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. In 2013, Miller Arts Scholars opened the award process to include its third and fourth year participants.

Our faculty advisory committee favors those applicants engaging in the arts in a meaningful way in our departments with our faculty, through extra curricular activities, and with Miller Arts Scholars in seminar, discussion, and other meetings. In addition, the committee only considers proposals that are clear, articulate, well-written and include all of the required materials below.  Each application MUST identify the support from a faculty mentor in the related arts discipline similar to the research outlined in the proposal. 

These are the general requirements to apply:

  • Have remained in the College with a major or minor
  • Attended CASS 1010 or CASS 1011
  • Enrolled in a minimum of four, credit-bearing art courses within the respective nominating discipline
    • In Studio Art and Drama, one of these courses should be at 3000 level or above.
    • In Dance, two of these courses should be at the 3000 level or above selected from two distinct areas: Movement Practice, Creative Process, Critical or Somatic Studies.
    • In Music, two of these courses should be at the 3000 level or above, including at least one MUSI course.
  • Maintained a minimum GPA of 3.4 in all arts classes and 3.2 at the University.

Applications are due via email to Michael Rasbury at mr2xk@virginia.edu on April 1 no later than 5PM. Awards will be announced by early 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 18, 2021 at 6PM. Participants may schedule a presentation using this form (due by March 19, 2021 by 5PM.) Click here and here for multi-page pdfs presenting overviews of the process.

Rising Third and Fourth-Year Awards

Participants meeting basic Miller Arts Scholars requirements may apply as a rising third or fourth-year student during the spring semester for an Arts Scholars Arts Award to support research for arts related project. Students may apply for a maximum of $3000.00. 

Awards Criteria

  • In your application, clearly articulate your plan/proposal, describe how it can be achieved, and identify a faculty mentor in the same area of expertise.
  • If applying to multiple funding organizations for a large project, include this information in your proposal.  Be very clear about how much is being ask for and for what purpose from each organization.
  • These projects may be single research projects or collaborations.  Collaborative projects will fund each participant up to $3000 each.
  • Formal written proposals meeting universal standards for grant writing will be required to apply for this support. 
  • Any funding requests for housing or food should be based on current allowed per diem limits listed yearly by the General Services Administration (https://www.gsa.gov.)
  • Arts Awards funding may not be used to provide direct payment for services to other University of Virginia students, faculty or staff.
  • All projects require a faculty mentor recommendation from the related discipline in the College of Arts and Sciences similar 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.
  • A written outcome/progress statement is due to mr2xk@virginia.edu by late March of the following academic year.  This outcome report should be written so it is accessible to someone who is unfamiliar with your discipline and may not have read your original proposal.  In this document, provide a brief overview of what you intended to accomplish.  Identify your faculty mentor, their department, and why you chose them.  Then describe where you started and continue describing your “journey” and things you discovered along the way.  Provide a final budget detailing how the funding was ultimately spent. The report should include images and media links when possible and should not exceed five pages, single spaced, 12-point typeface.
  • The outcomes of these projects will be shared with the public at an outcome presentation in April during the following academic year. Submit this form to be scheduled for the presentation by late March of 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 with descriptions (date, location, title, medium, objective.) We strongly discourage examples from High School. Visual artists may submit a PDF portfolio containing up to seven high-resolution images labeled with title, dimension, materials, date, etc in one pdf.  Performing artists may send links to video or audio recordings (Youtube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, etc.) totaling no longer than five minutes in length representative of at least two works.  Please send the links in a separate pdf document with descriptions. Creative writers may send manuscripts, video, or audio recordings of their work totaling no longer than five minutes in length (approximately five pages in writing). All attached files should be named using this format: “lastnamefirstname_portfolio.pdf." Do not attach documents over 200 MB in size.
  • 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 March 19, 2021 by 5PM. 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.
  • 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.