The Stanford Visiting Artist Fund

In Honor of Roberta Bowman Denning

The Stanford Visiting Artist Fund, established in honor of Roberta Bowman Denning, brings 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.

Due to the campus closure in spring 2020, global travel restrictions, and public health guidelines, the four visiting artists who were selected to be Denning Visiting Artists in 2019-20 and 2020-21 Gauri Gill, Neçati Celik, Manu Luksch, and Sabelo Mlangeni postponed their residencies. We look forward to welcoming these artists to campus during the 2021-22 academic year.

In the face of extended restrictions of on-campus activities due to the pandemic, the Office of the Vice President for the Arts offered an expedited round of grants and supported three virtual visiting artists for the winter and spring quarters in 2021: Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Pamela Z, and Betty Shamieh.

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 evaluation will include:

  • Benefit of the artist to the host department and broader campus community.
  • Benefit of the engagement to the artists' practice and professional development.
  • Depth of engagement with students, faculty, and campus arts organizations.
  • Depth of future impact the collaborative work will have.

We encourage proposals that include two or more departments and/or programs working in collaboration, and also those that resonate with contemporary concerns, e.g. racial/social justice, environmental sustainability, ethics in technology.

Artists must commit to an engagement of a quarter or longer, during which time they will collaborate with faculty, engage with students through courses and/or workshops, and present their work to the public in a live or virtual forum. Awarded funding will cover compensation for the artist's time (such as honorarium or short-term employment), travel, departmental administrative expenses, and program expenses (such as IT or technical support).

Departments and programs can submit multiple applications.

How to Apply

Applications will only be accepted via Seed Funding 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
    • Description of the artist engagement, including:
      • Benefit of the artist to the program and the broader Stanford community, including reach beyond the host department
      • Benefit of the residency to the artist
      • How does this collaborative work or project exemplify interdisciplinary creative practice and integrate across the University?
      • How the artist will interact with students and other members of the Stanford community
      • How the artist will be provided appropriate workspace on campus
    • Planning: Specify if any initial conversations have already taken place with the artist.
    • Timeline: List all proposed activities that will take place during the artist's time on campus (typically one quarter, although longer visits and different formats will be considered). Approximate dates are allowed. **Please note that we will require information and materials for marketing purposes prior to the residency, and we will expect documentation after the residency.
  4. Budget (completed within the application form. Total expenses not to exceed $80,000)
  5. Statements of approval from department/program chair and department/program financial administrator (uploaded as PDFs)
  6. Expectations agreement


  • Applications open: September 20, 2021
  • Application deadline: October 31, 2021
  • Semi-finalists notified: November 19, 2021
  • Grantee selected by January 28, 2022


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

  • Collaboration with faculty
  • Class or workshop with students
  • Public presentation of their work
Ellen Oh


Ellen Oh
Director, Artist Programs & Partnerships/Stanford Arts Incubator
Institute for Diversity in the Arts