Asian American Arts Alliance: Inaugural 2016 Van Lier Fellowships for Asian American Actors and Directors; Apply through April 10

Asian American Arts Alliance

Inaugural 2016 Van Lier Fellowships for Acting and Directing


The Asian American Arts Alliance is pleased to administer, with support from the New York Community Trust, the 2016 Van Lier Fellowships in different disciplines over the next three years. This year, the Alliance will be recognizing theater artists in the categories of Acting and Directing.

The Alliance will grant two eight-month fellowships to one early-career Asian American actor and one early-career Asian American director, age 30 or younger, whose work shows outstanding promise, who may benefit from further professional artistic development, and who is of limited financial means.

The fellowship recipients will each receive an unrestricted cash stipend of $12,000 and an eight-month fellowship tailored to respond to the unique needs of each Fellow, which includes artistic mentorship with an established mid-career theater professional, leadership coaching, and a range of technical support.

The Alliance’s mission is to strengthen Asian American arts and cultural groups through resource sharing, promotion, and community building. In line with these efforts, it is the aim of the Alliance’s Van Lier Fellowships to develop early-career, individual Asian American artists living in New York City.

Created by the will of Sally Van Lier, the Trust carries out Edward and Sally Van Liers’ legacy of arts appreciation by supporting arts groups and training programs to provide education, training, or other support.

The Alliance will be administering an open application process for this year’s fellowships.

View Guidelines and Apply Online HERE

Submissions are due by 11:59 PM EST Sunday, April 10th, 2016.

Asian American Arts Alliance Van Lier Fellowships will include:

* Unrestricted cash grant of $12,000 per Fellow during the fellowship cycle

* Eight-month fellowship (July 2016–February 2017) with the Alliance, which will include a leadership coaching series, artistic mentorship with a mid-career theater professional, and professional technical resources

* Fellows will have their individual profiles featured on the Alliance Web site


April 10                                               Submissions close by 11:59pm EST

April–May                                           Artistic review period

June                                                   Fellows announced


The applicant MUST:

  • Be of Asian descent. Ethnic origins include Central Asian, East Asian, Pacific Islander, South Asian, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Middle Eastern and Multi-regional
  • Be 30 years of age or younger (born June 15, 1985 or later)
  • Not be currently enrolled as a full-time or part-time student in any degree program or matriculating in any degree program by June 30th, 2016
  • Be a resident of New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, or Staten Island)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Be available to participate in the fellowship orientation and leadership coaching sessions in July 2016 (exact dates TBD)


*Previous or current recipients of any Van Lier fellowships

*Undergraduate or graduate students who are currently enrolled in any degree program or who plan to matriculate in any degree program from the year 2016 through 2017

*Alliance board members and staff


  • Artistic Merit: Clarity, imaginativeness, and uniqueness based upon body of work and work samples submitted.
  • Community Impact: Articulation of interest or hopes to make a significant impact on the Asian American arts community based on narrative responses in the application.
  • Potential for Growth: Extent to which the fellowship will advance the applicant’s goals and career.
  • Financial Need: Demonstrated need for financial support based upon applicant’s explanation of annual income and expenses. Finalists may be asked to provide further financial documentation.


Applicants are encouraged to attend the Alliance ACCESS: Master Class for 2016 Van Lier Fellowship Applicants on Monday, March 28 from 6:30-8:00pm.

Facilitated by Asian American Arts Alliance Van Lier Fellowship Manager Mr. Soriya Chum and Director of Public Programs Ms. Cate Yu, this year’s Master Class will be geared towards Asian American actors and directors interested in applying for the 2016 Van Lier Fellowships in the categories of Acting and Directing.

The Alliance hopes that this workshop will not only serve applicants the nuts and bolts of a strong Van Lier Fellowship application, but also provide enriching suggestions for other fellowship opportunities. Part info session and part workshop, this 1.5-hour session will include the background and logistics of the awards process and pointers on preparing a strong application.

Space is limited, so we encourage early RSVPs. You can RSVP HERE.

Please contact Fellowships Manager Mr. Soriya Chum at if you have any questions relating to the Van Lier Fellowships. 

The Van Lier Fellowships are made possible through a grant from the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of the New York CommunityTrust.

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