25 Great Scholarships for Visual and Performing Arts Majors

visual-and-performing-artsScholarships for visual and performing arts majors are ideal for receiving the free financial backing to follow your creative dreams into higher education.

Visual and performing arts is a general term used when referring to drawing, painting, sculpture, film, photography, architecture, theatre, design, and other media. Whether at the BFA or MFA level, visual and performing arts majors develop the technical skills and techniques to wow audiences through their voice, movement, or imagery.

Although the term “starving artist” is often used, graduates in these artistic disciplines don’t necessary lack economic security. According to Americans for the Arts, over 5.7 million jobs are created in art disciplines nationally each year.

Let your imagination grow by financing your education with these visual and performing arts scholarships.

1. Aiko Susanna Tashiro Hiratsuka Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: March 1st

In honor of a noted pianist, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) offers the Aiko Susanna Tashiro Hiratsuka Memorial Scholarship for $2,000 to undergraduate or graduate students majoring in the performing arts. Eligible applicants must be active JACL members, attend an accredited U.S. college full-time, display academic merit, be involved in the Asian/Pacific Islander community, and submit at least three work samples in DVD form. Any paid, professional performing artists cannot apply.


Aiko Susanna Tashiro Hiratsuka Memorial Scholarship
6917 Town View Lane
San Diego, CA 92120
(415) 345-1075

2. Archibald Rutledge Scholarship Program

Deadline: February 5th

Established by the South Carolina Department of Education, the Archibald Rutledge Scholarship Program is designed to provide five $2,000 awards annually for graduating high school seniors who are enrolling full-time at an in-state college for creative writing, dance, music, theatre, or visual arts. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens, have attended a public South Carolina for the past two years, demonstrate supreme artistic talent, and supply at least one original composition or artwork.


Archibald Rutledge Scholarship Program
1429 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 734-0323
Scholarship Link

3. CBC Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship

Deadline: April 29th

Valued at $3,000, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s CBC Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship is presented annually to African American or black students who are majoring in architecture, ceramics, drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, video production, or other visual arts. Eligible recipients must be U.S. citizens, be full-time undergraduates, attend an accredited two or four-year college, maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5, exhibit leadership potential, participate in community service, and pursue an artistic career.


CBC Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship
1720 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 263-2800

4. Donna Reed Performing Arts Scholarships

Deadline: May 31st

Since 1987, the Donna Reed Foundation (DRF) for the Performing Arts has gifted $1,000 merit scholarships to Iowa high school seniors who plan to study theatre, drama, cinematics, dance, and related fields at accredited U.S. universities. For these undergraduate performing arts scholarships, candidates must attend an Iowa high school, carry a minimum GPA of 3.0, and have acted in official school productions. Applications must include a headshot portrait, one signed letter of recommendation, and a five-minute audition tape.


Donna Reed Performing Arts Scholarships
1305 Broadway
Denison, IA 51442
(712) 263-3334

5. Edna Furber Graduate Fellowship

Deadline: June 1st

Sponsored by the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC), the Edna Furber Graduate Fellowship is awarded for up to $5,000 to female students who are pursuing a master’s degree in visual arts, music, performing arts, dance, literary arts, or creative writing. To qualify, applicants must be full-time, degree-seeking students, be American Indian or Alaska Native, exhibit financial need, maintain good academic standing, submit a 250-word typed essay, and prove having at least one-fourth degree of Indian blood.


Edna Furber Graduate Fellowship
4520 Montgomery Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
(505) 881-4584

6. Eugenia Vellner Fischer Scholarship

Deadline: June 30th

The Miss America system grants the Eugenia Vellner Fischer Scholarship annually for $2,500 to $10,000 for women pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the performing arts, including dance, instrumental, vocal, and theatre, at an accredited college in the United States. Eligible applicants must have competed at the local, state, or national pageant level since 1998, but winning a title isn’t necessary. Applications are reviewed based on academic merit, extra-curricular activities, financial aid, and artistic talent.


Eugenia Vellner Fischer Scholarship
P.O. Box 1919
Atlantic City, NJ 08404
(609)-653-8700 ext. 127

7. F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship

Deadline: December 15th

As one of the most prestigious visual and performing arts scholarships, the F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship provides up to $12,000 to college-level students who are studying painting, sculpture, photography, music, dance, drama, literature, and architecture. Qualified recipients must be U.S. citizens, have resided in northeastern Pennsylvania, attend an accredited college or university in America, and intend to develop into professional artists. Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, a projected budget, and several work samples.


F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship
P.O. Box 142
Waverly, PA 18471
(570) 586-8191 ext. 2

8. Gold Grant Scholarship Award

Deadline: March 31st

Administered by the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS), the Gold Grant Scholarship Award is gifted for $2,000 each year to emerging young visual arts enrolled in an accredited art program at a college or university in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho. Eligible candidates must submit an application with five examples of two-dimensional artwork, one signed faculty letter of recommendation, and an artist’s biography. Winners of the undergraduate visual arts scholarships are honored at the NWWS General Meeting in May.


