Jazz artists, apply for a grant to explore your work in new ways. Grants of $5,000-$40,000 available to support a residency you propose & develop for artistic creation or connecting with audiencesView Full Guidelines
Jazz Road Creative Residencies is one component of the larger program, Jazz Road. Jazz Road is a 4-year national jazz initiative directed by South Arts, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Jazz Road features a coordinated partnership with the other five Regional Arts Organizations. All work together to deliver technical assistance and grants that enhance jazz artists’ livelihoods through residencies in communities across the country.
To remove the financial barriers that keep mid-career professional jazz artists from investing deeply in their creative practice, attending to their artistic and professional growth, and experimenting across a wide range of artistic and community engagement possibilities throughout the US.
For years before the COVID-19 pandemic, artists have expressed their needs for time and resources to drive new creative vision; explore possible collaborations; and connect their music to communities in socially relevant and lasting ways. Support in these areas is viewed as crucial for musicians to reach new artistic and professional heights while building jazz partnerships and audiences throughout the US.
During the pandemic, artists adjusted to “shelter-in-place” creativity out of necessity. Ever resilient, jazz musicians have faced the temporary decimation of touring and the gig economy. How either will fully rebound is still an unknown. Yet, adjusting to these conditions has given artists a potential period of creative incubation, renewal, and desire to connect to communities in vital ways. Creative residencies, in fact, may be the perfect vehicle to jumpstart larger artistic inquiry, while launching a career milestone for artists in this shifting environment.
Jazz Road Creative Residencies is an artist-centric program that responds to what artists have called for prior to the pandemic, while promoting flexibility for how “residency” can be defined – especially as the jazz and performing arts landscape rebounds through 2022.
To provide financial support for mid-career professional jazz artists from across the US in self-defined residency activities that advance their artistry, creative exploration, community engagement, and lifework in jazz.
Grant amounts range from $5,000 to $40,000. Grants are awarded directly to artists.
Only individual artists (as an individual, an artist-led nonprofit organization, or an artist-led corporation) may apply to this program. An eligible artist is:
Jazz Road recognizes the complete history and aesthetic range of excellence within jazz music and will not attempt to define “jazz” in the Guidelines or communications. The program acknowledges that jazz is rooted in the Black experience and is by nature a communal music informed by artists, elders, and their communities.
The program is intended to support professional artists within a career level spectrum from mid-career to “more accomplished”. Jazz Road recognizes that measures of “higher-level” career success based on perceived visibility, accolades, active touring/recording profiles and income, are subjective. The applicant will define how this eligibility criterion is met.
Current Jazz Road Tours grantees are eligible to apply for Jazz Road Creative Residencies. However, a key Jazz Road objective is to award a large and diverse pool of artists across the U.S.
Residencies are to be catalysts to shape next directions in the applicant’s body of artistic work through focused creative development and/or engagement experience within community. They are meant to provide an opportunity that the applicant believes is a departure from prior artistic practice norms, as well as produce an outcome believed to significantly enhance their career. They are meant to provide for time, inspiration and efforts that are often under-compensated and/or unsustainable.
The program encourages artists’ original ideas for shaping a residency experience. Applicants are able to propose their unique residency goals, structure, budget, location(s), and timeline. Projects can include collaborating artists, multiple disciplines, and partner organizations. Residencies do not require partner organizations to be eligible for support.
In all cases, applicants must provide narrative that addresses review criteria and priorities, while defining concrete outcomes.
The following sections underscore how essential flexibility is to the program. This is so residency components can include broad possibilities while artists and potential collaborators define “residency” in many ways.
Eligible residencies can address any of three areas:
How artists can work with or without artistic collaborators and partner organizations:
A partnering organization can be included on no more than two applications on a limited basis; to discuss potential partners and determine if they are eligible, please contact your RAO representative.
Other combinations of activities that are not listed above may be eligible. Though the program is highly competitive, Jazz Road panelists will evaluate and fund many kinds of residencies which successfully address all review criteria.
The portal application form will require a project narrative with outcomes, timeline and budget to fully delineate the residency scope and outcomes.
Residency projects can occur in many kinds of spaces/venues, be they traditional or alternative, arts-identified, or not. Though not required, applicants can choose to collaborate with organizations in informal ways or identify formal residency partner organizations. Eligible organizations are wide-ranging, and include the following. It is advised that all residency participants model COVID-19 safety and social distancing measures as necessary or mandated.
The following are eligible to be included in a project:
Each primary artistic collaborator and partner organization listed in the application must demonstrate their commitment to the project by providing a co-signed Letter of Intent/Agreement between themselves and the artist.
The following parties must provide Letters of Intent/Agreement for the application, if applicable:
The letter must include, if applicable:
Letters may or may not be considered legally binding and/or contingent upon receiving funding from Jazz Road Creative Residencies based on determination.
Contracts that include the above information can be submitted in lieu of the Letter of Agreement, if applicable.
The following expenses are eligible for grant support:
Applicants are required to complete a budget template in the application portal.
Jazz Road Creative Residencies grants will range between $5,000 - $40,000. Grants will be awarded directly to artists to cover eligible residency expenses.
Panels composed of specialists in the jazz field will review applications and make recommendations for support. Panels will reflect diverse racial, ethnic, gender, and geographic representation as well as range in jazz aesthetic points of view and experience. Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria:
Artistic Excellence (25%)
Project Narrative (25%)
Residency Outcomes (25%)
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are primary lenses for all Jazz Road Program deliberations and considerations. In addition to the evaluation criteria listed above, South Arts seeks Creative Residencies applications and a final pool of grantees that are representative of the jazz field in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and geographic location. The program also strives to award artists and residency projects in each of the six US regions, including rural and remote areas.
Demographic information is for South Arts’ use only. The application form requests your identification of the following information:
South Arts contracts with the applicant artist (as an individual, an artist-led nonprofit organization, or an artist-led corporation). The applicant must provide government-required documentation showing his/her U.S. citizenship or Permanent Resident status, if applicable. The grantee is solely responsible for the management of the residency project and disbursement and reporting of the grant income. Grant award agreements will include all essential terms required for receipt of the award, including advance notice of content required for final report completion.
Grantees will receive 75% of the grant amount no sooner than 45 days before the project begins. The remaining 25% will be disbursed upon approval of a submitted final report. Grant funds are taxable income.
South Arts recognizes that individuals are not always able to successfully access the technology platforms necessary to complete an electronic application. Staff members are available to assist individuals with the online portal application process including account creation, data entry or retrieval, link and document uploads, and application submission.
Completed applications, including Letter(s) of Intent/Agreement and work samples, may be submitted either electronically through the GO Smart portal (by 11:59 PM ET) or physically via mail (postmarked) by July 1, 2021.
Physical copies of the application may be requested, and should be returned to:
Attn: JAZZ ROAD
1800 Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
Applications will be submitted through the GO Smart online portal.
South Arts recognizes that developing an application may take significant research. To assist with this, we have assembled a list of resources that applicants may find helpful.View the Jazz Road Resources
After reviewing program guidelines, log in to GoSmart to apply for a Jazz Road Creative Residencies grant, edit an application in process, and submit any required reports.Log in to GoSmart
For further information about any of the Jazz Road initiatives, contact your RAO representative.Contact Us