The American Composers Forum (ACF) champions composers and other creative music makers, and boosts their careers with professional opportunities. ACF | create is an evolution of the Jerome Fund for New Music (JFund), which started in 1979. Through this program, ACF has made hundreds of awards and has helped launch many careers. ACF | create supports the creation, presentation, and subsequent life of a new work. Five grants are available: up to $8,000 for the composer or primary artist’s time to create the work, and up to $3,000 to help with production and promotion support. This program is for early career artists that reside in Minnesota or the five boroughs of New York City.

The American Composers Forum encourages applicants from the full range of musical styles, and is committed to supporting a diverse pool of artists whose work demonstrates strong artistic merit. Accordingly, awards for our programs will represent, as far as possible, artists and projects that are diverse in genre, gender, race, ethnicity and geography.

Current Participants

The panelists for this round of ACF | Create commissions were composers  HyeKyung Lee (Granville, OH), Ingrid Stölzel (Lawrence, KS), and Michael Woods (Clinton, NY).

David Adamcyk
David Adamcyk
PaviElle French
PaviElle French
Dana Lyn
Dana Lyn
Felipe Nieto Sachica
Felipe Nieto Sachica
Dameun Strange
Dameun Strange

ACF | create welcomes applicants from the whole range of musical paths and is committed to supporting a diverse pool of artists.

The primary artist (not limited to those who self-identify as a “composer” but eligible to all kinds of artists who create original music such as improvisers) 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 early career level in their/her/his career: neither a student nor an 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.

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 career difference. Since its founding in 1979 the program, funded by the Jerome Foundation, has made hundreds of awards and helped launch many careers.

 

ONLINE APPLICATION DEADLINE: Sunday, September 1, 2019 (11:59 PM Central)

Download a PDF of the 2019 Guidelines HERE.

Information regarding 2018 ACF | create projects can be found HERE.

AWARDS

Five artists will be awarded the following:

  • $8,000.00 commission support paid directly to the artist* across three installments for their time to create a new work. Take the size of this fee into consideration in regards to the scope (length of the work, technical demands, and number of artists required for performance) of your proposed work.
  • $3,000.00 to help with the production or promotion of the new work. ** These funds may be used before, during, or after the premiere. Scenarios might include: research, travel, consultation, preparation fees, equipment or software costs, rehearsals, workshops, space rental, collaboration costs, outreach events, touring, publication, recording, and promotion costs.

ACF does not provide a standard fee schedule. These funds are taxable income.

*A note to ensemble or organizations apply on behalf of the artist creating the work, all commission support is paid directly to the artist creating the work and is not distributed to the organization or ensemble applying on behalf of the artist.

**At the discretion of the artist creating the new work, production and promotion support funding can be paid directly to the artist or be paid to an organization and/or ensemble at the direction of the awarded artist.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Minnesota or Five Boroughs of New York City Residency
    • Primary applicants must either be U.S. citizens or non-citizen lawful U.S. permanent residents. Applicants must be legal residents of the state of Minnesota or the five boroughs of New York City and have been residents for at least one year prior to application or program participant. Proof will be required to be provided before issuing an agreement to a selected artist. Project partners may be based anywhere in the world.
  • Early Career Artist
  • Applicants are in the early stages of their creative development who have a focused direction and are actively creating new work. Applicants have yet to be substantially celebrated within their field, the media, funding circles or public at large. Applicants are vocational artists. The age of the artist is not a consideration.
  • Exclusive Application
    • Applicants (artist and partners) may only be a part of one application.
  • Sit Out Period: Two Years; Any In-progress Projects Prior to 2017 Awarded by ACF with Funding Provided by the Jerome Foundation; 2019-2020 Jerome Artist Fellows Are Ineligible
    • Winners and project partners of 2017 Jerome Fund for New Music (JFund) awards administered by ACF and 2018 ACF | create winners and project partners may not apply. Any applicant or project partner with in-progress projects awarded by ACF with funding provided by the Jerome Foundation my not apply.
  • No conflict of Interest
    • American Composers Forum and the Jerome Foundation administrative staff, board of directors, and their family members are ineligible.
  • No Student Status
    • Applicants can not be participating in any degree-granting programs (K-12, undergraduate, or graduate) in any field. Applicants who are or will be students enrolled in degree granting programs are ineligible.
  • Early Stage Works
    • 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 December 31, 2019. Supported projects must be completed within five years of the award date.
  • No premieres during religious services
    • Projects may take place in a worship setting but not be premiered during a religious service.
  • ACF membership is not required for applicants

SELECTION PROCESS

ACF staff reviews all applications for eligibility and completeness. A diverse panel of three artists familiar with a range of music will have access to all materials submitted. Panelists convene in St. Paul to make final determinations. Panelists remain anonymous until after the results are announced in early December 2019.