Gold Grant Scholarship Award
1900 SW Campus Drive
Federal War, WA 98023
(425) 644-4245
Scholarship Link

9. HSF McNamara Family Creative Arts Grant

Deadline: February 28th

Through the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), the McNamara Family Creative Arts Grant is distributed for $5,000 to outstanding Latino/a undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in creative arts, including painting, film, drama, writing, design, and music. Applicants must have Hispanic heritage, be U.S. citizens or legal residents, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, attend an accredited university, apply for financial aid, and be beginning or completing an art project.


HSF McNamara Family Creative Arts Grant
1411 West 190th Street, Suite 700
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 975-3700

10. Iowa Scholarship for the Arts

Deadline: February 1st

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs offers a $1,500 scholarship each spring to several exemplary high school seniors who are planning to major in dance, literature, theatre, music, folk arts, or visual arts at an accredited Iowa educational institution. Qualified applicants must be legal Iowa residents, plan to enroll full-time in undergraduate study, have good academic standing, supply one letter of recommendation, write a personal goals essay, and provide work samples of high artistic quality.


Iowa Scholarship for the Arts
600 East Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 281-3293

11. Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships

Deadline: Varies

As part of the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival, the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships are awarded for $500, $1,000, $2,500, and $5,000 to extraordinary actors who are enrolled at least half-time in an accredited undergraduate or graduate performing arts program. Nominees must pass through three rounds of auditions to deliver a two-person scene, solo monologue, and solo musical number. Judges look for performers with bold acting choices, creative vocal talent, expressive body language, and clear objectives.


Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships
2700 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20566
(202) 416-8857

12. Janie Moore Greene Scholarship Grant

Deadline: October 30th

Annually, the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) gifts the Janie Moore Greene Scholarship Grant for $1,000 to talented students currently enrolled in or accepted to an accredited higher education institution to specialize their visual arts degree in photography. Along with the application, U.S. or Canadian candidates must submit one reference letter, five high-resolution images under 3MB in size, and a 400-word essay stating their career aspirations in nature photography.


Janie Moore Greene Scholarship Grant
6382 Charleston Road
Alma, IL 62807
(618) 547-7616

13. John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship

Deadline: February 1st

Available for $5,000, the John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship is awarded by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for U.S. citizens between age 18 and 35 who are enrolled full-time in visual arts degree programs nationwide. Interested applicants must submit a painting, drawing, landscape, or composition expressing a theme relevant to the classical traditions of Western culture. Recipients may use funding to further their art education and make art their profession.


John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
(405) 478-2250

14. Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarships

Deadline: Varies

Known for offering one of the largest performing arts scholarship in America, the Las Casas Foundation gives away nearly $100,000 annually to talented high school seniors who excel in the performing arts, especially acting, dance, vocal, and musical theatre. College-bound performers step into the spotlight to compete before a judging panel at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre every spring. Scholarships can be applied at any accredited U.S. colleges for full-time or part-time undergraduate studies.


Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarships
222 East Houston Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 223-4343
Scholarship Link

15. M. Josephine O’Neil Arts Award

Deadline: March 1st

The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International offers the M. Josephine O’Neil Arts Award for $6,000 to outstanding female members who are majoring in visual arts, dance, music, theatre, and other artistic fields. Qualified applicants must legally reside in Illinois, be entering her junior year, attend an accredited U.S. college or university, show evidence of accomplishment in the arts, and actively participate in the Lambda State Convention. Applications must include official college transcripts and up to 10 visual works or performances.


M. Josephine O’Neil Arts Award
3045 Fairway Road
Stockton, IL 61805
(309) 694-1157

16. Marion Barr Stanfield Art Scholarship

Deadline: February 15th

Sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the Marion Barr Stanfield Art Scholarship is presented to provide $1,500 for undergraduate or graduate Unitarian Universalist students preparing for a career in visual arts. Eligible applicants must be majoring in painting, drawing, photography, or sculpture at an accredited North American institution. Applications won’t be complete without an essay, resume, financial statement, and art portfolio of six to 10 quality work samples in DVD or CD format.


Marion Barr Stanfield Art Scholarship
24 Farnsworth Street
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 971-9600

17. Naomi Winston Scholarship in Visual Arts

Deadline: February 1st

The National Society of Arts and Letters (NSAL) has created the Naomi Winston Scholarship in Visual Arts to provide $5,000 to young artists between the ages of 16 and 22 who are pursuing private study, workshops, museum programs, or summer internships for two-dimensional visual art. Eligible recipients must be U.S. citizens, demonstrate exceptional talent, and have genuine commitment to career plans in art. The five required visual works may be on paper, canvas, masonite, metal, or wood panels.


