George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Young Alumni Commissioning Project

College of Visual and Performing Arts 
Young Alumni Commissioning Project

This is the second year for the program that will provide grants to up to three CVPA alumni for the creation of original work, which will be presented by the College at a Mason venue during the 2020-21 season. The deadline has passed for applications for the Young Alumni Commissioning Project during the 2020-21 season. Please check back in Fall 2020 for updates on the next application cycle.

Project Goals

George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts Young Alumni Commissioning Project provides crucial support for our alumni’s continued artistic development. CVPA will issue up to 3 grants to recent alumni to support the creation of a new artistic work. The Project is made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of Linda E. Gramlich for the support of young artists, and by donors to Mason’s Giving Day, including Shugoll Research. 


  • Applicant must be a graduate of the College of Visual and Performing Arts from the class of 2009 and after.
  • Alums having completed undergraduate and/or graduate degrees, and certificate holders are eligible, as are double majors and recognized minors. Collaborative teams are eligible if one or more CVPA alums have a key creative role in the project.
  • Current Mason staff are eligible, even if they are currently enrolled in a degree program, as long as they have also completed an undergraduate degree, graduate degree, or certificate at Mason.

Grant Prize

Recipients may receive up to $5,000 in commissioning funds, to be used at the artist’s discretion to cover project-related expenses, including but not limited to artist fees, licensing fees, equipment rental/purchase, and travel expenses. In addition, recipients will receive venue, production, and marketing support for the public showing of the work.

Scope of Work

Proposals should be for an original new work in any art form, suitable for performance, exhibition, or screening in a Mason venue. Size/length/duration/magnitude/content are at the artist’s discretion, however feasibility of the project in relation to the project budget will be considered. Potential CVPA venues include Mason’s traditional theater spaces, galleries, and cinemas, but proposals for non-traditional venues will also be considered.

The work should be ready for public presentation during the 2020-2021 academic year and season (roughly September 2020 through June 2021). The public presentation could take many formats, from a work-in-progress showing to a fully-produced performance or exhibition.

"We're delighted to continue the Young Alumni Commission Project for a second cycle. The first round has yielded promising work in theater, film, and photography, and we expect that we will receive another strong group of proposals,” shares Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts Rick Davis. “It's heartening to see Mason arts alumni adding to the world's store of thoughtful imagery and creating engaging stories about people and things that matter."

Rick Davis, Dean of College of Visual and Performing Arts

Application Process

Proposals should be emailed to the CVPA Dean’s Office to the attention of Evie Alis, with ‘Young Alumni Commissioning Project’ in the subject of the email. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 31, 2020.

Proposals should be submitted in a single pdf format, with hyperlinks to work samples embedded within the document if necessary. Only electronic submissions will be accepted and the maximum file size is 20 MB.

Proposals should include the following:

  • Project Summary: 2 – 3 paragraph project summary outlining the overall concept for the project as well as the anticipated creation timeline. Please discuss how these commissioning funds would impact your career trajectory.
  • Work Samples: 2 work samples in a medium appropriate to the project (video, text, images, sound files, etc.). For video and sound files, the panel will review up to 10 total minutes of material per applicant. Work samples may be excerpted from full-length works. If submitting longer samples, applicants should indicate the time code for the preferred sections for review. Please provide a brief description of the work sample and explain how it is reflective of or relevant to the proposed project.
  • Project Budget: Outline estimated expenses and revenue, and include budget notes as necessary to put financial projections in context of the project.
    • Please include the $5,000 commissioning funds in your budget as pending revenue. In the budget notes section, please explain how you would modify your project if you receive less than $5,000.
    • If commissioning funds will not cover all anticipated expenses, please explain how adequate funding will be secured, and indicate whether it is confirmed or pending.
    • If applicant plans to utilize Mason resources for the development of the work (i.e. equipment, rehearsal or studio space), this should be approved by the appropriate staff or faculty member before submitting the application.
    • Budgets may include fees paid to those involved with the proposed project (including the applicant). Applicants are encouraged to research industry standard rates.
  • Creative Team: A list of any relevant members of the creative team with brief biographies (150 words or less). Please list the graduation year and academic program affiliation for any Mason alumni. (i.e. “Theater ’16")

Selection Process and Criteria

A faculty and staff panel will make recommendations to the Dean, who will make the final selection. Project proposals will be evaluated with the following criteria in mind:

  • Artistic Excellence
  • Impact on the artist’s career trajectory
  • Feasibility of completion


The recipient(s) will be announced in April 2020. Commissioning funds will be disbursed in one payment, and recipients are advised to consult an accountant to discuss any tax implications.


Watch an information session (below) led by CVPA’s Director of Programming Adrienne Bryant Godwin and Associate Director of Development Ryan Braaten, which reviews the application process and provides basic grantwriting tips.

Still have questions?

Email Adrienne Bryant Godwin, CVPA’s Director of Programming.

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