Jerome
Hill
Artist
Fellowship

Applications Open
Feb 4, 2020
Deadline to Apply
May 6, 2020
Notification of Award
Jan 31, 2021

Jerome Hill Artist Fellow Marjani Forté-Saunders. Photo by Ian Douglas.

Steps to Apply

Please read this overview for information on the program, eligibility, the purpose of the funds, the application, the review criteria, and further application resources and contact information for Jerome Foundation.

As a starting point for applying, please read this overview and additional information in the tabs. You may also download this same information in a single PDF.

Find out more about the Fellowship Program through Information Sessions with Jerome program staff.

For questions about eligibility, please email your questions or make an appointment with program staff prior to April 15, 2020. For questions about the guidelines or the application, email or call Andrea Brown at 651-925-5615 through May 6.

2021 Program Overview

Mazz Swift with electric violin on shoulder.

Jerome Hill Artist Fellow Mazz Swift. Photo by Nisha Sondhe Photography.

Jerome Hill Artist Fellowships support Minnesota or New York City-based artists, early in their careers, who generate and create bold, innovative and risk-taking new work that explores and/or challenges conventional artistic forms.

Fellows receive $50,000* over two consecutive years ($25,000 each year) to support self-determined activities for creation of new work, artistic development and/or professional artistic career development. Fellowship funds support grantees for taking creative risks, exploring new ideas, and pursuing professional and artistic activities.

Fellowships are offered in six fields: Dance, Media (including Film/Video and New Media), Literature, Music, Theater/Performance Art/Spoken Word, and Visual Arts. The Foundation expects to award a total of 60 Fellowships (ten per field).

Ronny Quevedo in his studio

Jerome Hill Artist Fellow Ronny Quevedo. Photo by Argenis Apolinario.

Jerome Foundation recognizes that many artists today are working across disciplines. Though each applicant must apply in one of the six specified disciplines, there will be the opportunity to identify any additional disciplines in which the artist is working. Artists are invited in the application to share in their own words how they categorize their work.

Artists may apply either as an individual or as part of an ensemble/collective/collaborative—but not both. Artists may submit or be part of only one application: any individual named in more than one application will be ruled ineligible, and all applications in which that individual is named will be removed from consideration.

Fellows will be announced in 2021. Fellows must pursue their self-determined Fellowship activities between mid 2021–mid 2023. After this current cycle, the program will open again for application in 2022 with awards announced in 2023. This program is offered in alternating years.

Artists may receive only one Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship during their career. Fellowships are awarded and funds are issued only to individuals, members of an ensemble/collective/collaborative, or to single-member LLCs. Applications are not accepted from, nor are payments made to, fiscal sponsors, management companies or producers, multi-owned LLCs, consultants or 501(c)3 organizations other than those applying as an ensemble/collective/collaborative.

Kate Marks on on the set of MANIC

Jerome Hill Artist Fellow Kate Marks. Photo by Jamie Milner.

Program Timeline

Feb & Mar 2020

Information Sessions

Webinars & In-Person

through Apr 15, 2020

Phone Appointments with Staff

Optional phone appointments with Jerome staff to clarify eligibility

May 6, 2020

Deadline for Application

Applications are due on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, by 5 pm Eastern/4 pm Central Time. Late applications will not be accepted.

no later than Jan 31, 2021

Notification of Application Status

February 15/22, 2021

Fellows Orientation Session

Monday, February 15, 10 am–6 pm (NYC Fellows)

Monday, February 22, 9 am–5 pm (MN Fellows)

starting May 17, 2021

Grant funds available

First $25,000 between May 2021 and April 2022 (as determined by grantee)

Second $25,000 between May 2022 and April 2023 (as determined by grantee)

Purpose of Fellowship Funds

Fellowship funds are paid directly to artists to support the creation of new work, the expansion of work with organizations, artistic development and professional artistic career development.

The Foundation will be flexible and expansive in approving costs that can be clearly tied to one of the four primary purposes listed below. Please see the Purpose of Fellowship Funds for more detailed information, including examples and limitations on the use of funds.

Types of Funds

1
Creation and presentation of new work

are costs for work(s) to be conceived, created and presented. Artists are encouraged to use the funds to support time for making work and/or to reduce non-artistic work hours to have more time for artmaking.

