The American Composers Forum (ACF) champions composers and other creative musicmakers, and boosts their careers with professional opportunities. Our Jerome Fund for New Music (JFund) supports the creation, presentation, and subsequent life of a new work. About 10 grants are available: up to $7,000 for the composer or primary artist’s time to create the work, and up to $1,500 to help make it happen and further its potential.
The 2014 JFund's complete guidelines and application can be found here.
JFund welcomes applicants from the whole range of musical paths and is committed to supporting a diverse pool of artists.
• Open to emerging artists who are at an early stage in their career, under-recognized, with no national reputation, few professional accolades, and no more than a handful of paid commissions.
• Primary artists must reside in Minnesota or the five boroughs of New York City. Project partners may be based anywhere in the world.
• Applicants (primary or partners) may only be a part of one application.
• Previous winners of Jfund (formerly JCCP) awards may apply as long as they were more than two years ago and final reports have been submitted.
• Students may apply if their samples and proposal are beyond the scope of accredited course work.
• Projects may take place in a worship setting but not be premiered during a religious service.
• Jfund administrative staff members are ineligible.
• ACF membership is not required for Jfund applicants, but is strongly encouraged in order to keep informed about future opportunities.
• Proposed works should be at an early stage in their development, and must not be finished by the time of application. Works must be scheduled to premiere after November 30, 2014. Supported projects must be completed within five years of the award date.
The primary artist (not limited to those who self-identify as a “composer” but eligible to all kinds of artists who create original music) applies with a third party (such as a performing group or a presenter who commits to producing the finished work). The primary artist needs to be at an “emerging” level in her/his career: neither a student (except in certain circumstances) nor a well-established professional. The proposed project should be a significant artistic and professional leap: a risky but logical next step that will mark a new level of accomplishment.
• Quality of musical materials, showing singular artistic voice and vision.
• Significance of the project to the primary artist’s career.
• Well articulated compositional planning and overall thoroughness of project.
• Level of commitment by project partners to presenting and furthering the work.
• Relevance of the Enhancement Funds to deepen the work and further the artist’s career.
• The final pool will reflect a range of artists and projects, diverse in genre, gender, and racial origin.
Awards – judged by a panel of artists – are competitive and based on outstanding quality of work, personal musical voice, and exceptional potential to make a difference. Since its founding in 1979 the program, funded by the Jerome Foundation, has made hundreds of awards and helped launch many careers.
2013 JFund Recipients:
• Greg Brosofske (Minneapolis) will write a one act opera for Bradley Greenwald — “Henry and Mr. Bones, Six Scenes from the life of John Berryman,” in October, 2014
• Alexei Casselle (Minneapolis), an experimental hip-hop MC, will create Carnelian, an album of new work with Stephen Lewis, and take the live version on national tour.
• John Keston (Minneapolis) will document “Duets for Synthesizer and _____”, binaural recordings of live performances at acoustic sound sculptures in England and Denmark in combination with analog synthesizers. An example of the work titled “Duet for Synthesizers and Mobile Conductor” will be performed at St. Paul’s Strange Attractors Festival.
• Kathy McTavish (Duluth), cellist, composer, and multimedia artist, will create “høle in the skY” for Zeitgeist new music ensemble, to be presented in Studio Z, St. Paul, May 2014, and in Duluth, Fall, 2014.
• Troy Herion (Brooklyn) will create “A Period of Animate Existence”, a 75 minute music theater spectacle for double choir, ensemble, and visual technology to be premiered by Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre in November 2015.
• Shawn Jaeger (New York) will compose “The Carolina Lady”, a solo baritone saxophone piece, for Ryan Muncy of Ensemble Dal Niente, to premiere at the NASA National Conference in Illinois, March 2014.
• Jascha Narveson (Brooklyn) will write “Flash Crash” for cellist Ashley Bathgate and live electronics, to be performed at the Detroit Institute of Arts, DROM and Joe’s Pub, and at MASSMoCA for the Bang on a Can Summer Festival.
• Gity Razaz (Brooklyn) will create “Abraham in Flames/Elegies of the Earth”, a full concert length song cycle/opera on the poetry of iconic Iranian writer Ahmad Shamlou, with librettist Niloufar Talebi, presented by VisionIntoArt at The Stone in May 2014.
• Erin Rogers (Brooklyn) will write “Mother Earth” for Andrea Lee Smith, flute/vocals, and the New Thread Saxophone Quartet, to premiere at Weill Recital Hall, June 5, 2014.
• Conrad Winslow (Brooklyn) will write “Modern Design” – a multi-movement suite concerning various design principles – for the Cadillac Moon Ensemble which will record it and give multiple performances.
• Gabriel Zucker (Brooklyn) will create “The Evergreen”, an hour-long work for a new 10-piece ensemble to premiere at Spectrum NYC.
Click here for a list of more past winners.