Picture of Duke's Rubenstein Arts Center
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Duke Arts

“An Extremely Open-Ended Grant”: Using the Benenson Award to Fund Diverse Arts Opportunities

In this interview with Duke Arts, Jess Chen ’20 reflects on her experience as a two-time Benenson Award in the Arts recipient and offers advice to students applying for the award. “My two summer experiences were very different, but that’s the advantage of the Benenson: it is an extremely open-ended grant,” she says.

Each year, Duke University grants Benenson Awards in the Arts, which provide provide funding for fees, travel, and other educational expenses for arts-centered projects proposed by undergraduates (including graduating seniors). Ahead of the 2022 Benenson Awards application deadline on Monday, March 14, we spoke with Jessica (Jess) Chen ’20, who received the award twice: the first time, to fund an internship in Venice at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum (PGC); the second, to fund her participation in the Clazz International Music Festival. Jess is currently a critic based in Berlin on the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) fellowship.