U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Exchange Fellowships

The Japan U.S. Friendship Commission offers leading contemporary and traditional artists from the United States the opportunity to spend three to five months in Japan through the U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program.  Artists go as seekers, as cultural visionaries, and as living liaisons to the traditional and contemporary cultural life of Japan.  They also go as connectors who share knowledge and bring back knowledge. Their interaction with the Japanese public and the outlook they bring home provide exceptional opportunities to promote cultural understanding between the United States and Japan.

Since 1978, the Japan-US Friendship Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) have worked  with the Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan and the International House of Japan (I-House) to organize the United States-Japan Creative Artists’ Program. Each year five leading U.S.-based artists, representing all genres, are selected from the United States and are provided funding to spend three months in Japan.

This residency program allows the artists to research and experience both the traditional and contemporary artistic milieu of Japan. Artists are free to live anywhere in the country to pursue activities of greatest relevance to their creative process. While many artists chose to remain in Tokyo, others live in Kyoto or other cities, and still others work in rural settings or travel around the countryside. The International House of Japan provides in-depth orientation materials, expert advice and professional contacts, as well as logistical support during the residency period.

The program, which remains a high priority for the Commission and the NEA, is highly competitive and attracts several hundred applications each year. Since 1978, 160 U.S. artists, representing a diverse range of disciplines, have been selected to travel to Japan for this residency.

Primary Eligibility:

  • Candidates must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
  • Candidates must live and work professionally primarily in the United States.
  • Candidates must be professional creative artists (contemporary or traditional) working as: architects, choreographers, composers, creative writers, designers, media artists, playwrights, librettists, visual artists and solo theater artists who work with original material (including puppeteers, and performance artists). For additional eligibility requirements, please click here.

For more information on current and former program participants please click here.

The Program accepts applications in all disciplines including, but not limited to, Architecture or Design; Choreography; Music Composition; Filmmaking/Media Art; Folk/Traditional Art; Playwright/Theater Art; Visual Art; Writing; Multidisciplinary; and Other Disciplines.

Please note that this is a federal grant. All **grant recipients** must have a valid DUNS number (you will need to acquire a DUNS number prior to accepting Federal funds). For more information about the DUNS number, please visit the FAQ section.

**Grant Applicants do not require a DUNS number at the time of submission**

The application deadline is always February 1 midnight ET.

If you submit your application cover sheet by midnight ET, you will receive your NEA GO username and password on February 15th. You will have until February 19th to upload your materials and submit your letters of recommendation. Application cover sheets submitted after midnight ET on February 1, 2017 will not be considered.

For instructions on how to apply, guidelines and criteria, and application forms, please click here:

Please contact Ms. Niharika Chibber Joe njoe[at]jusfc[dot]gov with specific questions.

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