Attention Minnesota and NYC Choreographers: Check Out the Jerome Foundation's General Program Grants

It's always fun to look at foundations named after famous people that keep it local and unabashedly stay true to their roots.

One such example is the Anthony Quinn Foundation, which has a goal to further its founder's vision for a more "art-conscious society." Art changed the life of Quinn, born poor in Mexico, and his foundation works to recreate and promote this kind of transformation in its giving.

Then there's the St. Paul, MN-based Jerome Foundation, named after J. Jerome Hill, the acclaimed filmmaker and artist. We're particularly interested in the foundation because they only award grants to organizations residing in Minnesota and New York (sorry, Utah). Much like another Minnesota native, Robert Zimmerman, both places proved to be pivotal in Jerome's artistic development.

And so the Jerome Foundation offers General Program Grants to not-for-profit arts organizations and to 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 on a rolling basis. Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis and scheduled for review in one of five board meetings each year.

What, precisely, is an "emerging artist?" According to the foundation's site, it's an artist that, among other things:

  • Takes risks and embraces challenges
  • Has a developing voice that reveals significant potential
  • Has a rigorous approach to creation and production

To that end, the Foundation seeks to support those artists who show "significant potential, yet are under-recognized." Examples of recognition include exhibitions, critical reviews, commissions, performances, grant awards, residencies, fellowships, publications, and productions (sorry, recognized artists).

And while we're at it, what, precisely, do they mean by "artists?" As we learned on the foundation's General Program Grant eligibility quiz, Jerome "ordinarily makes fiscal sponsored grants that support the creation of new works by emerging choreographers, and to a lesser degree, emerging composers, playwrights, performance artists, experimental ensembles, and multidisciplinary creators. The foundation generally does not makes fiscally sponsored grants to visual artists and literary artists." (Sorry... artists.)

That said, the foundation does support filmmaking, which would make sense given the profession of its namesake. (Hill He won the 1957 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for his film Albert Schweitzer .) To that end, check out our take on the foundation's give to to seven filmmakers based on the recommendations of the Minnesota Film and Video Program Review Panel.