The Stanford Visiting Artist Fund

In Honor of Roberta Bowman Denning

The Stanford Visiting Artist Fund, established in honor of Roberta Bowman Denning, brings internationally renowned artists to the university to engage with faculty and students in departments and programs across the campus.

About the Program

The Stanford Visiting Artist Fund is a high-impact, comprehensive and sustained investment in artistic excellence, creating a cohort of talent on campus that will significantly contribute to the campus environment and provide a unique integrative educational experience at Stanford.

As active artists, these practitioners will bring an invaluable perspective to our campus--they “bear witness to the artist’s life” in a way that provides vital enhancement for our students and faculty. As contributors to campus endeavors of all kinds, these artists will bring contemporary approaches, exciting new practices, and a fresh way of thinking to disciplines across the university.

Supported artists will integrate into all aspects of the life of the campus, exposing Stanford students no matter what their major to excellence in artistic approaches. Hosted by departments and programs from across the institution, they provide a stimulus in artistic thinking and aesthetic perspectives to projects in disciplines from the humanities to the sciences and engineering as well as the arts.

The Stanford Visiting Artist Fund was created in honor of Roberta Bowman Denning and is administered by the Office of the Vice President for the Arts.


All academic departments and programs at Stanford are invited to submit proposals to host a visiting artist. Criteria for judgment will include:

  • Benefit of the artist to the program and to the campus, including reach beyond the host department
  • How the artist will interact with students
  • How the artist will interact with the arts organizations on campus (museums, Stanford Live, etc.)
  • How the Stanford visit will benefit the artist
  • How the artist’s visit will integrate across the university and contribute to the campus as a whole

Proposals that include two or more departments and/or programs working in collaboration are highly encouraged.

Proposals should articulate how the artist will be provided appropriate workspace on campus. Departments are encouraged to reach out to the VPA for consultationregarding the program parameters.

Departments and programs can submit multiple applications.

Artist visits will typically be one quarter, although longer visits and different formats will be considered. The program is flexible in structuring visits, prioritizing continuity of impact and depth of engagement. Awarded funding will cover housing, departmental expenses, project expenses related to the visit, and compensation for the artist’s time (such as honorarium or short-term employment).

How to Apply

Applications will only be accepted via SlideRoom and must include the following:

  1. List of all Stanford project collaborators
  2. Artist name, short bio, website
  3. Succinct proposal outlining scope of artist engagement and timeline
  4. Budget (total expenses must be less than $80,000)
  5. Approval from department/program chair
  6. Expectations agreement


  • Application deadline: October 26, 2018
  • Semi-finalists: November 26, 2018
  • Recipients notified: January 21, 2019
  • First cycle of visiting artists: Fall 2019-Spring 2020


Each visiting artist will be asked to perform at least the following campus engagements:

  • Public presentation on their work
  • Workshop with interested students
  • Lunch or dinner with faculty and donors
  • At least one class open for observation (if teaching a class)


Ellen Oh
Director of Programs
Office of the Vice President for the Arts