2
Artistic development funds

are not tied to a specific work or project, but are designed to support skills development, research, and/or investigation into new areas that may or may not ultimately find expression in new work.

3
Professional development funds

are designed to enable artists to refine non-artistic skills (for example, marketing, administrative and financial, archiving and documentation, social media, promotional website development, etc.) or hire support in these areas that will serve the artist’s long-term career or that expand the artist’s professional networks and opportunities.

Fellowship Process and Requirements

Fellows are required to attend an orientation session, submit a Fellowship plan and budget for the fellowship period, and sign a grant agreement. Please see Fellowship Process and Requirements for detailed information.

Eligible artists are:
  • Residents of either Minnesota or the 5 boroughs of New York City for one year at time of application
  • Generative artists* who are currently creating new original work†

* 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.). See Eligibility Questionnaire for a detailed list.

† 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.

 

  • Artists early in their career°

° Early career parameters for this program are provided in the Discipline-Specific Guidelines. In general, early career artists are typically in their 2nd to 10th year of creative practice, post-degree-granting program (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 beyond 10 years in the field who wish to discuss eligibility—based on circumstances (whether personal or geographic) or on specific creative practice considerations (i.e., the scale of work and/or extended creative cycles necessary to complete a single work)—should contact Jerome program staff before April 15, 2020 to discuss eligibility in advance of submitting an application.

 

  • Creating bold, innovative and risk-taking~ new work that explores and/or challenges 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.

 

  • Ready for and have the time for a two-year fellowship^

^ Artists must have the openness or flexibility in their schedules to pursue Fellowship-related activities between mid 2021–mid 2023.

Ineligible artists are:
  • Enrolled as a full-time student in a degree-granting education program
  • Current Jerome grantees who are not up-to-date and compliant on reporting requirements
  • An applicant on more than one application
  • A former Jerome Hill Artist Fellow (someone who has received this Fellowship previously—this is distinct from artists who have been supported in Jerome-funded programs through nonprofit arts organizations)
  • A full-time tenured faculty member (or the equivalent)

Ensembles/collectives/collaboratives may submit a single application requesting support for 2–5 members who will share the Fellowship funds equally. In order to submit an eligible application, the ensemble/collective/collaborative must:

  • have a majority of members that meet all of the individual Fellowship eligibility requirements
  • have a demonstrated history of creating new work as part of an ensemble, collectively or collaboratively

If rather than working as an individual artist, you work primarily within an ensemble/collective/collaborative as well as other collectives, you should apply with your primary ensemble/collective/collaborative.

Jerome staff strongly encourages all potential applicants to take the Eligibility Questionnaire to clarify whether the artist or members of an ensemble/collective/collaborative are eligible for the program.

Discipline-Specific Guidelines

These guidelines include more specifics about assessing early career status, work sample requirements and resumes/CVs which vary by discipline.

Caroline Davis with her saxophone

Jerome Hill Artist Fellow Caroline Davis.

Fellowship applications are due Wednesday, May 6, 2020, at 4 pm Central/5 pm Eastern Time. Late applications will not be accepted.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Once applications are submitted, they may not be edited or updated.

Application materials include:

  • Questions about your art and art-making which may be answered in writing or via video. Recommended maximum word/time lengths are given for each question and artists are strongly urged to not exceed the maximum.
  • Work samples (specific instructions provided in discipline-specific guidelines) accompanied by additional contextual and factual information. Work created while enrolled in a degree-granting program is not eligible (i.e., cannot be student work).
  • Resume or CV
Ashwini Ramaswamy

Jerome Hill Artist Fellow Ashwini Ramaswamy. Photo by Ed Bock.

Application Questions

See the Application Questions for the exact information requested in the application. Applicants are not asked to provide budgets or specific project proposals at the time of application. Specific Fellowship plan details and budgets will be created and submitted only by Fellows after they have been selected and participated in a day-long orientation with Jerome staff in 2021.

Applications are available at https://jeromefdn.submittable.com/submit

Except in special cases, applications are only accepted via Submittable, an online platform. Applicants without online access or with specific access requests should contact Andrea Brown (abrown@jeromefdn.org or 651-925-5615) by April 15, 2020 regarding alternative means of applying.

