History

Throughout its history, Jerome Foundation has supported artists and arts organizations, primarily in Minnesota or New York City, for a variety of purposes. At all times, however, it has honored Jerome Hill’s legacy and values, supporting artists and organizations that promote innovation, risk, experimentation, curiosity, creativity and clarity of purpose.

Studio Museum AIR: Autumn Knight, Andy Robert, Julia Phillips. Photo by Texas Isaiah.
Michael Richards, Are You Down?, Franconia Sculpture Park. Photo by Glenn Gordon.
Michael Richards, Franconia Sculpture Park. Photo by Glenn Gordon.

General Program

From 1964 through 2017, the General Program awarded 3,947 grants totaling $88,319,830 in support of nonprofit arts organizations and fiscal sponsors

applying on behalf of artists for the creation, development, and production of new works by emerging artists in New York City and Minnesota.

Photo by Xuan Wang (2016 Literature, China)
Photo by Xuan Wang (2016 Literature, China)

Travel and Study

From 1986 through 2018, the Travel and Study Grant program awarded 1,109 grants totaling $3,875,8721 to emerging artists and Minnesota-based arts administrators to travel and do research.

A History of the Jerome Foundation

May 1964

The Avon Foundation (which later becomes Jerome Foundation), created by artist and philanthropist Jerome Hill, submits Articles of Incorporation to the State of Minnesota, and is recognized as a Nonprofit Corporation. The Foundation is given a broad charitable purpose and its duration defined as perpetual.

Six grants are made in its first year, including three supporting filmmakers and filmmaking, an area in which Jerome Hill has experience and to which he is highly committed.

Establishing the Avon Foundation
1965

The Foundation makes its first grant to an individual, filmmaker Stan Brakhage, in the form of an annual fellowship, initiating a long period of support for Anthology Film Archives, New York City.

Stan Brakhage, 1971. Courtesy Anthology Film Archives. Photo by Mike Chikiris.
Stan Brakhage, 1971. Courtesy Anthology Film Archives. Photo by Mike Chikiris.
1968–1972

Ten to twenty grants are authorized each year in New York, Minnesota, and other areas of the country to arts and humanities organizations and individuals whom Jerome Hill knows and wishes to support.

The Foundation provides support for the design and construction of a Film Repertory Theatre in The Public Theatre, New York City, conceived by Anthology Film Archives to show experimental and avant garde film in an optimal viewing environment.

Photo courtesy Anthology Film Archives.
Photo courtesy Anthology Film Archives.
November 1972

Jerome Hill dies after completing his cinematic memoir, Film Portrait.

Jerome Hill, Film Portrait.
1973

The name of the Foundation is changed from Avon to Jerome Foundation.

1974

In its first decade, the Foundation makes 180 grants totaling $3,357,000.

The grantmaking program focuses on the arts and humanities in Minnesota, surrounding states, and the five boroughs of New York City. The Foundation states an interest in developing promising young artists who have the potential for making significant contributions to the arts and humanities.

1976

The Foundation’s longest record of annual support for one program begins with a commitment of $1,800 for playwrights’ fellowships to The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Playwrights Center Jerome Fellowships continue to be offered each year by the Center.

Many Voices Fellow Josh Wilder introducing a scene from his play Leftovers, The Playwrights’ Center. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.
Many Voices Fellow Josh Wilder introducing a scene from his play Leftovers, The Playwrights’ Center. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.
1977

The Foundation defines its objectives as the encouragement of experimental, innovative and creative endeavors in the arts and humanities, and the promotion of the arts and humanities as integral parts of American life. The term “emerging” is first used to describe the Foundation’s focus on artists who have the potential for making significant contributions but have not yet achieved recognition in their chosen fields. This focus continues.

1978

The Foundation’s support for emerging filmmakers in New York City is structured as an annual program, with an open application and independent panel review process, providing production grant awards to individuals. Among the first projects to be supported is Lizzie Borden's Born in Flames. The New York City Film and Video Program continues to this day.

Lizzie Borden, Born in Flames
1979

The Foundation solidifies its focus on the commissioning of new music by emerging composers with a grant to the Minnesota Composers Forum (now The American Composers Forum) for the Composers Commissioning Program. Commissioning and supporting new work has been a dominant interest of the Foundation in all program areas, continuing to the present day.

Vijay Iyer, Jerome Composers Commissioning Program, American Composers Forum. Photo by Berhard Ley.
Vijay Iyer, Jerome Composers Commissioning Program, American Composers Forum. Photo by Berhard Ley.
1981

As a counterpart to the program for New York filmmakers established in 1977, the Foundation’s support for individual emerging film and video artists in Minnesota is structured as an annual program, with an open application and independent review process. Film in the Cities operates the program through 1993, at which point the Jerome Foundation assumes operations responsibility under the name  Minnesota Film and Video Program, which continues to this day.

The Foundation begins to make grants directly to emerging choreographers and their companies, pairing that with commitments to major dance presenters for the commissioning and production of new work by emerging choreographers.

Bebe Miller, Artistic Director, Bebe Miller Company. Photo copyright Lois Greenfield.
Bebe Miller, Artistic Director, Bebe Miller Company. Photo copyright Lois Greenfield.
1982

Recognizing that significantly increasing numbers of artists were working in and across multiple arts disciplines, the Foundation signals its support by creating a multidisciplinary funding category.

1984

In its second decade, the Jerome Foundation makes 699 grants totaling $9,868,000—tripling its grantmaking in ten years.

1984–2008

The Foundation offers funding for arts criticism, including many years of support for the Center for Arts Criticism in Minnesota, Movement Research’s Performance Journal, and the Affiliated Writers Program of Theatre Communications Group, New York City, through its American Theatre magazine.

