Julie Mayo, Movement Research. Photo by Whitney Browne.

What kinds of artists does the Jerome Foundation support?

What kinds of artists does the Jerome Foundation support?

The Foundation’s highest priority is to support artists early in their careers who create work that is and/or has the potential to be:

  • Compelling—offering distinctive vision and authentic voice;
  • Deeply considered, imaginative, and executed with attention to craft and with technical proficiency, providing artistic experiences that communicate unique perspective/s, and invite viewers to question, discover, explore new ideas in new ways;
  • Innovative and risk-taking—engaging, questioning, challenging or re-imagining conventional artistic forms. Innovation and risk-taking are Jerome Foundation values that reflect our interest in supporting artists from diverse backgrounds and experiences who are expanding ways of working, asking questions,and inspiring new ways of imagining.


Eligible artists for our programs...

  • are in the early stages of their creative development with 2-10 years of generative experience, and:
    • 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 enrolled in any full-time degree-granting programs (K-12, undergraduate, graduate) in any field
  • are generating* and creating entirely new work† (rather than interpreting, translating, arranging, copying, remounting pre-existing work or the work of others) as one or more of the following:
    • choreographer (in the field of dance)
    • director film/video or new media artist creating computational, interactive, digitally distributed work (in the fields of film/video or new media)
    • fiction writer, poet, or creative nonfiction writer (in the field of literature)
    • composer, sound artist, vocal composers, creators of new original music (in the field of music)
    • playwright, primary creator of devised work, performance artist or spoken word artist (in the fields of theater, performance art or spoken word)
    • painter, sculptor, drawer, printmaker, public installation artist, social practice, conceptual, installation, graffiti, textile, ceramics, glass, bead, metal, paper, and photography and digital video or film that is presented in exhibition or installation context (in the field of visual arts)

* Generative artists are those who conceive and create new original work (e.g., choreographers, composers, playwrights and devisers, filmmakers, writers, visual artists, etc.). Jerome does not fund artists who solely perform or develop/produce the work of others (e.g., dancers, musicians, actors, editors, journalists, etc.)

† New original work has been created and developed by the artist from concept to completion and is not a remount, revival, or interpretation of previously existing material.

The Foundation’s goal is to serve a spectrum of artists typically in their 2nd to 10th 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).

Artists who have been in the field for longer than 10 years (excluding any time in a degree-granting program; as a dancer in work created by others; remounting the work of other choreographers; or time away from working as an artist due to circumstances–e.g., having children, caring for family members, long-term illness, etc.) are generally not eligible, even if they feel under-recognized.

Age is not a determining factor. Career stage is assessed by the cumulative number of years an artist has been generating their own work. Mid-career or established artists shifting from one artistic discipline to another will not be considered early career. For example, a composer with a substantial career in music who is now moving into film will not be considered early career.

The Foundation has defined the 2–10 year span recognizing that some artists may experience enormous success and move past early career status well before their 5th year or 10th year. We know that the number 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 10th year and still be on the spectrum of early career status due to taking time out of active artistic practice for school or other circumstances. Our use of early career 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.