What We Do

Our values, our goals, and our funding strategy.

Rory Wakemup, Forecast Public Art 2016 Emerging Artist Project. Photo by Liseli Polivka.

The Jerome Foundation, founded in 1964 by artist and philanthropist Jerome Hill (1905-1972), honors his legacy through multi-year grants to support the creation, development, and presentation of new works by early career artists.

The Foundation makes grants to vocational early career artists, and those nonprofit arts organizations that serve them, in all disciplines in the state of Minnesota and the five boroughs of New York City.

Jasmine Hearn, BAAD!/Pepatián Dance Your Future. Photo by Scott Shaw.

Jasmine Hearn, BAAD!/Pepatián Dance Your Future. Photo by Scott Shaw.

Our Values

The Foundation’s core values, which we strive to model in our practice as grantmakers and to support in our grantees, are:

We center our grantmaking around intersectional racial equity, committing to eliminating disparities and improving access and outcomes to ensure the longterm viability of artists, culture bearers and arts organizations in Minnesota and New York City, focusing on those whose cultural narratives and practices have been historically and presently are excluded. Learn more about our approach.

We consciously embrace diversity in the broadest sense. We support a diverse range of artists and organizations, including but not limited to those of diverse cultures, races, sexual identities, genders, generations, aesthetics, points of view, physical abilities, and missions. We support a diverse range of artistic disciplines and forms, created in a variety of contexts and for different audiences.

We applaud unconventional approaches to solving problems and support artists and organizations that expand, question, experiment with or re-imagine aesthetic and/or social dimensions of their respective fields. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • expanding the aesthetic or social experience in the field in which they work and/or reclaim and revive traditional forms in original ways
  • imaginative and deeply considered
  • well-executed, technically proficient and exhibiting a high level of craft
  • compelling, offering a distinctive vision and authentic voice
  • effective and engaging, connecting with intended audiences/participants
  • providing artistic experiences that communicate unique perspective/s, and invite viewers to question, discover, and explore new ideas in new ways
  • taking creative risks

We work for artists (rather than the reverse) and believe that artists and organizations are the best authorities to define their needs and challenges—an essential humility reflective of Jerome Hill, our founder. The artists and arts organizations we support embrace their roles as part of a larger community of artists and citizens, and consciously work with a sense of purpose, whether aesthetic, social or both.

Our Goals

The Jerome Foundation’s ultimate goal is to support the artistic and career development of early career artists in Minnesota and the five boroughs of New York City who (whether working individually or as part of a team, ensemble or collective) exercise ultimate artistic control in generating new works and who demonstrate:

  • Imagination and rigor in their practice and production of new work
  • Technical proficiency and a high level of craft
  • Compelling and distinctive vision and authentic voice
  • Connection to intended audiences/participants
  • A self-awareness of their place in a larger aesthetic tradition or in a larger community
  • Boldness and risk-taking
  • Exploration of and challenges to conventional artistic forms
  • Critical inquiry of artistic practice within their field and the arts community

Eligible artists typically have a track record of generating and publicly presenting full work over which they have ultimate creative control in the discipline in which they are applying, but are not yet at a point in their careers where they receive consistent development and production opportunities and significant recognition, awards, and acclaim.

Applications are not accepted from artists who are also enrolled in degree-granting programs at the time or application or who will be students during the grant period.

Jeong-Ae Neal, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre.
Jeong-Ae Neal, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre.

Eligible artists typically are choreographers in dance; directors of documentary, narrative, animation, or experimental film or video or new media creators; poets, fiction and creative nonfiction authors in literature; composers and sound artists in music; directors creating devised work, spoken word and performance artists and playwrights in theatre; and artists in visual arts including but not limited to painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic artists, textile artists, multi-media visual installation, public and/or social media artists.

Many Jerome-supported artists work often within single disciplines, while other supported artists work in multiple or in interdisciplinary ways.

Aniccha Arts, Census. Photo by Jaffa Aharonov.
Aniccha Arts, Census. Photo by Jaffa Aharonov.

Our Funding Strategy

Jerome’s goals are pursued through two-year grants made directly to Minnesota and New York City early career artists and to organizations in those same locations who develop, mentor, commission and/or premiere these artists.

Additionally, grants are made to select philanthropic and national service organizations for ongoing services, one-time convenings or research that will impact artists or the field of arts philanthropy.