The American Composers Forum staff who oversee the ACF | create program do not contribute to the decision-making process or the selection of the artists. The role of the staff is to provide clarity for the review process and ensure that the panel’s review and the discussions proceed in accordance with the program’s guidelines.

KEY EVALUATION CRITERIA

Early career artists show significant potential; have some evidence of professional achievement but not a substantial record of accomplishment; and are recognized as early career artists by other artists, curators, producers, critics, and arts administrators.

  • Quality of sample materials, showing singular artistic voice and vision.
  • Significance of the project to the primary artist’s career.
  • Well articulated plan for the commission and overall thoroughness of project.
  • Level of commitment by project partners to performing, presenting and furthering the work.
  • Relevance of the Production and Promotion Support 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, race, and ethnicity.

The American Composers Forum encourages applicants from the full range of musical styles, and is committed to supporting a diverse pool of artists whose work demonstrates strong artistic merit. Accordingly, awards for our programs will represent, as far as possible, artists and projects that are diverse in genre, gender, race, ethnicity and geography.

NOTIFICATION

The panel’s decision is final and will be announced in early December 2019. Results will be posted on ACF’s website and applicants will be notified by email. After the 2019 ACF | create commissioned artists and partners are announced, all applicants will have an opportunity to set up a phone appointment with ACF’s vice president of programs for feedback from the panelists.

PROJECT PARTNERS

The Project Partner is someone other than you; typically, a performer or ensemble. If you perform in your own work, then the Project Partner needs to be a presenter or someone who will be producing the performance. This Partner provides a Commitment Letter indicating enthusiasm to perform, present, and promote the proposed work. The letter of support should describe plans for the premiere and any additional activities that increase the visibility of the work and the artist. The Project Partner can only be a part of one application and can’t partner with multiple Primary Artists (composers). Make sure your Project Partner has not agreed to be a part of another 2019 ACF | create application and are not project partners of 2017 Jerome Fund for New Music (JFund) awards administered by ACF or 2018 ACF | create project partners. Any project partner with in-progress projects awarded by ACF with funding provided by the Jerome Foundation may not serve as a project partner for 2019 applicants.

 If multiple Primary Artists (creator of original music) list the same Project Partner, the first commitment letter received/submitted with the completed application will be accepted and all other subsequent applicants will be asked to find another Project Partner.

HOW TO APPLY

The primary artist (creator of original music) completes or uploads the following in the Online Application Form:

Composer’s Personal Information (Questions 1 – 11): Name, Address, Phone, Email Address, Website Link

Questions Regarding Eligibility (Questions 12 – 15): A series of questions to confirm your eligibility for this program.

Web Links to Two Work Samples (Questions 16 – 31): Provide web links to your work samples (SoundCloud, YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive, iCloud, etc.). Make sure the web links you provide in this application remain active until December 31, 2019. If you do not wish for your work samples to be public, please make them unlisted so the committee will still have access.

Work Sample 1 makes the most critical impression on the panelists, and should represent your most distinctive and compelling musical example. Panelists will listen to four minutes of this work in the first round. If you wish them to start at a cue point other than the beginning, please indicate the start and end times for the cue for the first round in Question 17 Works Sample 1 – Frist Round Cue Start and End Times. For the second round, if you wish them to start at a cue point other than the beginning, please indicate the start and end times for the cue for the first round in Question 18 Works Sample 1 – Second Round Cue Start and End Times.

Work Sample 2 should be a complementary complete work.

Together the work samples should demonstrate the relevance of – and the primary artist’s ability to carry out – the proposed new work. (30 minutes max for both complete works) For each work sample you will be asked to provide the Title, Duration, Year of Completion, Ensemble/Performers’ Name(s) (Character Limit: 1,000), Instrumentation (Character Limit: 600), Brief Description of the Work (Character Limit: 750).

Additional Musical Materials (Questions 32 – 35): Such as scores, charts, or information that give context for listening to these works. If your work involves improvisation, describe the role you played in creating the piece. You have the option of uploading two PDFs (up to 10MB each) or providing a web link to your additional materials. Panelist will not have access to music notation, electronic music, graphic, video, or other specialized software.

