The Princess Grace Foundation-USA is dedicated to identifying and assisting emerging talent in theater, dance, and film by awarding grants in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships.
During her lifetime, Princess Grace of Monaco was committed to helping emerging artists realize their career goals.
Following her death in 1982, Prince Rainier III of Monaco mobilized a group of individuals to establish the Princess Grace Foundation-USA as a tribute to her legacy.
Since then, and until his death in 2005, Prince Rainier and his children have been active in the oversight and direction of the organization. Now in its 26th year, the Foundation continues its mission to assist performing artists in honor of Princess Grace.
From its inception, the Princess Grace Foundation–USA was fortunate to have dedicated supporters, not only in Princess Grace’s family, but in her many friends and admirers including producer Gant Gaither, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, John Johnson, William Rogers, Mary Wells Lawrence, and Lynn Wyatt.
The Board of Trustees, with Robert Hausman as its first chairman, incorporated the Princess Grace Foundation-USA as a not-for-profit public charity.
Though entirely independent, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA cooperates with the Princess Grace Foundation, Monaco, founded by Princess Grace and now under the presidency of her daughter Her Royal Highness, The Princess of Hanover.
In 1984, after the initial fundraising phase was complete, financial grants in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships were awarded to artists associated with schools or companies in the dance and theater disciplines.
An arts advisory board composed of distinguished professionals in each of those fields was appointed to choose the most talented applicants as Awards winners. Advisers include Placido Domingo.
President and Mrs. Reagan were present in 1984 when the first grants were awarded during an event-filled weekend in Washington D.C., including a White House reception. The tradition continues each year as new recipients are honored at the annual Awards Gala in New York City.
Over the past 25 years, the Foundation has awarded nearly $5 million to nearly 500 theater, dance, and film artists nationwide.
It continues to fund its inaugural disciplines and has expanded its grants program to include playwriting and choreography grants within the theater and dance categories. In 1989, the Foundation added the film category to the grants program.
In 2003, the Foundation furthered the commitment to its artists by creating the Special Project Awards category. These grants, offered only to Princess Grace Awards winners, provide project-specific funding for consequential artistic opportunities. In 2008, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA formed a partnership with the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) to provide further support for Princess Grace Awards winners.
The Works in Progress Residency enables these artists to explore, experiment, and push the boundaries of their work in an environment that focuses on process over product. The Foundation hopes to foster a community network for continued support of recipients as they progress in their careers.
Awards winners who have displayed consistent excellence in theater, dance or film, have received the Foundation’s highest honor: the Princess Grace Statue Award. In addition to a monetary gift, these Awardees are presented with a bronze statuette of Princess Grace created by the Monegasque artist, Kees Verkade.
To date, forty-nine artists have received this coveted Award.