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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Jerome Hill dies after completing his cinematic memoir, Film Portrait.
The name of the Foundation is changed from Avon to Jerome Foundation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In its second decade, the Jerome Foundation makes 699 grants totaling $9,868,000—tripling its grantmaking in ten years.
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.
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.
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.
The Foundation places the emerging creative artist at the center of its grantmaking and prioritizes programs that are artist-driven.
In its third decade, the Jerome Foundation makes 1,260 grants totaling $17,592,000.
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.
In its fourth decade, the Jerome Foundation makes 1,918 grants totaling $33,293,000.
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.
The Foundation expands its literature funding in New York City through publication, residencies, mentorships, and fellowships.
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.
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.
The Jerome Foundation launches its Composer/Sound Artist Fellowship, supporting self-designed fellowships to further the creative development of emerging composers and sound artists.
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.
Jerome Hill’s long-term partner, Charles “Bill” Rydell (1926–2018) dies in upstate New York.
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.
Sheila ffolliott, Ph.D.
Mari Hill Harpur
Cortlandt T. Hill
Louis W. Hill, Jr.
Elizabeth Driscoll Hlavka
Sara Maud Lydiatt-Vanier
Maud Hill Schroll
Directors & Officers
Francis D. Butler
Charles J. Curley
Paul P. D’Andrea
John. B. Davis
Joseph M. Finley
A. A. Heckman
Barbara Hunt McLanahan
Daniel Alexander Jones
Paul J. Kelly
Gary Nan Tie
R. Paul Sharood
John D. Taylor
Ryan Lee Wong
Al A. Heckman
Mary Leone Ertel
A. A. Heckman
Rush Merchant III