The James P. Gray II Art Appreciation Travel Fund supports a capstone experience for Gaines Fellows, the major purpose of which is to study contemporary art in a major U.S. city. Since the inception of the Gray Travel Fund, this purpose has been realized in one of the world's art capitals, New York City, allowing Fellows to experience some of what an alpha world city—a city with global influences in media, politics, education, commerce, entertainment, and fashion—has to offer.
The itinerary broadens and enhances the Fellows' appreciation of many art forms, and typically includes visits to a number of major museums as well as many Chelsea galleries. Fellows enjoy live performances of theater, dance and music and a special tour of Harlem and its iconic Apollo Theater. Fellows describe the experience as a transformative immersion into the arts and those who move to NYC for graduate and professional programs often remark that the Gray Art Experience helped them acclimate to the culture of this global city.