Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Creative Artists Exchange Program: $20K grant + airfare


The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission offers leading contemporary and traditional artists from the United States the opportunity to spend three months in Japan through the U.S./Japan Creative Artists Program.  Cultural understanding is at the heart of this program.  Artists go as seekers, as cultural visionaries, and as living liaisons to the traditional and contemporary cultural life of Japan.  They also go as connectors who share knowledge and bring back knowledge. Their interaction with the Japanese public and the outlook they bring home provide exceptional opportunities to promote cultural understanding between the United States and Japan.

The Program accepts applications in all disciplines including, but not limited to, Architecture or Design; Choreography; Music Composition; Filmmaking/Media Art; Folk/Traditional Art; Playwright/Theater Art; Visual Art; Writing; Multidisciplinary; and Other Disciplines.

Artists should have compelling reasons for wanting to work in Japan, and they should do preliminary research to identify contacts there. The Commission encourages artists to consider collaboration with Japanese colleagues, as appropriate for the artistic field. Artists are free to interact with artists anywhere in the country. While many artists chose to remain in Tokyo, others have undertaken their residencies in Kyoto or other cities, and still others have worked in rural settings or have visited a number of sites relevant to their work.
Upon their arrival in Tokyo, artists will be predominantly on their own during the three-month residency period; however, International House of Japan provides in-depth orientation materials, expert advice and professional contacts, as well as some logistical support during the residency period.

Grant Award

  • A grant award in the amount of $20,000 will be provided to each artist to cover housing, living, and professional expenses. Artists will be responsible for converting their dollar award into yen. Disbursement of the grant and financial responsibilities of the grantee will be outlined when awards are made.
  • Up to $2,000 for round-trip transportation will be provided.
Because of the limited number of awards, artists supported as a collaborative team will receive one award of $20,000 and a maximum of $2,000 for travel of the team. In addition, while artists may wish to apply for other grants concurrently with the application to this program, selected artists may not hold a second award for financial assistance during the period of support of the U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program.


For full guidelines, criteria and application form for the 2015 program click here.

The next deadline for the Creative Artists Program will be February 1, 2015.

Please contact Margaret Mihori at mmihori@jusfc.gov with any questions.

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