The State University of New York at Fredonia is pleased to announce the 8th annual competition for the Marion International Fellowship for the Visual and Performing Arts.  This unique opportunity is established in the Fredonia College Foundation by Cathy and Jesse Marion of Houston, Texas.   It is designed to support an artistic journey through which a creative project is developed. Applicants for the Marion International Fellowship will design a project inspired by one of the theme weeks of the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York.  The project will include a path of travel which includes the Chautauqua Institution, the Ucross Foundation of Wyoming, and at least one other of the Circle Member locations mentioned below.  The awardee will make a final presentation on the campus of the State University of New York at Fredonia.  The fellowship is administered at Fredonia by Dr. Sarah Hamilton, Associate Professor of Music.


Applicants must be current or former affiliates of one or more of the Marion Circle member organizations, in roles such as artistic or professional staff, faculty, fellows, or artists-in-residence.  You may visit the Circle Member Resources  on the Fredonia website for more information . If you have additional questions about eligibility, please contact Dr. Hamilton by email at, telephone 716.673.4631, or alternate number of 716.673.3537

Award    $18,000

Circle Member Locations

Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, Canada

Alley Theatre, Houston, TX

Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY

Springboard Schools, Abu Sir, Giza, Egypt

State University of New York, Fredonia, NY

Ucross Foundation, Clearmont, WY

Frequently Asked Questions

1.     Do I have to contact the Circle Members before I submit my application?

No.  Your application describes the journey you would like to take, explaining the project and how visits to the Circle Members would fit in.  The journey must begin with one week at the Chautauqua Institution, include at least a 2-week residency at Ucross Foundation, and conclude with a presentation at the State University of New York at Fredonia.  You must visit either the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary or the Alley Theater in Houston. Right now, we are not recommending or supporting travel to the Springboard School in Egypt.  The exact details of the journey and activities in Calgary or Houston can be worked out after you are awarded the Fellowship.

2.     How flexible is the itinerary and activity at Circle locations once the fellowship is awarded?

Quite flexible.  We understand that a creative journey may include unexpected turns.  The intention of the Fellowship is that you grow as an artist and that your journey and visits to the Circle member organizations are a part of that growth.  You are responsible for making your arrangements with the Circle members.  You may adjust your budget and itinerary as necessary throughout the year.

3.     How are the funds distributed?

In more or less three equal installments.  You will be issued a check for $6,000 at the start of the project.  When you submit expense reports with receipts or invoices for the first $6,000, we will issue a second check for the same amount.  The final installment will be paid at the conclusion of the project.  If you have cash-flow issues during the fellowship, contact Dr. Sarah Hamilton at Fredonia.

4.     How long is the residency at UCross Foundation?

2 weeks or 4 weeks.  Ucross Foundation blocks residencies in 2-week increments and offers up to 4 weeks for the Marion Fellow.

5.     What expenses are covered by the Circle members and what do I need to include in my budget?  

In brief, Ucross provides lodging and meals for the full residency.  CI provides a gate pass with access to all CI activities for the week.  You should budget for lodging and meals; although CI will provide lodging if available, that availability is very limited.  Alley and ACAD provide access to facilities, no lodging or meals.  Fredonia will provide 2 nights lodging and meals for the final presentation.  You need to budget for transportation to all sites.  You may visit the Circle Member Resources on the Fredonia website for more information on Circle Member Resources.

6.     What about collaborators? May we be co-applicants? Do all collaborators need to be visual or performing artists?  May I subcontract?

All great questions.  We do accept co-applicants, but the total amount of personal stipend is limited to $5,000.  The project must be primarily in the visual or performing arts.  A co-applicant could be a writer but the fellowship is not intended to support a writing project.  You may use the funds to pay assistants as needed, e.g. a videographer, photographer, composer, or for technical assistance.  The arrangements would be entirely between you and the assistant.   They would not be employees of SUNY Fredonia or of the Fredonia College Foundation, nor would we accept any responsibility for your contractual arrangements with them. 

7.     I’m not sure if I’m eligible to apply.  Where can I find those requirements?

Applicants must be or have been affiliated with one of the Marion Circle organizations.  See Circle Member Resources on our web page for specific eligibility requirements.  If still not sure, contact the institution with which you believe you have the affiliation.