Primary Artist’s Personal Statement (Question 36): A personal statement articulating the development and direction of your music, aesthetic position, and the significance of this project to you at this time. State why you consider yourself “an early career artist”. You will type directly into the application, or copy and paste it from another word processing document. (Character Limit: 3,500 with spaces)

Insights into your artistic experiences (Question 37: Two-pages maximum – PDF only – up to 10MB): This can be a biography, a list of 10 artistic experiences that have shaped you as a musician, or a resume. We would like this document to enhance your artistic statement and provide further insights into your creation of music. If you choose to list a set of 10 artistic experiences, please go deeper into details on two of the most important experiences out of the ten experiences.

Project Partner Information (Questions 38 – 47):Name/organization, Address, Phone Number, Email, Website

Upload the Project Partner Commitment Letter (Question 48): Make sure your Project Partner has not agreed to be a part of another 2019 ACF | create application and are not project partners of 2017 Jerome Fund for New Music (JFund) awards administered by ACF or 2018 ACF | create project partners. Any project partner with in-progress projects awarded by ACF with funding provided by the Jerome Foundation may not serve as a project partner for 2019 applicants.

It is highly recommended that you upload the Commitment Letter as part of your online application. If needed, the Project Partner can email the commitment letter directly to Billy Lackey, VP of Programs (wlackey@composersforum.org). If emailed, in the subject line use the following format: Composer’s First and Last Name – 2019 ACF | create Commitment Letter. The letter must be received by 12:00 PM (Central) Friday, September 6, 2019. If multiple Primary Artists (composers) list the same Project Partner, the first commitment letter received/submitted with the completed application will be accepted and all other subsequent applicants will be asked to find another Project Partner.

Proposed Work Information (Questions 49 – 51): Title, Duration, and Number of Performers

A Description of the Proposed Work (Question 52): (Character Limit: 4,000 with spaces)

A description of how you would use the $3,000 in Production or Promotion Funds (Question 53): Itemize the activities, their purpose, approximate costs, and give a timeline. (Character Limit: 4,000 with spaces)

Primary Artist Demographic Information (Questions 54 – 55): Providing this information is optional. The American Composers Forum strives to include applicants from the full range of musical styles, and is committed to supporting a diverse pool of artists in genre, gender identity, race, ethnicity, and geography. Sharing your information helps us know how we are doing and where we might improve our efforts.

Questions regarding social media, information sessions, and how you learned about this opportunity. (Questions 56 – 58)

Electronic Signature (Question 59): I have carefully reviewed the 2019 ACF | create guidelines and it contains all of the necessary information. I understand that my application must be completed by the online application deadline of Sunday, September 1, 2019 11:59 PM (Central). The American Composers Forum / ACF | create program take no responsibility for applications that are not in Submitted status at the deadline. I certify that the statements in this application are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. If I am selected for the 2019 ACF | create program offered by the American Composers Forum, I agree to abide by the policies of the ACF | create program.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

  • Entries must be submitted electronically via the SlideRoom application system on or before 11:59 PM Central on Sunday, September 1, 2019.
  • Late applications will not be considered.
  • Entries submitted by mail or other than the provided online application process, excluding the project partner support letter, will not be eligible for consideration.

INFORMATION SESSIONS

William Lackey, ACF Vice President of Programs, will conduct six 60-minute 2019

ACF | create Application Workshops online to go over the application process. These sessions will be offered online via Zoom.

Video tutorials on how to use the Zoom online meeting system can be found here:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-Video-Tutorials

2019 ACF | create Commissioning Program Information Session Dates and Times

Thursday, June 6:                11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST            Register HERE for this date.

Friday, June 28:                   5:00 – 6:00 PM CST                        Register HERE for this date.

Saturday, July 13:                12:00 – 1:00 PM CST                     Register HERE for this date.

Wednesday, July 17:          5:00 – 6:00 PM CST                        Register HERE for this date.

Thursday, August 1:            6:00 – 7:00 PM CST                        Register HERE for this date.

Friday, August 9:                  5:00 – 6:00 PM CST                        Register HERE for this date.

If you are not able to participate in one of the online session you are welcome to schedule one-on-one meeting in person at the ACF office or over the phone, with William Lackey about your application before completing it online. To schedule a meeting, please call 651.251.2833 or e-mail wlackey@composersforum.org

 

RESOURCES FOR UNLISTED LINKS: 

SoundCloud:

http://shareandembed.help.soundcloud.com/customer/portal/articles/2167144-sharing-a-private-track-or-playlist-within-soundcloud

YouTube:

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/157177?hl=en

Google Drive:

https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2494822?hl=en

QUESTIONS

The American Composers Forum encourages applicants to contact ACF staff to ask questions and discuss potential applications. For questions regarding ACF | create contact, William J. Lackey, VP of Programs at 651.251.2833 or wlackey@composersforum.org