About the Prize

*For Current CalArts Students Only

The Tim Disney Prize for Excellence in the Storytelling Arts is a $2,500 prize that is awarded annually to one current CalArts student whose originality, courage, and excellence in storytelling illustrates the human condition and uplifts the human spirit. The prize recognizes the courage and commitment to make the world a better place, and the originality to do it through the unique powers of gifted storytelling.

Applications will be reviewed by the President, the Provost, an alumna or alumnus and two individuals from outside the Institute.


Current students may apply. Entries are subject to the following guidelines:

  • Be a student currently enrolled in a degree- or certificate-seeking program
    at CalArts.
  • Be an individual entrant only; teams will not be considered.
  • Submit only one application (including submission of original work and letter of reference) to the competition.
  • Work submitted must be the applicant’s original work. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the work submitted does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any third party, including, but not limited to copyright, trademark and design right.
  • If the work was created in collaboration with others, the applicant’s contribution to the work must specifically involve development of the story and the applicant’s role must be precisely identified.
  • The prize winner is responsible for all taxes and fees associated with prize receipt and/or use.

How to Apply

  • Complete the online application including a single electronic file (within the online application) of written, visual or enacted storytelling through drama, music, dance, poetry, film/video, and other forms of expression. Your submission must not exceed three (3) minutes in length for video or audio, 300 words for text or infographic, or three images.
  • Submit a letter of reference from a CalArts faculty member or another student. The letter may be dropped off at the Office of the Provost or emailed to Sarah Umles at sumles@calarts.edu.

Deadline and Notifications

Application deadline – April 15, 2018
Review of applications – May 2018
Notification of decision – June 2018
Announcement of prize – October 2018

Selection Criteria

The winner will be selected based on the quality of their written application in addition to their storytelling work’s quality, originality, engagement with the pressing issues in the world, captivation of the reviewers, and connection to the characters.

About Tim Disney

Through the Disney family–as the son of longtime Trustee Roy E. Disney and as the great-nephew of Walt Disney and grandson of Roy O. Disney, the co-founders of CalArts–Tim has an intrinsic bond with the Institute. He is deeply committed to the vision of CalArts as an interdisciplinary college of the arts, focused on educating the gifted students who will shape the future of art and culture. Tim has served with great distinction on the CalArts Board of Trustees since 1993 and was named Chairman of the Board in 2014.

The generous endowed support for The Tim Disney Prize comes from William Haney and Maura McCarthy.