Attention Jazz Presenters! Chamber Music America Wants to Pay You to Collaborate

We apologize in advance for using a gimmicky adage, but to hear Chamber Music America (CMA) tell it, it certainly takes a village to bring jazz to the masses. In other words, there are many moving parts in the process—namely the presenting organization, related partners, and of course, the ensembles themselves. 

Each entity is integral to the overall success of the program. Underfund one player and the entire operation can face cost overruns, a diminished audience, or both. The CMA dubs this tri-headed organization a "consortium,"and they want to fund the entire thing rather than discrete elements. 

The CMA recently announced a request for proposals for its brand new Presenter Consortium for Jazz program, which provides financial support to consortia of presenting organizations in the United States that collectively engage up to three professional U.S. jazz ensembles to perform at each presenter's venue.

According to the CMA, a consortium consists of one lead presenting organization, two presenting partners, and up to three ensembles. The program funds the following expenses: concert fees, travel, housing, per diem, and cartage, as well as the presenting organizations' marketing and production costs for the proposed concerts. The program will fund up to 75 percent of the eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $10,000 per consortium partner or $30,000 per consortium.

Among other eligibility criteria, each of the three presenting organizations in a consortium must be based in the U.S. or its territories. In the eyes of CMA, a strong consortium is one in which "each partner and the ensemble(s) work together to plan and develop the proposed performances." Seems reasonable enough.

For CMA, the program represents another interesting tweak on the traditional idea of promoting jazz. As we noted in a previous post, CMA's Residency Partnership Grants strive to build awareness for jazz that includes tactics that take place outside of the concert hall. These activities include educational clinics, interactive classroom programs, and lectures in libraries, senior centers, and other public places. 

This all-encompassing approach extends to its Presenter Consortium for Jazz program. Rather than fund merely the performing ensemble, CMA encourages a consortium approach that spurs collaboration between involved parties around efforts to market, manage, and present the project. 

The deadline to apply is October 30, 2015. For complete program guidelines and application instructions, click here.