    Jerome Foundation staff will pre-screen applications for eligibility. Any applicant who does not clearly establish eligibility will be eliminated for further consideration at the prescreening stage.

    Applications are reviewed by panels of experts, with each discipline evaluated by a separate panel representative of the diversity of the applicants. Panelists are charged with recommending a slate of grantees and alternates to the Jerome Foundation Board of Directors, which retains sole authority to authorize or decline grants.

    Applicants are reviewed on their artistic merit, including their dedication to and artistic accomplishments thus far, the potential impact of a fellowship on their careers and their artistic field, their readiness and their alignment with Jerome’s values.

    Please see Review Process and Criteria for a more expanded explanation of these criteria and how they relate to the application questions.

    Su Hwang seated, top floor at the Guthrie Theater, bright yellow background overlooking the Stone Arch Bridge.

    Jerome Hill Artist Fellow Su Hwang. Photo by Jeffrey Forston Photography.

    Information Sessions

    Jerome Foundation has made the decision to cancel all in-person Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship information sessions. Below please find a recording of a program webinar. You may also contact Jerome staff directly (preferably via email) if you have any questions after watching the webinar.

    You may also download the slides in a PDF.

    Eligibility Check Phone Appointments

    Jerome program staff will be available to review resumes/CVs to help artists with questions of eligibility through April 15, 2020. You will be prompted to upload your resume/CV after you make your appointment—this is required.

    Make an appointment

    Questions About the Application?

    For questions about the guidelines or the application, email or call Andrea Brown at 651-925-5615 through May 6.

    Eligibility Questions

    No. All applicants must be a resident of the five boroughs of New York City or Minnesota, defined as having filed your federal taxes with either a New York City or Minnesota address for at least one year at the time of application.

    No. All applicants must have been a resident of Minnesota or one of the five boroughs of New York City for at least one year at the time of the application: you simply haven’t been there long enough. Additionally, if you are designated to receive funds, you must still be a resident in either New York or Minnesota at the time the grants are awarded (although it is permissible to relocate from Minnesota to New York or vice versa); and continue to maintain residency in those areas for the entirety of the grant period.

    No. The Foundation understands that in certain fields artists will be away from their considered “residence” for extended periods of time. Applicants must however consider their residence for tax purposes to be in Minnesota or New York City and declare that location as their residence in filing federal taxes in every relevant year.

    Anyone who has an SSN (social security number) or an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) is eligible to apply—this includes DACA recipients and most types of VISA recipients. Individuals who do not have an SSN or an ITIN are not eligible to apply.

    In order for an ensemble/collective to apply, a majority of the members must meet our geographic eligibility criteria. Additionally, none of the members who live outside of NY or MN are eligible to be included in the application for support. If only some of the group is part of the application, the Foundation requires the full ensemble/collective to review and affirm the accuracy of all answers describing the group’s creative process and the role the applicants play both within the collective as a general rule and in the submitted work samples in particular. The Foundation strongly urges groups to contact the Foundation to discuss eligibility.

    No, the individual ineligibility of a minority of the group does not rule out an ensemble/collective/collaborative from submitting an application, but only members who meet eligibility may apply. See the Eligibility Questionnaire to assess. The group members who are not early in their career, do not play a generative role in creating the work, do not have ultimate control over the finished work, do not meet the geographic residency or fail to meet other eligibility requirements cannot be included in the application.

    We urge all artists and ensembles/collectives/collaboratives to consider this issue carefully. Among the issues that should be considered are the requirement that all granted funds be used for the development and advancement of the grantee(s): an artist who applies as an individual may not use grant funds to pay for travel for other members of the group, for example, unless they have been contracted by the grantee (and not by the ensemble/collective/collective) for the relevant project. Additionally, any artist who leaves a Jerome-supported ensemble/collective/collaborative will lose their portion of Jerome funds. Ensembles/collectives/collaboratives should also weigh heavily the potentially divisive consequences of some members having support while others do not.

    If you apply with a group, you will not be able to apply as an individual. Artists may submit or be part of only one application: any individual named in more than one application will be ruled ineligible, and all applications in which that individual is named will be removed from consideration. Also, an artist may only receive one Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship during their career.

