Steiner Visitor Invitation Grants

Currently Accepting Applications

Apply Here


The Sylvia and David Steiner Speaker Series brings creative practitioners who push boundaries, defy definition, and demonstrate excellence in all aspects of the arts, to our campus for deep engagement with our students and faculty. The series is administered by the STUDIO with the assistance of an advisory committee comprised of faculty from around the university. 

For the 2022-23 school year, the STUDIO invites members of the CMU community to bring a guest lecturer of their choice to virtually visit CMU. Limited support is also available for in-person visits; please see details below. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to nominate guests who align with the goal of the Steiner Speaker Series: to bring creative individuals to CMU who share diverse perspectives and interdisciplinary expertise in the arts, and who address our current moment in timely ways. We strongly encourage proposals to bring visitors who identify as women, BIPOC, and/or LGBTQIA+. 

We welcome proposals to bring guests to visit CMU courses, degree programs, departments, and organizations. For virtual visits, each visitor will receive a $500 honorarium, as well as the administrative support of the STUDIO to make their visit a success. For in- person visits, the STUDIO provides funding at $1,000 or $2,000 levels according to need and availability. The STUDIO may also assist with booking your guest’s travel and stay. Visits often require collaboration between multiple departments to fully fund your guest’s visit.

As an example, guests have been brought to:

  • give a presentation via Zoom about their creative work
  • deliver a lecture about the history or theory of a topic
  • lead a workshop in some creative technique
  • participate in a critique, review, or charrette
  • facilitate a guided discussion with students

Please note!…

The STUDIO is able to support a very limited number of in-person visits from artists and scholars. These types of visits take more time to arrange and you are encouraged to apply as early as possible in your process.

Terms and Conditions

  • For virtual visits our expectation is that the $500 grant will be used for an honorarium. 
  • The STUDIO is able to support a limited number of in-person visits from artists and scholars. These will be supported at fixed amounts of $1,000 or $2,000, if the funds are not used in full they will be made available to future applicants. 
  • Applications include a CMU student facing experience (such as a course, department, degree cohort, or student club) and be proposed by someone with a current CMU affiliation. Applications from students may require the endorsement of an advisor. Proposals from alumni groups or organizations outside of CMU will not be considered.
  • Nominations for proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis. They will be reviewed every two weeks, until funding runs out for the semester or the deadline listed in the application. Selections will be made by the STUDIO’s staff in collaboration with a group of advisory faculty from the College of Fine Arts.
  • Applicants may only be awarded one event per semester. If rejected the applicant is eligible to apply again with a different proposal.
  • Visits must prioritize student contact with the invited guest. Non-student facing visits will not be considered.
  • In the case that you invite a foreign national or nonresident alien, please note that your visitor’s honorarium may be subject to tax withholding and reporting, unless there is a treaty between the foreign national’s home country and the U.S., and if the individual is qualified to take advantage of the treaty.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do the lectures need to be public? No (but we love public events!). It’s totally fine if the visitor conducts a private visit to a class, but we’re also happy to provide financial and logistical assistance to realize open events.
  • I’m an adjunct instructor; am I eligible to apply to bring a speaker to my class? Yes.
  • Do I have to know the guest speaker personally? It can be extremely helpful, but, No; if you wish, the STUDIO can provide assistance with inviting the guest.
  • For proposals that require more than $500 what should I prepare for my discussion with the STUDIO’s Director? A detailed budget and a specific ask! If you need information or insight while making your budget reach out to Associate Director Harrison Apple prior to meeting with Nica Ross. Please note, the STUDIO frequently assists in closing the gaps in budgets that involve a guest’s travel, but less frequently is able to fully cover an entire budget. But, come, ask, with a budget for us to look at together.
  • I’m one of several graduate students in a certain Masters program. May we collectively apply as a group, to host someone for a series of critiques or virtual studio visits? Yes. A series of individual critiques with a cohort of at least (say) 6 students would be acceptable.