Defining
early
career/
emerging
artists

Julie Mayo, Movement Research. Photo by Whitney Browne.

What kinds of artists does the Jerome Foundation support?

The Foundation’s highest priority is to support artists who create work that is:

  • imaginative, rigorous, and well-executed;
  • technically proficient and demonstrates a high level of craft;
  • compelling and has a distinctive vision and authentic voice;
  • engaging aesthetically and experientially;
  • bold and risk-taking;
  • connecting with intended audiences/participants;
  • engaging in exploration and challenges to conventional artistic forms;
  • either expanding artistic practice within the field and arts community or shows the potential to do so in the future.

 

Eligible artists for our programs...

  • are in the early stages of their creative development

    • have a focused direction and goals, even while still developing their artistic “voice”
    • have yet to be substantially celebrated within their field, the media, funding circles or the public at large
    • are vocational (as opposed to avocational, academic, amateur or educational) artists
  • are legal residents of the state of Minnesota or one of the five boroughs of New York City and have been residents for a least one year prior to application or program participation
  • are not participating in any degree-granting programs (K-12, undergraduate, graduate) in any field
  • are generative artists who exercise final artistic, creative control in the creation of new work, and whose primary practice is centered in creation of new work through their roles as:
    • choreographers in Dance
    • film and video directors of animation, experimental, narrative or documentary in Media or Film, Video or Digital Production
    • new media/digital artists (interactive technology, web-based, virtual, interactive, etc.) in Media
    • writers of prose, poetry or creative nonfiction in Literature
    • composers in Music
    • playwrights, solo artists creating their own works, spoken word artists, performance artists and/or directors who lead or oversee the creation of devised work in Theater
    • painters, sculptors, social practice artists, installation artists, drawing, printmakers, muralists, graffiti artists, photographers, public work artists, fiber artists, clay artists and other disciplines within Visual Arts
  • expand the aesthetic or social experience in the discipline in which they work
     

 

Jerome used to use the term “emerging” and now uses “early career/emerging artists”—why?

The Foundation recognizes that the term “emerging” means different things to different people. In preparation for this program, we received over 1400 artist surveys with wildly different definitions of “emerging.” Some people said that, in this country, all artists are always emerging, and some people gave specific criteria for identifying the markers between emerging artists versus mid-career or established artists.

The Foundation’s goal is to serve a spectrum of artists typically in their 3rd to 12th year of creative practice, post-student status (if applicable). This spectrum is framed by artists with some track record of creating and presenting full work (not beginning artists), and artists who are NOT at a point in their careers where they receive consistent development and production opportunities and significant recognition, awards, and acclaim (not mid-career or established artists).

The Foundation intentionally has not defined a specific timeframe for eligibility because we recognize that some artists may experience enormous success and move past early career/emerging status well before their 5th year or 10th year or 12th year. We know that the numbers of opportunities afforded to artists may differ significantly based on discipline, race/ethnicity, class, gender, physical ability and geography among other factors. Consequently, some artists may be past their 12th year and still be on the spectrum of early career/emerging status. Our use of early career/emerging is an attempt to be clearer about the kinds of artists we are supporting. We realize the lack of a rigid definition leaves room for interpretation, but we have embraced this flexibility out of our value around diversity and in recognition of the many variables that impact artists’ careers.