    You may apply as an individual only if you can meet the work sample requirements for an individual artist applying in your discipline. Panels want to be able to sense the potential value of the grants they recommend: if you have only work samples that reflect the ensemble/collective/collaborative, the panel simply will not be able to tell what you might be capable of on your own and will find your application impossible to support.

    The Foundation would urge you to contact the Foundation to discuss your eligibility (see “Eligibility Check Phone Appointments” below).

    Different disciplines have specific awards and differing funding levels that would place an artist beyond Jerome’s early career focus. Please see the relevant discipline appendix for more specific guidance.

    If you have gone to undergraduate and then straight to graduate school without taking an intervening period “in the field,” you are not eligible to apply. With a limited number of grants to award, the Foundation’s priority is to support those who have some degree of experience beyond student years and intend to “stay the course” as a vocational artist. All applicants must have non-student work before they apply.

    Other artists may have spent time already “in the field” and decided to return to school for a degree at a later point (e.g., a dance artist who spent three years as a choreographer before returning to school for an MFA). You are eligible to apply if you have eligible work samples created outside of student years. Artists who have pursued a formal degree may choose to submit work samples completed before the start of their degree studies; however, if you have not completed a work since your graduation it is likely that your application would not be competitive and the Foundation would suggest that you apply for a future round of the Fellowship. If you have special circumstances, please contact the Foundation to discuss your eligibility (see “Eligibility Check Phone Appointments” below).

    Grantees of other Jerome programs must be current with those reporting requirements at all stages through the application process and grant period: if you have missed a reporting deadline, you will not be eligible to apply or to receive funds. You will additionally not be able to use Fellowship funds to support costs already supported by those other Jerome grants.

    No, prior Jerome Hill Artists Fellows are not eligible to apply again to this program.

    Yes, you may apply. However, Fellowship funds may not be used for compensation or expenses already covered by other sources, including grants, commissions and salaries.

    Our goal is always to be clear in our guidelines about who should and who should not apply to us for support. We know that applying for any grant takes enormous time and effort, and we do not want to waste your time if you fall outside of our priorities.

    These guidelines reposition the question of eligibility through the lens of what you have done and are doing as an artist early in your career within your artistic discipline. We hope that this will make it easier for you to judge whether you should be applying for funds from us. This reposition does not mean that we are trying to redefine the kind of artists we are looking for: we are merely trying to be clearer about the earmarks of those artists.

    About the Application Process

    Applicants without online access or with specific challenges should contact Andrea Brown (abrown@jeromefdn.org or 651-925-5615) by April 15, 2020 regarding alternative means of applying.

    No. Artists whose work spans or integrates multiple disciplines are asked to apply in one of the six disciplines most closely aligned with their work. Artists may identify in the application the additional disciplines integrated into the work as well as the genre(s), form(s) and style(s) in which they work. Panels include artists and arts leaders with the experience and capacity to review multidisciplinary work and the breadth of genres, forms and styles within the applicant pool.

    An artist may not be part of more than one application, and any artist applying with more than one application will be declared ineligible for consideration. In determining which field should review your work, consider where you believe your greatest strengths to be and which discipline-specific panelists you feel are best positioned to appreciate your work. See examples of past panelists.

    Applicants are not asked to provide budgets or specific plans at the time of application. Specific Fellowship plan details and budgets will be created and submitted only by Fellows after they have been selected and participated in a day-long orientation with Jerome staff in 2021.

    The application does ask you to identify areas of inquiry that you wish to explore during your grant period. Panels depend on these answers to assess your readiness and competitiveness for an award, and the Foundation will expect to see these areas of inquiry reflected in your grantee plan if you are awarded a grant.

    As frustrating as this can be, there is no such thing as a uniform set of expectations that all funders or panels have as they consider grants. At Jerome, we have consciously tried to create a program that is not based on “the sexiest project” but that instead represents an investment in artists who not only demonstrate strong artistic achievement and/or potential, but that are curious, self-aware, self-critical and imaginative.

