The ACC Program
Since its inception in 1963 as the Asian Cultural Program of the JDR 3rd Fund, ACC has operated a program of long-term, immersive fellowships and shorter-term grants for individual artists, scholars, and arts and humanities professionals who wish to pursue specialized training not available in their home countries; find new creative inspiration through travel, research, and exploration; or pursue targeted research projects aligned with ACC's mission of advancing international understanding.
The Asian Cultural Council makes grants to support international travel and cultural exchange between Asia and the U.S., and among the countries of Asia. The large majority of grants are awarded directly to individual artists, scholars, and arts specialists. Organizations that will facilitate a cultural exchange opportunity for artists, scholars, or arts specialists may also apply on behalf of the individual project participants.
Toward the mission of advancing understanding through cultural exchange, ACC's first priority in all grant areas is to support activities that involve cultural immersion; meaningful cross-cultural engagement; and relationship building, collaboration, or exchange of best practices among peers. Therefore, most of the proposals that receive funding are focused on process rather than production. Examples of process-focused activities are research, study, and exploration. By contrast, proposals for touring, performance, exhibition, or any activity focused on the production of work or audience-driven outcomes are not a priority and will only be considered where there is an exceptional contribution to furthering international understanding.
In addition to funding, ACC offers logistical and programmatic support to its grant recipients. The level of support varies by grant type and destination country, and is tailored to each individual. It may include recommendations of sites to visit or activities to participate in; personal introductions to relevant contacts in the field; and J-1 visa sponsorship for individuals traveling to the U.S.
ACC has supported exchanges for nearly 4,000 individuals to date. By combining funding with mentoring and personal introductions, ACC's program builds relationships that deepen cross-cultural ties beyond the duration of the grant. ACC maintains close connections with many past grant recipients and creates ongoing opportunities for engagement within the alumni community. The signature feature of ACC's program is access to this international network of alumni and other partners - a community of institutional leaders and emerging and established practitioners throughout Asia and the U.S. who help advise current grant recipients.
Prospective applicants should read the description of ACC's program above, as well as our Eligibility Guidelines and Grant Categories pages. If your proposed activities align with ACC's work, and if you meet our eligibility guidelines, visit How to Apply to learn more about the application process.