Faculty Special Opportunity Grants

Small grants for unique campus arts projects and events


The Office of the Vice President for the Arts (VPA) offers small grants to faculty and academic staff to support projects and events that relate to our mission.


Students: All funding requests should be made through the Student Arts Grant application.


Sabrina Wilensky
Manager of Grants and Programs
Office of the Vice President for the Arts

Grantee Requirements:

  • Grant recipients are expected to work with their department/program financial administrator to process all logistics and transactions relating to the proposed activity, and to ensure that all transactions and activities adhere to University policies.
  • Grant funds cannot be used to pay Stanford affiliates.
  • Grant recipients may receive partial grants. In these situations the grant recipient should work with their department/program to find additional funds for the proposed activity.
  • Upon completion of the activity, grant recipients will submit a short final report. Grant recipients are encouraged to include photos (with photographer credit) from the activity as part of their report.
  • If the project/activity is no longer taking place, please notify Sabrina Wilensky to discuss next steps.

artsCatalyst Grants


artsCatalyst Grants foster interdisciplinary arts experiences that enhance classroom experiences for undergraduate students. These grants fund activity materials, transportation, and guest speaker honoraria.

Activities could include (but are not limited to):

  • Attending a performance or film screening (either on-campus or in the Bay Area)
  • Visiting museums throughout the Bay Area
  • Workshop with a guest artist (either on-campus or in the Bay Area)
  • Guided walking tours with local experts
  • Guest speakers who address professional development opportunities/career paths involving the arts


  • Activities or guest speakers must be directly related to the arts
  • Course takes place during Autumn, Winter, or Spring quarter.
  • Funds cannot be used to pay for required class materials



Faculty and academic staff teaching undergraduate courses in any department

Application Timeline

  • Fall 2019 Classes: September 4-October 11, 2019
  • Winter 2020 Classes: October 14-November 15, 2019
  • Spring 2020 Classes: January 7-February 28, 2020

Applicants will be notified within 2-3 weeks of each deadline.



  • Grants range from $250-$1,000
  • Each instructor can receive up to $1,000 per academic year. Funds can be requested for multiple courses as long as the total funding awarded is within this limit.
  • Funding (full or partial) is not guaranteed.

Burt McMurtry Arts Initiatives Fund


The Burt McMurtry Arts Initiatives Fund offers support to faculty-initiated projects that test new directions and possibilities in the arts at Stanford. 

Projects should fall under one of the following:

  • An artistic project in connection with another discipline beyond the arts.
  • A collaboration with another institution that promotes discourse between the arts/arts organizations and other disciplines beyond the arts.
  • Convenings, proof of concept, pilots, last mile


  • The project outcome should contribute to discourse regarding the future of the arts. 
  • Funds are not intended to support artist residencies or visiting artist programs.
  • The project team is encouraged to present their work (either as in progress or final) by the end of the grant period.
  • Grant recipients must notify VPA about any events/performances connected with the grant funds at least 2-4 weeks in advance. Grant recipients may be asked to meet with members of the McMurtry family as schedules permit. 
  • The project team will be expected to include an evaluation in the final report that outlines the learnings from this phase of the project and what the next steps (if any) will be for the project. 


Open to all Stanford faculty and academic staff in any discipline

Application Timeline

Cycle 1: September 4-October 18, 2019

Cycle 2: January 7-February 14, 2020

Applicants will be notified within 3-4 weeks of each deadline.


  • Grants range from $2,500-$5,000 (3-6 grants awarded annually)
  • Limit of one grant per applicant per academic year.
  • Funding (full or partial) is not guaranteed.

Small Grants


For arts-related projects/events beyond the classroom that enrich the campus community.


  • Project/event must be completed by the end of Spring Quarter 2020
  • Funds cannot be used to support conference attendance/travel by students.


Open to all Stanford faculty, academic staff, graduate students, and administrative staff

Application Timeline

Proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year until funds are expended. 

Applications should be submitted at least 4-6 weeks in advance of the project/event to allow for sufficient review time.



  • Grants range from $500-$1,000
  • Limit of one grant per applicant per academic year.
  • Funding (full or partial) is not guaranteed.