Young Alumni Commissioning Project

Over the past five years, 16 CVPA alumni were granted awards anywhere from $2,500 - $5,000 to support the creation of a new artistic work for projects in film, dance, visual art, music, and game design.

Former Winners of the YACP Award Appearing at Mason this February

Jada Salter, 2021-2022 YACP Winner

Attend a screening of Just The Two of Us, with Filmmaker and Mason alumna Jada Salter (Bachelor of Arts, 2020) on Saturday, Feb. 03 at 7 p.m.

Carlehr Swanson
Carlehr Swanson, 2022-2023 YACP Winner

Join Mason alumna, Carlehr Swanson (Bachelor of Music, 2019), for a concert of her newly released EP Growing Pains on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m.

Project Information

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 three 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 2014 and after.

  • Alumni 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 alumni 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 a public presentation 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 or Mason-run online platform. Size/length/duration/magnitude/content are at the artist’s discretion, however the project's feasibility 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 2025-2026 academic year and season (roughly September 2025 through June 2026). The public presentation could take many formats, from a work-in-progress showing to a fully-produced performance or exhibition, including but not limited to presentations in the digital sphere.

Have Further Questions?

Please contact Vic Adebusola if you have further questions or would like to schedule a meeting time.

Application Information

Applications for the 2023-2024 year are now closed. Mark your calendars for late April 2024 for the opening of the 2024-2025 application cycle. Sign up to be notified when the application form becomes available.

The online application includes a project summary, list of the creative team, discussion of career impact budget, and work samples. Be sure to access the application via the link above for more details about each of these sections before writing your application.


A faculty and staff panel will review the applications and 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

Based on the work samples, does the applicant exhibit strong creative and technical skills, related to their discipline ​​​​​​​

Strength of Proposal

Based on the materials submitted, does the project: 

  • exhibit a strong artistic vision 
  • embody original and creative thinking   
  • Include all of the requested pieces of information in the appropriate formats

Potential Impact on the Artist’s Career

  • Based on the project summary and creative team biography, would receiving this support advance the applicants’ career in a significant way? 
  • Does the applicant need an opportunity to launch them to the next step in their career? 
  • Will the financial and project support provided offer meaningful assistance to the creation of the new work?

Feasibility of Completion

  • Based on the project summary and creative team bios, what is the likelihood that the applicant(s) will be able to complete the project, on time and on budget? 
  • Does the applicant(s) have a track record of successfully producing work? 
  • Is the project budget realistic and comprehensive? 

The Young Alumni Commissioning 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 previous Giving Day, including Shugoll Research. Young Alumni Commissioning Project recipients may receive up to $5,000 in commissioning funds; as well as venue, production, and marketing support for a public showing of the work.

Mosaic tile
Previous Years' Winners

Past presentations have included the following:

in-person performances and exhibitions:

  • A concert given by Juan Megna (and the Juan Megna Group) of his upcoming album Mariwô Project on Mason's Fairfax campus.
  • Screening of Kyle Finnegan's new documentary short, MSG: Mysterious Savory Grains on the Fairfax campus.
  • Valerie McKennas photography exhibition, Albright, displayed in the Buchanan Gallery on Mason's Fairfax campus.
  • Kevin Elam's Album Release Concert.

Digital showcases:


Header: Kevin Elam, a 2021 YACP winner, performing music from his full-length album of Irish traditional music called If I Were a Small Bird.