Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship for MFA|EDA Alumni

The Duke University Masters of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts program (MFA|EDA) and the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) are pleased to announce a new funding opportunity for MFA|EDA graduates, generously provided by Cassilhaus.

Created with the idea that travel can be transformative in the life of an emerging artist, Cassilhaus has partnered with MFA|EDA and CDS to offer recent graduates the opportunity to apply for the Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship, a biennial $10,000 travel grant that supports artistic research and practice and offers a singular opportunity to broaden artistic and cultural experience beyond the traditional educational environment. 

Working so closely with the students in the Duke MFA|EDA program has been an exceptionally rich experience for us,” said Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus of Cassilhaus, funder of the fellowship. “We have each found that extended travel can become a clarifying and illuminating pivot point in the direction of one’s life. We hope that this travel fellowship can help a recent graduate in their artistic explorations.”  MFA|EDA director Tom Rankin adds, “This support for travel for our MFA graduates provides the kind of transformative support so essential to making of new work and the evolution of deep artistic vision.  Our continued thanks go to Ellen and Frank for their nurturing support and abiding interest in the MFA|EDA.” 



All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware — Martin Buber



Entries for the 2016 Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship will be accepted from April 15 through June 1, 2016. The winner of the fellowship will be announced to the public in July 2016.

Applicants are encouraged to propose ambitious projects that would otherwise be impossible for them to undertake financially. Solo travel/study is strongly encouraged but collaborations will be considered. Participation in an artist residency program, as a component of the journey, is encouraged but not required.

You will be asked to provide the following: 10 photographs or 5 minutes total video (or a combination), a 1-page proposal, a 1-page budget, and a 1-page C.V. The application fee is $15. Beginning April 15, applicants may upload materials and submit payment online at The online system provides step-by-step instructions on how to register and submit your materials. We will only accept entries submitted through SlideRoom.

Applicants may submit a combination of images and video, for a maximum of 10 uploads:

Up to 10 images (photographs/graphics + text) in digital format. Please label images with captions, to include title, year, format.
Up to 5 minutes of video. Please label video uploads with title, year, format. SlideRoom can also accept links to YouTube/Vimeo. Include descriptive information for each image including materials, dimensions, and duration (if sample).



1-page proposal (pdf). Please provide a brief description (500 words maximum) of your proposed project that includes destinations, anticipated interactions, and objectives. The proposal should include your thoughts on how the project would advance your artistic knowledge and practice, as well as your plans for study and documentation. Discuss your qualifications and/or personal interest in the proposed project.

1-page budget (pdf). Please include costs of travel, lodging, living, equipment, supplies, and materials expenses in your budget. Awards may be used to support the recipient and proposed project only (collaborators/assistants may be included if integral to the project). Budgets should not exceed $10,000, unless additional funding has been secured from other grants or sources. (Note: Fellowships used to pay travel expenses are considered taxable income under the laws of the United States. The $10,000 award will be reported to the winner on a 1099-Miscellaneous tax form; it is the winner’s responsibility to determine tax liability.)

1-page biography or C.V. for each project partner (pdf). NOTE: If your proposal involves foreign travel, please include in your bio or C.V. the places and dates you have traveled in the past five years.

$15 application fee 



The 2016 Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship is open to graduates of the Duke University MFA|EDA program from 2013 to 2015; students graduating in 2016 and 2017 are not eligible to apply (but will be eligible for the 2018 fellowship award). Single artists as well as collaborative teams are eligible.

The winner of the fellowship will have eighteen months from the time of the award to complete their travel and project work. The Fellow(s) will make a presentation about their experiences and the work produced by no later than March 2018 (with the date set by end of December 2017). The kind of presentation (public talk and/or exhibition) and venue will be determined depending on availability but possible locations include Cassilhaus, the Power Plant Gallery, or the Center for Documentary Studies.



The applications for the 2016 Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship will be reviewed by a small jury comprised of faculty and staff from the MFA|EDA and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

The winner will be announced to the public in July 2016. The award will be made in August 2016.



How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else — R. Buckminster Fuller


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