Vilcek Prizes

The Vilcek Foundation will award three Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise of $50,000 each to young, immigrant visual artists and three Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise of $50,000 each to young, immigrant curators who demonstrate outstanding early achievement in their field. Applications are open through June 10, 2024.

Who Should Apply

  • You were born outside the United States to non-American parents
  • You are not more than 38 years old
  • You have 5 years of professional experience in visual arts or curatorial work and possess a strong track record of creative and high-caliber work

Why Should You Apply

  • Unrestricted cash prize of $50,000 is awarded to each prizewinner
  • Reflect on how your experience as an immigrant has shaped your success
  • Receive an invaluable endorsement from leaders in your field
  • Receive a comprehensive public relations campaign to promote you and your work

Eligible Categories

Visual Arts

Applicants in the visual art category will be considered across the following areas of practice, please select all subcategories below that apply to your practice in general: painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, ceramic, textile, installation, film/video, digital art, performance that manifests in time-based visual presentation, etc.

Curatorial Work

Applicants in the curatorial work categories will be considered for having organized and developed single artist or group exhibitions at any scale or extending over any or time period in the following professional capacities: private or public institutions, foundations, independent curatorial practice, biennials or art fairs, galleries, etc.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Have been born outside the United States of America to non-American parents.
  • Not be more than 38 years old as of December 31, 2024 (born on or after January 1, 1986). ​​Exceptions will be made for applicants who were born between January 1, 1984, and December 31, 1985 who experienced career interruptions due to caregiving, medical, military or parental leave.
  • Have lived in the United States for at least 4 years (or immigrated to the United States on or before December 31, 2020).
  • Be one of the following: a naturalized citizen or a permanent resident of the United States; an H-1B or O-1 visa holder with a valid visa stamp; a H-4 visa holder with a valid EAD card; a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) relief; an asylee or an asylum seeker who has applied for asylum and has a valid EAD card. Please note that other types of visas including TN, F-1, J-1 visa holders are not eligible for the prize. 
  • Have at least 5 years of professional experience in visual arts or curatorial work.
  • Have completed at least 3 implemented, professional solo or collective visual arts or curatorial projects. 
  • Not be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or graduate degree program (Exceptions may apply for some doctoral students who will complete their program this year).
  • Intend to pursue a career in the United States.
  • Not be a past recipient of the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in any category.

Application and Selection Process

  1. Complete the application process. You will be required to:
    • Provide personal information.
    • Upload a PDF with documentation of your valid immigration status and your date of birth.
    • Provide URL links to your portfolio of 3 to 5 projects, not to exceed 2 pages per project for visual arts applicants and not to exceed 10 pages per project for curatorial work applicants.
    • Upload a PDF of your CV with a complete list of individual works and projects, exhibitions, residencies, education and training, current and past affiliations, awards, and recognitions.
    • Provide up to 5 press clippings about your work.
    • Complete 3 essay questions:
      1. Please describe your most important projects. We are interested in learning about the intention behind each of those projects, your artistic foundations, and creative approaches you developed based on your personal or professional path. (2,000 characters maximum including spaces)
      2. What do you hope to achieve through your work and how do you think it contributes to the development of visual arts or curatorial work as an art form and unique field of knowledge and practice? (2,000 characters maximum including spaces)
      3. Describe the circumstances of your immigration to the United States and how your experience as an immigrant informs and enriches your approach to visual arts or curatorial work. (1,500 characters maximum including spaces)
    • Provide the names and contact information of 2 references.
    • Sign an age exception self-attestation if you were born between January 1, 1984, and December 31, 1985.
    • Submit a completed application by Monday, June 10, 2024, 5:00 pm ET. 
  2. A panel of distinguished jurors—experts in visual arts and curatorial work—will evaluate applications based on the applicant’s contributions to the field of visual arts and curatorial work, as demonstrated by their essays, portfolio, and references. The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise will honor visual artists and curators whose work showcases high caliber and commitment to the field.
  3. Recommendations of the jury will be submitted to the Vilcek Foundation’s Board of Directors for final approval. All three winners will be considered equal in standing.
  4. The winners of the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Visual Arts and Curatorial Work categories will be notified in September 2024. Prizewinners will be invited to attend the Vilcek Foundation’s prizewinner event in New York City in the spring of 2025. Travel expenses and accommodations will be covered by the foundation.



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