These grants support the artistic growth of talented students in the creative and performing arts through off-campus educational experiences, either at a formal educational institution or through structured practical hands-on exposure, in the United States or abroad (when travel is allowed), for a summer or a semester. We encourage Catron grant recipients to enhance their talents through academic or studio classes, structured hands-on experiences, or a combination of the two. Although the number of awards and funding amounts vary, the maximum awarded is $5,000.
IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR 2021: To be prudent, the Charles Center is assuming that all projects will need to be carried out virtually in Summer 2021 to maintain campus health and safety, without access to campus labs, and not requiring direct contact with human research subjects or travel. In addition, all students receiving summer research grants are required to abide by William & Mary travel guidelines. At this time, both domestic and international travel continues to be suspended.
Note: You can only apply for and receive one Charles Center funded research grant per summer (this includes Monroe Scholar funding, as well as the Charles Center Summer Research grants).
Continuing undergraduate sophomore and juniors in good standing are eligible to apply. Academic credit may be awarded for the work, but this is not required.
The application components are detailed below
- Proposal (maximum of 2, single-spaced pages)
- Personal Statement (maximum of 1, single-spaced page)
- Banner Transcript
- Samples of your creative work made accessible online
- One letter of recommendation
Applications for summer 2021 were due by 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 14, 2021.
The following are illustrations of possible activities. Note that these examples are descriptive, not prescriptive.
- Visual art students may elect to take off-campus studio classes, intern at a museum, or tour specialized museums under the guidance of an expert.
- Creative writing students might attend a writer's residency, workshop, or conference.
- Music students might decide to enroll in off-campus master classes, take part in a music festival, or intern with a professional orchestra.
- Theatre students who are playwrights, actors, directors, or designers may seek funding to participate in off-campus internships, productions, workshops, or classes.
How to Apply
- Discuss your project or program proposal idea with a faculty member who will write your recommendation letter. Make sure the faculty member knows the application deadline.
- Access the online application (will be active when the application opens for summer 2022) and create an account using your email.wm.edu address.
- Select Catron Grant for Artistic Development as the program for which you are applying.
- Fill out the application form and upload the required documents (proposal, budget, personal statement, transcript).
- Post samples of your work online and make the post accessible through a link: You will provide this link in the online application form.
- Register your recommender online. Your recommender will submit your letters through the online system. Once you have done this, the recommender will receive an email with instructions on how to submit the letter. Please ask your recommender to look for this email (it may go to a spam folder). You will be able to log into the system to see if the letter has been submitted. You may submit your application before the letter has been uploaded. Visit the FAQs page for more information on recommendation letters.
Be sure to read the FAQs page for all Charles Center Summer Scholarship applications for further information, including who to contact for help preparing your application and the process of applying.
Travel Policies and Student IRB
Please read the Charles Center Student IRB and Travel Policy webpage. All posted policies apply to the Catron Grant.
To be prudent, the Charles Center is assuming that all projects will need to be carried out virtually in Summer 2021 to maintain campus health and safety, without access to campus labs, and not requiring direct contact with human research subjects or travel. Please address this in your proposal accordingly. The last question asks you to consider what would be possible if conditions return to normal.
The statement must be uploaded (as a PDF) into the online application.This statement should be no more than 2 pages, single-spaced. The statement needs to describe in detail the endeavor itself. The strongest applicants will demonstrate prior educational experiences that will help make the project a success.
In addition, it should include the following information:
- Your goals for the endeavor
- How this will contribute to your creative development
- Your qualifications (academic or other) to carry out the endeavor, including any recognition achieved for your previous work
- An explanation of how you have explored the available offerings in your project area at William & Mary
- The project timeline
- The materials and resources you need to carry out the project
- Your plan for how, upon your return to campus, you will share with faculty and fellow students the insights you have discovered
- What modifications would you make to this project if the pandemic ends before summer and you can travel, work indoors on campus, meet people face-to-face, etc.?
The budget must be uploaded (as a PDF) directly into the online application. The budget should be detailed (itemized when possible) and cover the period of the project, including any program costs.
The personal statement must be uploaded (as a PDF) into the online application. The statement should be no more than 1 single-spaced page. In the statement you should reflect on the factors that have influenced your artistic development and your goals both before and after graduation from William and Mary.
