the acc program
Since 1963, the 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. 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 individuals. Organizations that will facilitate a cultural exchange opportunity for our targeted professionals may also apply on behalf of the individual project participants.
ACC supports activities in line with its mission in promoting international understanding that involve cultural immersion; meaningful cross-cultural engagement; and relationship building, collaboration, or exchange of best practices among peers. Our priority is to support cultural exchange projects that focus 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 such as mentoring and personal introductions to its grant recipients. The kind 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 visa sponsorship for individuals traveling to the U.S.
ACC has supported exchanges for nearly 4,000 individuals and 6,000 grants to date. By its unique combination of supports, ACC's program builds relationships that deepen cross-cultural ties beyond the duration of the grant. 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. Such community helps maintaining close connections with alumni and creates ongoing opportunities for engagement from within.