Whether Asian or American, whether a cutting-edge painter or a traditional dancer, whether a classical musician or a modern cultural archeologist—any gifted individual artist or scholar who seeks to grow in his or her craft or field can apply for funding to conduct research and study, receive specialized training, undertake observation tours, or pursue non-commercial creative activity in the United States or among the countries of Asia.
When awarding individual grants, the ACC devotes special attention to arranging programs tailored specifically to the needs and professional objectives of each grantee. Functioning as cultural concierges and ambassadors as well as seasoned mentors, the members of the Council’s staff advise grant recipients on cultural resources and activities, prepare their itineraries, schedule meetings, arrange appropriate academic and research affiliations, and encourage grantees to explore interdisciplinary relationships among the arts in both Asian and American contexts.
What does that mean? For a dancer or choreographer in a traditional idiom that might mean an introduction to a modern choreographer or seeing contemporary dance company rehearsing and performing in the country of interest. For a painter or sculptor, a series of guided visits to the studios of artists working far from his or her home in the same or different medium. For a scholar, an opportunity to meet a cohort in the same or related area of study in a foreign institution. Which means that the ACC functions both as a grant-making foundation and as a service organization for the field of Asian-American cultural exchange.