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$337,000 Awarded To Artists

February 24, 2014
Today is a special day! We’re announcing the first round of project grants. Sixty projects will receive a total of $337,000 in support.

You can now follow awarded projects, read the artists’ updates by email, and join the community by sharing the projects you follow. Explore this first group of featured projects, or find your own favorites.

What makes this round of grants particularly special is that it marks the opening of a new chapter in public advocacy for new music. Each awarded project has its own project page, and can be updated by the project participants as it unfolds. We’re inviting everyone to create user accounts, follow projects of interest, and sign up to receive updates from artists. Over time, our awarded projects will become a primary venue for discovery of and engagement with the diverse range of American voices creating music today.

The awardees announced today represent only a fraction of the awesome display of musical creativity embodied by the 1,618 requests we received for funding from 5,164 project creators and their collaborators in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The combined amount requested totaled over $16 million. We wish we were able to support many more of the worthy projects proposed. But a new round of projects will open in early March, so we’re glad to offer another opportunity right on the heels of this first one.

The Panel Process: A Scalable Approach

Projects were evaluated through a peer process involving 47 panelists working remotely online around the country. The number of panelists was determined by the number of applications received. We assigned three panelists to review each project in each of two stages, for a total of six. Panelists were assigned to projects based on eight project categories chosen by project creators as part of the application process.

The review had two stages: first an artistic review based on the submitted work samples, then a more in-depth review of the project for those that rated well in the artistic stage. The second stage was judged using the following three criteria:

Artistry – as demonstrated by examples of past and/or present work
Impact – as defined by positive effect of the project on communities and participating artists
Capacity – as defined by the ability to execute the project as proposed

More details on the panel process, including a video and interactive presentation, are available in an earlier post.