Definition of Emerging Artist

The term emerging refers to artistic development, professional accomplishment, and recognition. 

Jerome seeks to support those artists who show significant potential, but have yet to be significantly recognized. Examples of recognition include exhibitions, critical reviews, commissions, performances, grant awards, residencies, fellowships, publications, and productions. The Foundation considers not only the number of these acknowledgements but also timing, size, characteristics, geographic context, and significance. 

Students in K-12 educational programs or enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are not eligible.

Jerome programs make distinctions between pre-emerging, emerging and post-emerging artists.  

Pre-emerging artists are often students, have relatively few (if any) professional credits, awards or grants, and/or have yet to commit to the arts as a career focus.  

Post-emerging artists have achieved a certain track record of publications/performances/ exhibitions, credits, awards and/or grants; may be commissioned for multiple projects; and be seen as having a fully developed, mature artistic voice.  Emerging artists fall between these two extremes.  

Emerging artists have done more than simply aspire to create a work in a given discipline: emerging artists have already created work(s) in the discipline in which they are applying.  Moreover, in the case of those artists who have been enrolled in degree training programs, work(s) have been created in the period following their graduation.

An artist may be considered emerging for multiple years.  The programs support both artists who are early and those who are late in that stage of emerging. Age is not a factor in determining an emerging artist.

Given the emphasis on career achievement and recognition, this program determines emerging status based on the totality of an artistic career, not on the achievement within a single discipline.  A well-established musician, for example, who decides to begin creating sculpture, is considered a post- emerging artist and therefore is ineligible to apply to Jerome for support in any program; she/he is not considered an emerging visual artist for the purposes of Jerome Foundation eligibility.

The Foundation requires full resumes of artists to assess the significance of their achievements and considers many factors in its determination of eligibility. The Foundation encourages artists to be specific in their applications about the factors they are using to self-define as an emerging artist.

Historically, Jerome has defined emerging professional artists as those who are principal creators of new work, and:

  • who take risks and embrace challenges;
  • whose developing voices reveal significant potential;
  • who are rigorous in their approach to creation and production;
  • who have some evidence of professional achievement but not a substantial record of accomplishment; and
  • who are not recognized as established artists by other artists, curators, producers, critics, and arts administrators.

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