    Our panels respond most strongly to applicants who have clearly given significant thought to the questions we ask, who speak in a personal voice (not “grantspeak”) and who demonstrate a sense of passion, urgency and/or ambition in their work and the potential impact of the Fellowship. We would strongly caution you against hiring anyone else to write your answers for you—even a professional grants writer—because our panels are looking for your “voice.” An article by 2019 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow Raja Feather Kelly that appeared in Dance Magazine was especially insightful in this way: we recommend giving it a read.

    When we surveyed artists about how to improve the process of applying, many artists encouraged us to allow applicants to submit video statements instead of written samples, feeling that writing advantages some artists or disciplines and/or that they were more effective and comfortable on video. We therefore offer this option. In both cases, the core questions to be answered remain the same, and an attempt has been made to ensure that the limits on words or on time give all applicants roughly equal opportunities. Whether responding in writing or by video, please make sure you address all the questions for each topic.

    In the first round, the choice of format did not give an unfair advantage to either group of applicants: 11% of all applicants submitted video responses to questions, and 12% of the grantees ultimately selected had chosen to submit video answers. We urge you to use the format where you feel you can make the strongest and most authentic case for your application. Those using video must however speak directly to the camera: this is not an opportunity to provide voice-overs to additional work samples or expand the panel’s exposure to other works beyond the work samples.

    No. Panels are asked to make their judgments based on the work samples and application materials provided by the artists. We have come to the conclusion that the benefit these letters might offer to the panel is outweighed by the burden they place on applicants to request them, the references to write them, and the staff/applicants to make sure they have been submitted.

    About the Award

    Some artists live in subsidized housing or have medical needs where eligibility has limits on annual income. Especially since this Fellowship support is only for two years, the Foundation would not want to see an artist lose housing or medical assistance because the Foundation support had pushed them beyond those limits.

    First-round grantees found the separate Opportunity Funds structure onerous and confusing. We have as a result simply folded those funds into the primary award (raising the grants from $20,000 each year to $25,000 each year), and expanded the use of funds to allow artists to use Fellowship funds for activities related to the presentation of their work.

    Fellowship funds may not be used for tuition at degree-granting institutions to complete an academic degree. Furthermore, you may not be a student in a degree-granting program at the time of your application or during any point of the Fellowship term.

    No. Fellows will determine, and Jerome staff will approve, their payment schedule for the Fellowship. The schedule must follow these parameters:

    • Fellows will receive $25,000 for the first year of the Fellowship. These funds must be received between May 2021 and April 2022 and can be split into two payments.
    • Fellows will receive $25,000 for the second year of the Fellowship. These funds must be received between May 2022 and April 2023 and can be split into two payments.

    Yes. Individual artist grants are considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service. In addition, Fellows’ names and addresses are required to be listed in the Jerome Foundation’s annual tax return, which is a public document. If Fellows prefer, a P.O. Box may be provided instead of a home address for the purposes of reporting.

    Fellows are asked to think carefully about when they want to receive payments, as grant funds are considered taxable income. Fellows are able to split their funds across calendar years.

    A tax advisor is included in the Orientation meeting to discuss the taxable implications of the grant, but grantees are encouraged to contact their own tax advisor to understand the specific impact of the funding. All grantees are also asked to think about tax implications as they determine the schedule in which they wish to receive their funds.

    All grant funds to individuals may only go directly to an individual(s) or to your single-member LLC. Ensembles/collectives/collaboratives will follow a single Fellowship plan and budget and payment schedule. Funds will be distributed either evenly among the individual members or to the collective 501(c)3.

    In the inaugural round of this program, 1,167 applications were accepted and reviewed by discipline-specific panels composed of artists, curators, artistic directors, and arts administrators. Panels recommended 60 Fellowships to the Jerome Board of Directors in January 2019. Fellows were notified immediately following the January meeting and attending an orientation session in Spring 2019, after which they provided Fellowships plans for the specific use of grant funds to the Foundation.

     

    Learn about the 2019 Fellows

    Jerome Hill Artist Fellow Megan Flød Johnson. Photo by Alicia Rice.

    Jerome Hill Artist Fellow Megan Flød Johnson. Photo by Alicia Rice.

    This program expanded and replaced the historic Composer/Sound Artist Fellowship and the Travel and Study program as well as artists applying for project support with a fiscal sponsor through the General Program.