This is a very exciting time for New Music USA! After months of extensive review that employed 47 artists, composers, administrators, vocalists, instrumentalists, and choreographers from all over the country, we have just announced the awardees of our inaugural round of project grants.
We were astounded by the 1,618 projects we received in November—astounded by the sheer volume, but also astounded by the projects themselves. This first round of project grants captured a tiny glimpse of the tremendous creativity and tireless efforts of artists working throughout our country. We’re humbled by their presence in our process.
Our approach is driven by a number of convictions. One is that the best way to serve new music is to ask the people making it what they need instead of telling them what they should want. We also believe that the process for requesting financial support should be simple and should help artists connect with audiences, not just funders. Based on feedback thus far, an overwhelming number of folks seem to think our process passes the simplicity test. And to follow through on the point about connection, now is the moment we bring our awardees into the public limelight, featuring them in a way we’ve never before been able to do.
We’ve published all of our awardees’ project pages on newmusicusa.org, complete with artist profiles, work samples, project information, dates, and photos. This means that the world at large can explore, listen to, watch, and experience the diverse array of these awardees’ works. Furthermore, anyone who creates a profile on our website can follow any of the featured projects and choose to receive updates on that project by email. (As an example, here’s my profile, including a few sample projects that I’m currently following.) Your profile is the starting point for experiencing projects and discovering new artists. If you need some additional guidance about your profile, read this.
The awardees of this inaugural round represent a stellar collection of creativity and talent. We want to recognize as well that there were literally hundreds of great projects and talented artists whom we weren’t able to fund this time around. To those artists: I wholeheartedly encourage you to apply again—with the same project even—for the April 1 deadline of project grants, which will open in early March.
Music is inherently social. Despite the periods of isolation it demands to create or perfect, it is ultimately experienced, performed, recreated and enjoyed by others who are just as committed and curious. There are so many people in the world who love new music but don’t know where or how best to find it, and an even greater number of people who love new music but don’t know it yet. Our goal is to connect audiences and artists with each other in both familiar and new ways. The public-facing project pages this first round of awardees will provide yet another means of doing exactly that.