Naomi Winston Scholarship in Visual Arts
2164 Sunset Circle
Largo, FL 33774
(727) 581-7347

18. National YoungArts Scholarship Program

Deadline: October 16th

For high school students in grades 10-12, the National YoungArts Scholarship is an elite national program that provides recipients with $10,000 cash awards, nominations as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and professional mentoring. Applications are accepted for 10 disciplines: cinematic arts, dance, design arts, jazz, music, photography, theatre, visual arts, voice, and writing. Regional adjudication panels will review students’ portfolios or auditions for imaginative risks, creative talent, aesthetic quality, and technical mastery.


National YoungArts Scholarship Program
2100 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33137
(305) 377-1149

19. Princess Grace Foundation Awards

Deadline: March 31st or April 30th

Ranging in value from $7,500 to $30,000 each, the Princess Grace Foundation offers both undergraduate and graduate visual and performing arts scholarships each year to exemplary students enrolled full-time at non-profit U.S. universities. Nominations are welcomed in five distinct categories: playwriting, theater, dance performance, choreography, and film. Online applications must include a current resume, one-page personal statement, high-resolution photo, and at least two solo work samples.


Princess Grace Foundation Awards
150 East 58th Street
New York, NY 10155
(212) 317-1470

20. Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Deadline: January 2nd

Since 1923, Scholastic has celebrated the talent and ingenuity of youth in grades 7-12 in America’s public, private, or home schools by granting the Art & Writing Awards. Among the visual art categories are architecture, ceramics, comic animation, drawing, film, jewelry, painting, photography, sculpture, and video game design. Eligible U.S. citizens apply by submitting a portfolio to their regional branch, which is blind judged for originality, technical skills, and personal vision.


Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
557 Broadway
New York, NY 10012
(800) 724-6527
Scholarship Link

21. Vivian Klemz Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: January 29th

In the amount of $1,000, the Vivian Klemz Memorial Scholarship is presented by the Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF) for college sophomores, juniors, and seniors enrolled full-time in an accredited four-year university or art institution. Eligible candidates from Ventura County, California, must be majoring in the visual, fine, or performing arts to foster their creative gifts. Preference will be given to female applicants. Other VCCF visual arts scholarships include the Jan Heyne Memorial Scholarship and Young Artists Scholarship.


Vivian Klemz Memorial Scholarship
4001 Mission Oaks Blvd.
Camarillo, CA 93012
(805) 330-6676

22. Wendy Jackson Hall Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: March 1st

In honor of the beloved animator, teacher, and leader of the International Animated Film Association (ASIFA), the Wendy Jackson Hall Memorial Scholarship is granted for $15,000 for graduating high school seniors in Washington State. Qualified candidates must demonstrate talent in the visual arts, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, be accepted at an accredited four-year U.S. university, provide evidence of financial aid, and show dedication to encouraging artistic endeavors in their community.


Wendy Jackson Hall Memorial Scholarship
221 Winslow Way West #305
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
(206) 842-0433

23. Williams Chorale Bacardi Fallon Scholarships

Deadline: March 14th

Each year, the Williams Chorale Bacardi Fallon Scholarships are gifted for $500, $1,000, $2,000, and $5,000 to talented young performing arts musicians who are graduating from high school and pursuing full-time college studies in vocal or instrumental music. Chosen finalists must perform one musical work from either the Baroque or Classical era and another work of their choosing before a judging panel. Students who don’t place in the competition will still win a $250 cash award for their participation.


Williams Chorale Bacardi Fallon Scholarships
P.O. Box 3267
South Attleboro, MA 02703

24. Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships

Deadline: April 22nd

Drawing more than 200 applications yearly, the Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships are competitive awards offering $2,000 to $5,000 for minority and economically disadvantaged students enrolled full-time at universities in the United States. Pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in advertising, fine art, graphic design, illustration, motion graphics, or photography will qualify. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or Green Card holders, demonstrate significant financial need, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, and provide at least five work samples.


Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships
233 Broadway 17th Floor
New York, NY 10279
(212) 807-1990

25. Zinngia Ohio Art Scholarship Program

Deadline: March 5th

Run by a husband-and-wife animation duo, the Zinngia Ohio Art Scholarship Program grants a $2,000 annually for one graduating high school senior who wishes to pursue a two- or four-year degree in the visual arts, such as painting, illustration, design, photography, animation, sculpture, and printmaking. Eligible applicants must possess a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher, reside in Ohio, have U.S. citizenship, be enrolling at any accredited college full-time, and provide five of their best artwork samples.


Zinngia Ohio Art Scholarship Program
1368 Bronwyn Avenue
Columbus, OH 43204
(614) 466-2613
Scholarship Link

Don’t shy away from your visual and performing arts goals because of college tuition costs. Instead, use your ingenious creativity to find financial assistance that lowers your out-of-pocket educational expenses. Unlike loans, scholarships provide free monetary gifts that won’t need to be repaid or accrue interest. Adding scholarships to your financial aid package will help you build your professional career in the studio or stage spotlight with little debt. Consider applying for some of these 25 great scholarships for visual and performing arts majors to begin following your artistic passion.


See also: 25 Great Scholarships for Theatre Majors