audio recordings.
  • Identify a faculty mentor from the College of Arts and Sciences for the project. Faculty mentors should read your proposal, provide a brief recommendation letter for your project and sign off on this application. Your mentor must support your proposal, budget, scope, and show willingness to serve as the faculty mentor for the project. Identify a mentor in the same field of expertise as the work suggested in your proposal.
  • Present outcome/progress statement by the following April. The report may include images and media and should not exceed five pages, single spaced, 12-point typeface.
  • Present outcome/progress at a public event in April of the following academic year.
  • Complete Arts Scholars Arts Award Application. (pdf, docx)
  • Submit form(s) electronically to Michael Rasbury at mr2xk@virginia.edu before or on due date listed on form. Faculty mentor signature page must be scanned and included.