NYSCA Independent Projects

2019 New York State Council on the Arts Grants Sponsorship

The Architecture + Design Program of the New York State Council on the Arts awards project grants for professionals in the architecture, design, and historic preservation fields through its Independent Projects Category. Individuals must apply through a nonprofit sponsor. The Architectural League welcomes anyone interested to apply through the League. The League will sponsor up to 25 individuals, accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Grants of up to $10,000 are available. Independent Project grants support creative exploration or research on an issue or problem in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, historic preservation, fashion, graphic, industrial and/or interior design, that advances that field and contributes to a broader understanding of design. Individuals or teams can apply. The category seeks projects that are innovative and emphasize artistry and design excellence; design must be at the core of any project. Projects may lead to the creation of design prototypes, provide new ideas in community design, research a topic in design or architectural history, or engage in critical or theoretical analyses. The grant may support a discrete project or part of a larger project.

Only New York State residents are eligible to apply and all applicants must provide two documents of proof of residence. Each applicant must be a professional in architecture, design, and/or historic preservation. Architectural and design historians qualify. Visual artists, even if their work references the built environment, are not eligible for support. This grant cannot support past work or current work for a client. Awarded funds must be spent during calendar year 2019. NYSCA funds cannot be used for out-of-state travel expenses.

Student projects are not eligible for support. Currently matriculated students must document that their projects are not related to the completion of a degree. Faculty in architecture or design schools are welcome to apply. However, their proposed projects must not be part of a course curriculum. Research-based studios may be eligible if the applicant can clearly make the case that the work is not related to university curriculum.

Submission Deadline & How to Apply
Please note that the League has internal deadlines different than the deadline stated on the NYSCA website. This is to allow us time to process, review, and upload your applications. Thank you for observing the League’s deadlines.

We strongly encourage you to read all information on the NYSCA website, including the program guidelines and eligibility.

A webinar by NYSCA containing helpful information on the 2019 guidelines and how to structure your project and application is now available on YouTube here. The webinar from the 2018 cycle is available here.

Download additional FAQs below.



The Architectural League is unable to provide editorial or curatorial consultation on your project. We are happy to discuss eligibility or technical questions on how to apply and what types of projects are appropriate for this opportunity. If you have any questions on the grant opportunity or how to frame your project, please contact Nick Anderson, Managing Director, at 212.753.1722 x14 or at anderson@archleague.org. You may also contact Kristin Herron, NYSCA program director at 212.459.8825 or at Kristin.Herron@arts.ny.gov before Feburary 21st to discuss your project. Following February 21, NYSCA program staff are unable to answer substantive questions about project proposals (though they can continue to respond to technical questions).

We are no longer accepting submissions for 2019 NYSCA sponsorship. Those who have been invited to complete full applications must submit their final material to Daniel Cioffi, cioffi@archleague,org, by 4:00 p.m., March 7, 2018The League additionally reserves the right to withdraw sponsorship of any applicant if he or she fails to meet the deadlines and requirements below.

Upon confirmation of sponsorship, applicants will be given full details and instructions on how to submit material. Major application requirements will include the following:


  • Completed answers to the Independent Project Questions, downloadable here,
  • Résumé or biographical statement for each applicant. You do not need to include résumés for general team members or non-essential collaborators. If you have a collaborator or consultant who will make crucial contributions for the success of the project, please include a resume for him or her.
  • Up to 15 images (or a website reference) that represent recent work and your proposed project. All images must be identified with brief captions. High resolution images are not necessary. Composite images are acceptable, but please use them sparingly. Your images should show work and experience relevant to your project. Please do not submit full portfolios.
  • For projects intended for installation in public spaces ONLY: please provide documented permission to use the site.
  • For projects involving a publication ONLY: please provide an outline and up to 5 pages of sample text.


  • You must provide two different documents from each applicant. Feel free to redact any personal information (except name and address) from these documents. The addresses on the two documents must be identical. All documentation must be valid and current through the end of the grant cycle (December 31, 2019). Complete eligibility criteria, including types of acceptable documentation, is available to download below.


New York residency proof requirements


  • List project expenses up to $10,000; an additional $750 administrative fee for sponsorship will be added to the budget. The maximum request for the grant is $10,750. If your project has a bigger budget, please clearly indicate the expenses to be paid by the NYSCA grant funds and clearly indicate the sources of additional funding. Grant funds can be used to support an individual’s time for research or production.

Additional Information
For further information about this funding opportunity, see the Architecture + Design Program’s Independent Projects Category on the New York State Council on the Arts’ website. Documentation of the range of funded projects since the program’s inception over 25 years ago, many of which were sponsored by The Architectural League, is available online at http://www.nysca.org/grant_app/org_search.cfm.