Upload an unofficial, W&M Banner transcript (screen shots are fine), including your current registration. If you studied abroad or completed other off-campus academic work, please upload those transcripts, too.
Samples of Creative Work
Your samples should be uploaded online and made accessible through a link that you will provide on the online application form. Depending on the type of creative work, you may choose to upload videos to YouTube, post your materials on a blog, or use google docs or dropbox to make your materials accessible. Other types of sites for music or photographs are also acceptable. You must have at least one of their recommenders review your sample materials prior to submitting the application. It is up to you to make sure that committee members reviewing the applications can access your materials through the link you provide on your application.
You must have your recommender review your sample materials prior to submitting the application.
- Visual artists should submit 5 images of their work.
- Applied music students should submit a 5-10 minute recording with selections that best demonstrate their performance abilities.
- Creative writers should submit a writing sample of 15-20 double-spaced pages in the same genre as the project being proposed.
- Filmmakers should submit a 5-10 minute highlight reel and provide an explanation of each sample (what the assignment was and if applicable, the applicant's role on the production, etc.). The explanation can be included as a voice-over in the video or submitted separately in written form (using google docs, dropbox, a blog, etc) to make it accessible online.
- Theatre and dance students should submit a 5 minute highlight reel which illustrates their technical ability and capability to carry out the proposed project. This may be an existing video or one created specifically for this application.
Letter of Recommendation
An applicant for a Catron Scholarship is required to have one letter of recommendation from a William & Mary faculty member who knows the applicant and their work well. The letter should indicate the length of time and context in which the faculty member has known the student.
In the recommendation, in addition to commenting on the applicant’s intellectual and academic strengths, the author should evaluate the student’s potential for success in carrying out the proposed creative endeavor. These letter is due by the application deadline.
All Catron grant applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee consisting of representatives from the departments of Art & Art History; Creative Writing; Music; and Theatre, Speech & Dance.
Congratulations to the 2020 Catron Scholarship recipients.
You can now view a virtual gallery of the 2020 Catron recipients' work.
Quan is researching a project on traditional Asian styles of theatre in hopes to answer questions about his own Asian identity. Quan is focusing on putting his thoughts into praxis by writing his own work. Quan will also be taking online courses and workshops that will help to introduce new skills and materials to draw upon for his own show.
Elizabeth is completing a two week online course at New York Studio School’s drawing marathon, working under the teachings of NYSS founder Graham Nickson. She will work from 9-5 each day on wall-size drawings, completing an intensive and immersive exercise as a draftsmanship. As a draftsmen, the NYSS drawing marathon offers an excellent challenge in large-scale and intensive drawing that will expediently advance her skills and experience.
Emily is attending an online, intensive course for five weeks at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation about their decision to conduct their Introduction to Architecture Program. The classes will cover design, theory, and history of architecture. The program will be the ideal opportunity to grow her architectural skills and digital portfolio for graduate school.
Norah will attend online art workshop provided by New York Academy of Art and the New York Studio School. One in particular is with prominent figurative artist Alyssa Monks, “Painting: Transcending the Photo Reference.” This workshop featured inspiring lectures and insightful techniques used by Monks in her vibrant pieces.
Alex is primarily working one on one with professional ballroom dancer Ms. Diane O’Neal this summer. They are working on translating her knowledge in partner dancing ballroom into solo ballroom. She is developing the necessary techniques and skills to teach this form of dance to W&M Ballroom this coming semester.
Natalie plans to attend the NYU Steinhardt Summer Songwriting Virtual Workshop for two weeks and Berklee College of Music online classes for twelve weeks called “Producing Songwriting Demos with Logic.” Her goal is to become a stronger songwriter and begin the project with recording and producing demos of her original music.
Jingxin is attending a customized mentorship program this summer with four prominent photographic artist/educators. She will work most closely with two of them, but will receive guidance and feedback from all four on her artistic research.
Yaxi is attending a customized mentorship program this summer with four prominent photographic artist/educators. He will work most closely with two of them, but will receive guidance and feedback from all four on his artistic research.
The Catron fund was established for Dr. Louis E. Catron, Professor of Theatre Emeritus, who taught courses and directed productions in the theatre department at William and Mary from 1966 to 2002.