Movement Research's Performance Journal
Movement Research's Performance Journal
1986–2018

The Travel and Study Grant Program is created to award grants to Minnesota individuals to travel for the purposes of study, exploration, and growth. In 2006, the program expands to include artists from New York City. The program is discontinued in 2018.

Nung-Hsin Hu, Travel and Study 2017.
Nung-Hsin Hu, Travel and Study 2017.
1990

The Foundation defines an emerging artist as one who is at an early stage of career development, one who has not received recognition from other artists and arts professionals, and one who has a limited, yet promising, production record. In 2017, this definition is further refined.

1992

The Foundation places the emerging creative artist at the center of its grantmaking and prioritizes programs that are artist-driven.

1994

In its third decade, the Jerome Foundation makes 1,260 grants totaling $17,592,000.

2000

The Foundation’s support for the visual arts evolves from a focus on group exhibitions of works by emerging artists to a deeper engagement represented by fellowships, solo and two-person exhibitions, commissions, project grants, and residencies.

Michael Richards, Are You Down?, Franconia Sculpture Park. Photo by Glenn Gordon.
Michael Richards, Are You Down?, Franconia Sculpture Park. Photo by Glenn Gordon.
2004

In its fourth decade, the Jerome Foundation makes 1,918 grants totaling $33,293,000.

2009

Based on extensive evaluation of the contemporary music field, Jerome Foundation expands its parameters of support for composers and sound artists to include a broader full range of musical sound including classical, experimental, jazz, sound art, and hybrid styles.

Matana Roberts, Coin Coin score.
Matana Roberts, Coin Coin score.
2010

The Foundation expands its literature funding in New York City through publication, residencies, mentorships, and fellowships.

2013

The Jerome Foundation and the Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France, both created by Jerome Hill, enter a cooperative working arrangement as a three-year experiment, sharing staff and board leadership.

The Camargo Foundation
The Camargo Foundation
2014

In its fifth decade, the Jerome Foundation makes 1,267 grants totaling $25,800,000 as of January 2014.

The Foundation broadens its film and video production grant program to include digital works for virtual environments, open to artists working in the genres of experimental, narrative, documentary, and animation.

Additional partnership initiatives to encourage artist residencies in Cassis are created under an umbrella structure, Jerome@Camargo.

2016

The Jerome Foundation launches its Composer/Sound Artist Fellowship, supporting self-designed fellowships to further the creative development of emerging composers and sound artists.

Fellow Imani Uzuri. Photograph by Petra Richterova.
Fellow Imani Uzuri. Photograph by Petra Richterova.
2017

The Board of Directors approves a new strategic framework: confirming the Jerome Foundation’s support of early career/emerging artists and its geographic focus on Minnesota and the five boroughs of New York City.

The Jerome Foundation announces the first round of competition for the new Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship program that offers flexible, two-year grants to support the creative development of early-career generative artists. Applications are due in 2018, with Fellows to be announced in 2019.

The Jerome and Camargo Foundations unknit their cooperative working relationship and returned to their individual autonomies, even while remaining in close contact as sibling foundations created by a common founder.

March 2018

Jerome Hill’s long-term partner, Charles “Bill” Rydell (1926–2018) dies in upstate New York.

Charles “Bill” Rydell
2018

The Jerome Foundation announces 84 grants totaling $4.16m to the inaugural recipients of its Organization Grants Program, marking the first time in memory the Foundation has used an open application process, set deadline, and peer panels to determine its organizational grants roster. Grants are awarded to arts organizations based in Minnesota or New York City who offer ongoing programs, services and activities in any discipline(s) benefitting early career artists.

Jerome Foundation formally places its archives at Minnesota Historical Society.

Members

Jerome Hill

Irving Clark

Ann ffolliott

Sheila ffolliott, Ph.D.

Mari Hill Harpur

A.A. Heckman

Cortlandt T. Hill

Louis W. Hill, Jr.

Elizabeth Driscoll Hlavka

Christine Ljungkull

Sara Maud Lydiatt-Vanier

Maud Oakes

William Russell

Maud Hill Schroll

William Sheeline

George Slade

Directors & Officers

Jerome Hill
Kate Barr
Sarah Bellamy
Philip Bither
Rodney Boren
Tom Borrup
Andrew Boss
Patricia Bratnober
Carlyle Brown
Francis D. Butler
Laurie Carlos
Yvonne Cheek
Irving Clark
Amy Cordova
Sage Cowles
Charles J. Curley
Paul P. D’Andrea
John. B. Davis
Joseph M. Finley
Gaylord Glarner
Jessica Hagedorn
Patricia Hampl
A. A. Heckman

Linda Hoeschler
Barbara Hunt McLanahan
Thelma Hunter
Daniel Alexander Jones
Seitu Jones
Catherine Jordan
Paul J. Kelly
Libby Larsen
Archibald Leyasmeyer
Cynthia Mayeda
David Mura
Gary Nan Tie
Jan Plimpton
Lori Pourier
Calogero Salvo
R. Paul Sharood
Elizabeth Streb
John D. Taylor
Preston Townley
Mark Tribe
Marcia Tucker
Ryan Wong
Charles Zelle

Presidents

Jerome Hill

Ben Cameron

Cynthia Gehrig

Al A. Heckman

Staff

Vickie Benson
Ricardo Block
Jessica Bower
Lann Briel
Andrea Brown
Sara Burstein
Robert Byrd
Patricia Davis
Mary Leone Ertel
Karen Fjorden
Venessa Fuentes

Linda Gilbert
A. A. Heckman
Carolyn Kim
Jeremy Meckler
James Meland
Rush Merchant III
Mary Meyer
Sheryl Mousley
Eleanor Savage
Chitra Vairavan