8.     What does the final presentation at Fredonia entail?

At minimum, Fredonia provides a space open to the public for a one-hour lecture/presentation about your creative journey.  This will be scheduled for the fall semester approximately sixteen to eighteen months after the fellowship is awarded.  The presentation may or may not include some or all of a finished product.  Depending on the project, Fredonia will try to accommodate a small exhibition, workshop, or residency but cannot guarantee financial or technical support.  Please budget for travel to Fredonia.  We will provide ground transportation from Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, two nights accommodation, and meals while on campus. 

9.     How does the selection process work?

All applications are screened by a three-person panel on SUNY Fredonia’s campus.  The panel is appointed by the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.  The dean and a representative from the Fredonia College Foundation are ex-officio members of the screening committee.  The panel identifies three to five finalists for consideration by the Marion Circle member organizations.  One representative from each organization reviews the finalists and makes their recommendation to Fredonia.  Cathy and Jesse Marion have the option of requesting interviews with the finalists.  The award decision is made by the dean in consultation with the Fredonia College Foundation.  

10.What if I have even more questions?

 Contact Dr. Sarah Hamilton at  State University of New York at Fredonia: or 716-673-4631, 716-673-3537.


The Cathy and Jesse Marion International Fellowship for the Visual and Performing Arts fund is established in the Fredonia College Foundation by Cathy and Jesse Marion of Houston, Texas.  This program will be funded with an award of up to $18,000 to the applicant identified as the Marion Fellow each year.  Funds will be based on the project budget proposed and may be used for materials, travel, lodging, technical or collaborative support, and per diem expenses of the Fellow, including a personal stipend up to $5,000. 

Who May Apply

The Fellowship is administered by the State University of New York at Fredonia.  Applicants must be affiliated with one of the Marion Circle member institutions in the following ways.  Each Circle member establishes its own guidelines for eligibility:

State University of New York at Fredonia: Current full time or part time faculty, all disciplines.

Chautauqua Institution:  Current arts employees, all disciplines (seasonal, full-time and salaried artists).

Alberta College of Art and Design: Current faculty and alumni.

Ucross Foundation:  Ucross Fellows in the visual and performing arts.  Ucross residencies may occur in fall 2019 (August-December), spring 2020 (March-June), or fall 2020 (August-October), but for former Ucross fellows, three years must have elapsed between residencies.   

Alley Theater:  All current and former artistic and professional staff, visiting artistic staff, and artistic/production interns.

Purpose of the Fellowship

The Marion International Fellowship was created to connect several organizations which have been generously supported by Cathy and Jesse Marion.  It is designed to support an artistic journey through which a creative project is developed. Selected fellows will demonstrate outstanding achievement and high professional potential in the arts.  As a result of the fellowship, connections among the Circle members will be strengthened with the goal of creating new opportunities for collaborative artistic excellence.  The journey begins at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, includes a residency at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, and concludes with a presentation about the work or demonstration of the work-in-progress at the State University of New York at Fredonia.   The creative journey must include at least one additional Circle member organization: the Alley Theater of Houston or the Alberta College of Art and Design.  (Unfortunately we are not currently supporting projects at the Springboard Schools of Egypt.).

Types of Projects Considered

Projects must include the development of a work or work-in-progress of visual and/or performing arts.  Genres may include dance, theater, music, and the visual arts, but applicants should not be limited by traditional definitions of genre or discipline.  The work must be based on, inspired by, or otherwise connected to one of the Chautauqua Institution theme weeks (announced annually).  Proposals which have received the highest evaluations from the screening committee have tended to include one or more of these characteristics:

  1. interdisciplinary work or exploration
  2. focus on a contemporary issue 
  3. engagement of community or audience in some aspect of the process 
  4. creative journeys of development rather than clear paths to a finished product

 Chautauqua Institution Themes for 2020 are available here and include:


The final presentation at Fredonia must be feasible within the Fellowship budget.

Process and Deadline

The application consists of the Abstract, Project Description, and Resume.  The project description should be not more than three pages, single spaced (approximately 1500 words), and should include:

·         Identification of Chautauqua Institution theme week to which the project is connected

·         Description and purpose of proposed activity

·         Outline of creative journey path, including proposed timetable

·         Description of how the activity addresses the goals of the fellowship

·         Project budget estimate including stipend, to a maximum total of $18,000

All materials are due by March 31st, 2020.  The awardee will be notified in April.

Marion International Fellowship