Call for Proposals: Freedom of Expression Exhibition

Grants up to $2,500; Exhibition occurs March 4-22, 2024 at AAP

Annual Grant Program

The Cornell Council for the Arts (CCA) holds an annual grant competition each April. The CCA offers direct financial support for the development of new, experimental, and exceptional arts projects by Cornell faculty and students on campus.

Grants up to $2,500 are awarded to faculty, departments, and program; grants up to $1,000 are awarded to students and student organizations registered with SAFC or GPSAFC.

The expectation is that all supported work will be shared with the university and Ithaca community through an openly accessible exhibition, installation, performance, workshop, lecture, and/or other public event. The intention of the annual grant program is to foster a vital environment for the creative arts on Cornell’s Ithaca campus and its satellite locations and to connect Cornell artists to the art world at large.

(Photo: UNFRAME Tower by Leslie Lok, 2022 Cornell Biennial; Photo by Anson Wigner, AAP)

Apply for a Grant


The CCA welcomes grant proposals from Cornell-affiliated individual artists, artists groups, and artistic collaborations. Proposals from Cornell-affiliated non-artists are also welcome for projects that expand the boundaries of any given arts, design, or related discipline in a creative and culturally reflective way.

Grants are intended to support and promote cultural activities outside of the applicant’s regular academic requirements or responsibilities.

Space + Installation
Visual + Media
Writing + Literary
Performance + Music

Past Grantees

The annual grant program is particularly interested in promoting original, emergent and critically-engaged art forms and ideas. Work that takes an interdisciplinary or trans-disciplinary approach is strongly encouraged. Successful past applicants have used grant funds to create exceptional work in a myriad of formats including painting, sculpture, prints, wearable designs, clothing, prose, poetry, new media, video, film, software, site-specific installations, music concerts, new music compositions, designed objects, built environments, conferences, workshops, residencies, dance, performances, journals, zines, student-curated exhibitions, and social practice collaborations.

(Photo: Waste Not by Matéa LeBeau and Bella Culotta, 2022 Cornell Biennial; Photo by Anson Wigner, AAP)

Project Archive


We encourage anyone considering applying for a CCA grant to contact us at to inquire about the feasibility of a project proposal or to seek guidance about how to best prepare your application.

Cornell students, student organizations, faculty members, academic departments, and academic programs are eligible to apply for a CCA grant. Due to the nature of the CCA’s funding stream, Cornell staff are ineligible to apply. All applicants must be in residence in the upcoming academic year.

The CCA welcomes and encourages all types of collaboration, especially those between disciplines. Students and faculty are welcome to work together, but if so, the faculty member must submit the application.

The CCA offers one funding cycle each year. The cycle is announced in March via our mailing list (to be added, email All applications are due in April. Decisions and notifications are made in May for the following academic year.

Funds are disbursed in August. Faculty, departments, programs, and SAFC/GPSAFC registered student organizations will receive funds in their university accounts. Individual students will receive funds via direct deposit in their personal bank accounts. To sign up for direct deposit through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system, you’ll need to submit an ACH Authorization Form (paper form available by request through Payroll or online via Workday) and a W9 or a W-8BEN.

Student organizations with bank accounts at local banking institutions (as opposed to Cornell), cannot have their funds transferred directly. An authorized account representative may submit the necessary forms (ACH form for the group account and W9). Monies are subject to taxes and the representative submitting the W9 will receive a 1099 for their income tax return.

Individual students awarded a grant will receive monies less any applicable taxes, resulting in receipt of a 1099 for income tax returns. Monies transferred between Cornell accounts are not taxable.