Want to produce a short film festival? Curate a photo exhibition? Showcase your culture through dance and music? Stage a musical? Create an arts-related marketing campaign for Columbia's green initiatives? Learn how to apply for a grant by reading through the links below!


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What is the Arts Initiative Student Arts Fund?

Every year, Columbia engineering, medical, economics, and history students showcase their arts to the Columbia community... And every year, we enjoy helping students such as these and from the whole of Columbia bring their projects to life. Why not try your hand at being the next Spielberg, Leibowitz, Mamet, Lang, or Hopper? Start now and give them a run for their money.

Maybe you’re brainstorming an idea for how to use the arts to build community among graduate and undergraduate Columbians? Past projects have included radio broadcasts, student television series, film festivals, photography exhibitions, musicals, cultural showcases, music videos, and literary publications. We are always looking for students who can think outside the box and reach all Columbians with their creativity.

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**2012-2013 Gatsby Application Updates**

The Arts Initiative will review Student Arts Support Fund applications for the spring 2013 semester on a rolling basis until February 25 at 5pm. Applications must be received no later than two weeks prior to your event. Be sure to submit for whichever deadline comes first - two weeks prior to the event or February 25 at 5pm. We regret that we cannot retroactively fund projects.

If you are part of a student group that has applied for multiple projects throughout the year, we encourage you now to think of your multiple projects as a season of events as we will only consider one application per group or individual applicant per semester.


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  • You must be a current Columbia student or a group comprised of at least 50% current Columbia students.
  • You may apply as an individual student OR as the representative of a student group.
  • Neither you nor any other student involved in the project can receive academic credit from any institution or department for the project. This includes senior theses and projects.
  • Columbia students must have a direct role in creating the artistic elements of the event or project.
  • The final project must be accessible and promoted to all Columbians.


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Application Guidelines

  • Your application should demonstrate a clear connection to the arts and be open to the Columbia community.
  • We strongly encourage multi-disciplinary and/or collaborative projects with other Columbia organizations and schools. Project leaders should reach out to their own colleagues, as well as students from other schools and departments to join in the project. Applicants should also reach out to similar interest groups for networking opportunities and shared invite lists.
  • The application should provide the full scope of the project including a narrative description, budget, and promotional plans.
  • If you are an individual applying for the first time, we require an in-person meeting so that we can help you through the process and answer any initial questions or address any issues you may have. Meeting requests should be submitted to with "Student Art Fund Request" in the email subject header.



  • Submit your application here. 
  • Download a sample Gatsby budget here.
  • For Gatsby recipients reference, you can download a copy of the contract here.



How much can I apply for?

Students applying as individuals may request up to $750. Columbia-recognized student groups may request up to $1,500.

Do I have to be a part of a recognized student group to be eligible to apply?

No, Columbia students working individually or with other students in a non-recognized student group may apply as individuals for up to $750.

My group is producing multiple events, may I apply for each individually?

Groups with multiple events in one semester should consider these as a 'season' and consolidate the events into one application. 

How can I use the funds?

Your application should highlight a specific amount requested and we will approve a specific line item. Past awards have supported printing costs, costumes or tech fees. We try to support items project budgets that are either germane to the art making or essential in raising awareness of the event. Please note, that, unfortunately, this award does not extend to reception nor travel costs, honoraria, or any payment for services provided by individuals outside of Lerner Tech fees.

Can I apply for funding for my thesis or senior project?

Unfortunately, no. The Arts Initaitive Student Arts Fund supports non-curricular arts projects only. Even if only one Columbia student is involved are receiving credit, such a project would not eligible.

Do I have any obligations to the Arts Initiative if I receive and accept a Student Arts Fund award?

Yes. You will be required to meet with Abigail Santner (ats2130) to review and sign an award letter. By doing so, you will agree to include the Arts Initiative logo and credit language in all marketing materials.

Will Gatsby Student Art Fund underwrite my whole project? 

Applicants are strongly discouraged from only seeking funding from the Arts Initaitive Student Art Fund. We recommend you think creatively to strategize ways to earn revenue as well as researching other funding options on campus. Past recipients have supplemented award funds with ad sales in programs, ticket sales, or a silent auction, to name a few. 


  • Calendar year 2012 recipients: Download .pdf here
  • Calendar year 2011 recipients: Download .pdf here
  • Calendar year 2010 recipients: Download .pdf here
  • Calendar year 2009 recipients: Download .pdf here
  • Calendar year 2008 recipients: Download .pdf here
  • Calendar year 2007 recipients: Download .pdf here
  • Calendar year 2006 recipients: Download .pdf here
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