Definition of Emerging Artist

Jerome Foundation supports emerging professional artists who are the 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.

There is no exact and singular definition of an emerging creative artist. The Foundation looks at the term “emerging” in terms of 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.

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

  • Pre-emerging artists are often students, may aspire to create professional work but have yet to do so, have relatively few (if any) professional credits, awards or grants, and/or have yet to commit to the arts as a career focus. The Foundation hopes that these artists will continue their work and return at a later date when there is a more significant body of accomplishment.
  • 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.  These artists have moved past the point in their careers where any Jerome programs can support them.
  • Emerging artists fall in the “sweet spot” between these two extremes.  An artist may be considered emerging for multiple years.  The programs support both artists who are early and those who are late within 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.  An established musician is no longer considered an emerging artist and therefore is ineligible to apply to Jerome for support in any program, even if she/he wishes to experiment in another field in which she/he has little experience.  Being established in one field means she/he is not considered an emerging artist for the sake of any program funded by Jerome and cannot apply to any Foundation program for support.

The Foundation requires full resumes including dates and specific artistic credits from artists to assess the significance of their achievements and considers many factors in its determination of eligibility. The application allows artists to explain why they may consider themselves “emerging.”  Applicants are encouraged to give this question significant thought and to take advantage of this opportunity to explain.

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