Kozakov Foundation Arts Fellowship

Funded by
Kozakov Foundation
Learn more about the Donor
1 winner
Application Deadline
Aug 15, 2021
Winners Announced
Sep 15, 2021
Education Level
Graduate, Undergraduate

The Kozakov Foundation aims to create a diverse, inclusive, and accessible pathway to a career in storytelling: acting, directing, producing, and screenwriting for movies, television, and theater. We deploy scholarships, grants, resources, and fellowships to ensure our history, stories, and culture are communicated authentically and meaningfully. 

The Kozakov Foundation Arts Fellowship is designed to aid a student with university tuition to pursue a career in film, theatre, or television. We know that taking on a creative career path can be a challenging pursuit and we hope that this fellowship will help you make your decision based on passion and not financial limitations or considerations. 

To be considered for the scholarship, you must be studying at a film or theatre focused university/college or majoring in a film/theatre major at a non-film or theatre-focused university/college. Preference will be given to those who demonstrate passion and/or are an underrepresented minority student. 

You must be granted enrollment into an undergraduate or graduate university. 

To apply, please submit an essay or video to tell us a bit about yourself and why you believe that pursuing a creative degree will help make a positive impact on the world. Please also feel free to submit some work from your portfolio.

Selection Criteria:
Essay Topic

Please tell us a bit about yourself and why you believe that pursuing a creative degree will help make a positive impact on the world. (You may submit a 3-5 minute video in lieu of a written essay)

50–600 words

Winning Application

Abbey Rhyne
Sarah Lawrence CollegeBronxville, NY
I think theatre can change the world, and I want to be a part of that. There is nothing I love more than performing. It sets my soul on fire and changes something in me in a way nothing else does because I love sharing other people’s stories. Whether those stories are purely entertaining, or they are intense and providing a strong message, I love giving a voice to people whose stories may otherwise go untold. In my mind, art is not only what brings us together and entertains us, but it can be a catalyst for change. When I was 10, I was invited to audition for Annie and from the moment I stepped onto the stage, I absolutely fell in love with everything about theatre. Up until that moment I was very seriously considering becoming a hotel maid or tennis ball boy but standing under the lights something inside me clicked and I just knew this was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. As I grew older, one of my mentors started to refer to me as “a great storyteller.” The more I heard that phrase, the more it made sense to me, and now it’s more than just words, it’s who I am. But it wasn’t just the lights and the stage and the music, it was knowing I could be a part of creating theatre and film pieces that have a lasting effect on our society and each individual who encounters them. I’ve been lucky to be involved in many new works in Nashville, and I want that to be something I’m involved with for my entire career. I am highly interested in innovative pieces, and I want to push boundaries and explore new ideas. My passion for new plays was sparked when I joined a theatre company at age 11 that focused on producing new works. We did shows about grief, teen suicide and depression, terminal illness, racism, bullying and so much more. Not only was it a really unique and special experience to originate roles and tell stories no one had heard before, but it also proved to me that art could have a lasting effect on the world. There were shows I was a part of where people would come up to me to let me know this story quite literally changed their life. I watched people walk away from those shows with new perspectives and beliefs, armed and ready to take on those tough conversations and make a change themselves. I wanted to be doing this forever. With each stage of life, I will get new opportunities to tell different stories, from different perspectives and with the well-rounded skills I learn in school, I hope to be making art well into my 80s. At 17 years old I sat in a Broadway theater and watched Elaine May shine in The Waverly Gallery. She was 86 years old at the time and never missed a single show. She was stunning. I remember the curtain going down, walking away in awe and thinking, “That is exactly what I want to be doing when I’m 86.” I want to look back on my long history of creating theatre and film pieces and see that they’ve had a lasting effect on our society and each person who encountered them. Art is ever changing and evolving, and I am beyond excited to see where it is years from now and how I’ve helped shape my little piece of it. I want to spend my life using advocacy through art to change the world.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Aug 15, 2021. Winners will be announced on Sep 15, 2021.

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