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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.

Due to the campus closure this past spring, current 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 – must postpone their residencies. We look forward to welcoming these artists to campus at a future date.

The Office of the Vice President for the Arts is offering an expedited round of grants in Fall 2020 to support up to three virtual visiting artists for the winter, spring, or summer quarter in 2021. This modified program will allow Stanford students, faculty, and staff to deeply engage with artists at a time when creativity and imagination are more important than ever in sustaining spirits and envisioning new futures. It will also provide critical support to artists in our community amidst great economic uncertainty.

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 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 an engagement will benefit the artist

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 justice, public health, economic recovery, and/or new practices and platforms in virtual environments. We seek proposals designed for dynamic virtual engagements, while giving special consideration to local artists who could visit campus if that becomes possible in 2021.

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 virtual forum. Awarded funding will cover compensation for the artist's time (such as honorarium or short-term employment), departmental administrative expenses, and virtual program expenses (such as IT or technical support).

Departments and programs can submit multiple applications.

How to Apply

Applications will only be accepted via SlideRoom web form 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 (completed within the application form. Total expenses not to exceed $30,000)
  5. Approval from department/program chair
  6. Expectations agreement


  • Application deadline: October 16, 2020
  • Recipients notified: November 6, 2020
  • Artist Residencies: Winter 2021-Summer 2021


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

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




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