FAQs — U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Exchange

Q. How is this Fellowship funded?

A. The Fellowship is fully funded by a grant from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission.

Q. Who may apply? Are there any preferences given?
A. This is a competitive process that involves no preferences. Candidates must be citizens or permanent residents of 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, storytellers and performance artists).  Artists who create original work in a multidisciplinary form are also eligible.  (See Guidelines for additional eligibility requirements for librettists, playwrights and creative writers).

Q. I am not a United States citizen, but I am a permanent resident of the United States. Can I apply?

A. You may apply and be considered as long as your primarily live and work in the United States.

Q. I am a U.S. citizen by birth, but now I live abroad. Can I apply?

A. In order to apply and be considered, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, who primarily lives and works in the United States.

Q. I have prior experience with Japan. Does that disqualify my application? Similarly, am I disqualified if I have no prior experience with Japan?

A. Prior experience with Japan or lack thereof is not a critical criterion for selection. While it may be helpful to have previous experience with Japan, you may apply regardless of Japan-related experience.

Q. When is the deadline?
A. The deadline is always midnight ET on February 1. The next U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Fellowship Program deadline is February 1, 2018.

Q. Do I have to establish partnerships and collaborations in Japan in order to submit a competitive application?

A. No. However, all artists should have compelling reasons for wanting to work in Japan, and they should conduct preliminary research to identify contacts in Japan. The  Commission encourages artists to consider collaboration with Japanese colleagues, as appropriate for the artistic field. It is important to identify potential partners/collaborators/teachers and articulate the reason behind the choice.
Q. How long is the Program?

A. The Program is three to five months in duration.  Accepted applicants may travel to Japan within a twelve month period after they are offered the award and their grant has been executed.

Q. Can my Fellowship travel occur multiple times during the three-five month period?

A. No. This is a residency program and fellows are expected to be in Japan consecutively for three or five months, as applicable.

Q. What is the grant decision timeline?

February 1 midnight – Grant application deadline.

May/June  – National Endowment for the Arts selection meeting.

Early summer  – Successful applicants are notified of awards via a formal letter sent by Email. Awardees must formally accept the grant offer in writing within two weeks of the award notification. This acceptance letter does not establish a contractual agreement for the remittance of funds, but allows the Commission (JUSFC) to execute a grant agreement, which is sent to each grantee approximately 60 days prior to their proposed departure for Japan.

Up to 60 days prior to their anticipated project start date, grantees will receive a grant agreement and a payment authorization form from the Commission. Funds will be disbursed approximately three weeks after the grantee signs and returns the grant paperwork to the Commission. The funds are directly deposited into the grantee’s preferred bank account via a U.S. Department of Treasury check. Funds cannot be disbursed unless the grantee returns the signed grant agreement to the Commission.

Q. How much is the award?
A.  A grant award of $20,000 for three months, and $28,000 for up to five months will be provided to each artist to cover housing, living and professional expenses.  Artists will be responsible for converting their U.S. Dollar award into Japanese Yen.  The Commission will also provide grantees up to $2,000 to cover the cost of their round-trip transportation to Japan.

Q. Can we apply as a creative team?

A. Artists may apply as a team/partners, but the Fellowship amount will remain the same as it would be for an individual.

Q. What is a DUNS number, and do I need it as an individual?

A. This is a federal grant. To be in compliance with the U.S. Government’s DATA Act, individual grantees for the U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program must provide a DUNS number in order to receive federal funds. A DUNS number is not required at the time of application. However, if you are selected to participate in the Fellowship program and agree to accept the offer, you must provide the number in order to receive funding. You are able to apply for this number as an individual.

  • What is a DUNS number?
    DUNS stands for “data universal numbering system.” DUNS numbers are issued by Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) and consist of nine digits. Some institutions will also have what is known as “DUNS + 4,” which is used to identify specific units in that institution.
  • Why do I have to provide it?
    OMB has adopted the use of DUNS numbers as a way to keep track of how federal grant money is dispersed. More about the policy is under Federal Registrar notice (4-page PDF). You will not be able to receive federal funds if you do not have a DUNS number.
  • Do institutions or individuals residing in Japan have to obtain a DUNS number?
    Yes. Applicants in Japan are to contact Dun and Bradstreet in Tokyo for a DUNS number.
  • Dun & Bradstreet Japan Ltd.
    Aobadai Hills 11F
    4-7-7 Aobadai
    Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0042
    TEL: 03-5465-2811 (General)
    03-5465-2842 (DUNS Number Direct)
    FAX: 03-5465-2861 (General)
    URL: http://www.dnb.co.jp/index.html
    E-mail: Jp-dunsrequest@dnb.com (DUNS Number)
  • What happens if I do not have a DUNS number?
    There are two ways to obtain a DUNS number. You can use the special toll-free number for federal grant applicants: 1-866-705-5711. The process will take about ten minutes and you will receive a DUNS number within a few business days. When you call, tell them that you are applying to a federal grant program and need to register for a DUNS number. You will be asked to provide the following information:
  1. name
  2. address
  3. telephone number
  4. name of the head (CEO, president, director, etc.)
  5. type of entity (Individual artist etc.)
  • You can also register for a DUNS number via Dun & Bradstreet’s website at https://eupdate.dnb.com/requestoptions.html. Choose the “DUNS number only” option. Please note that registration via the website may take up to thirty business days to complete.
  • Is there a fee for registering for a DUNS number?
    No. D&B should not charge you a fee. You are also not obligated to purchase any of their products.

Q.  To whom should I submit my Fellowship application?
A.  Please note there are numerous components to the application. Please read the Guidelines and Review Criteria carefully.