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ACF Create

Grants to Minnesota and New York City Emerging Music
Composers and Artists to Create and Present New Works

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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American Composers Forum (ACF)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

09/01/19 11:59 PM Central


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Grants of up to $3,000 and grants of up to $8,000 to Minnesota and New York City emerging composers and music makers to create, present, and promote new musical works. Applicants must partner with another artist, who may be from anywhere in the world. Applicants from the full range of musical styles are encouraged to apply.

ACF | create welcomes applicants from the whole range of musical paths and is committed to supporting a diverse pool of artists.

The primary artist (not limited to those who self-identify as a “composer” but eligible to all kinds of artists who create original music such as improvisers) applies with a third party (such as a performing group or a presenter who commits to producing the finished work). The primary artist needs to be at an “emerging” level in their career: neither a student nor an established professional. The proposed project should be a significant artistic and professional leap: a risky but logical next step that will mark a new level of accomplishment.

Awards – judged by a panel of artists – are competitive and based on outstanding quality of work, personal musical voice, and exceptional potential to make a career difference.

Grants of up to $8,000 are available for the composer or primary artist’s time to create the work, and up to $3,000 to help with production and promotion support.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181860

Number of Grants:

Five grants are available.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Five artists will be awarded the following:

- $8,000.00 commission support paid directly to the artist* across three installments for their time to create a new work. Take the size of this fee into consideration in regards to the scope (length of the work, technical demands, and number of artists required for performance) of your proposed work.
- $3,000.00 to help with the production or promotion of the new work. ** These funds may be used before, during, or after the premiere. Scenarios might include: research, travel, consultation, preparation fees, equipment or software costs, rehearsals, workshops, space rental, collaboration costs, outreach events, touring, publication, recording, and promotion costs.

Term of Contract:

Works must be scheduled to premiere after December 31, 2019. Supported projects must be completed within five years of the award date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:


- Minnesota or Five Boroughs of New York City Residency:
Primary applicants must either be U.S. citizens or non-citizen lawful U.S. permanent residents. Applicants must be legal residents of the state of Minnesota or the five boroughs of New York City and have been residents for at least one year prior to application or program participant. Proof will be required to be provided before issuing an agreement to a selected artist. Project partners may be based anywhere in the world.

- Early Career Artist:
Applicants are in the early stages of their creative development who have a focused direction and are actively creating new work. Applicants have yet to be substantially celebrated within their field, the media, funding circles or public at large. Applicants are vocational artists. The age of the artist is not a consideration.

- Exclusive Application:
Applicants (artist and partners) may only be a part of one application.

- Sit Out Period: Two Years; Any In-progress Projects Prior to 2017 Awarded by ACF with Funding Provided by the Jerome Foundation; 2019-2020 Jerome Artist Fellows Are Ineligible
Winners and project partners of 2017 Jerome Fund for New Music (JFund) awards administered by ACF and 2018 ACF | create winners and project partners may not apply. Any applicant or project partner with in-progress projects awarded by ACF with funding provided by the Jerome Foundation my not apply.

- No conflict of Interest:
American Composers Forum and the Jerome Foundation administrative staff, board of directors, and their family members are ineligible.

- No Student Status:
Applicants can not be participating in any degree-granting programs (K-12, undergraduate, or graduate) in any field. Applicants who are or will be students enrolled in degree granting programs are ineligible.

- Early Stage Works:
Proposed works should be at an early stage in their development, and must not be finished by the time of application.

- No premieres during religious services:
Projects may take place in a worship setting but not be premiered during a religious

- ACF membership is not required for applicants

Pre-proposal Conference:

Information Sessions:
William Lackey, ACF Vice President of Programs, will conduct six 60-minute 2019 ACF | create Application Workshops online to go over the application process. These sessions will be offered online via Zoom.

Video tutorials on how to use the Zoom online meeting system can be found here:

2019 ACF | create Commissioning Program Information Session Dates and Times:

- Thursday, June 6: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Register for this date:
- Friday, June 28: 5:00 – 6:00 PM CST
Register for this date:
- Saturday, July 13: 12:00 – 1:00 PM CST
Register for this date:
- Wednesday, July 17: 5:00 – 6:00 PM CST
Register for this date:
- Thursday, August 1: 6:00 – 7:00 PM CST
Register for this date:
- Friday, August 9: 5:00 – 6:00 PM CST
Register for this date:

If you are not able to participate in one of the online session you are welcome to schedule one-on-one meeting in person at the ACF office or over the phone, with William Lackey about your application before completing it online. To schedule a meeting, please call 651.251.2833 or e-mail

Pre-Application Information:

Online Application Deadline: Sunday, September 1, 2019 (11:59 PM Central).

It is highly recommended that you upload the Project Partner Commitment Letter as part of your online application. If needed, the Project Partner can email the commitment letter directly to Billy Lackey, VP of Programs. The letter must be received by 12:00 PM (Central) Friday, September 6, 2019. If multiple Primary Artists (composers) list the same Project Partner, the first commitment letter received/submitted with the completed application will be accepted and all other subsequent applicants will be asked to find another Project Partner.

For more information regarding Project Partners and the Commitment Letter see the Guidelines in Supporting Documents below.

The panel’s decision is final and will be announced in early December 2019. Results will be posted on ACF’s website and applicants will be notified by email.

ACF does not provide a standard fee schedule. These funds are taxable income.

A note to ensemble or organizations apply on behalf of the artist creating the work, all commission support is paid directly to the artist creating the work and is not distributed to the organization or ensemble applying on behalf of the artist.

At the discretion of the artist creating the new work, production and promotion support funding can be paid directly to the artist or be paid to an organization and/or ensemble at the direction of the awarded artist.

The American Composers Forum encourages applicants to contact ACF staff to ask questions and discuss potential applications.

Application information and preview:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Click here to apply online:

William J. Lackey
(651) 251-2833

American Composers Forum
75 West 5th Street, Suite 522
Saint Paul, MN 55102-1439 USA
Phone: (651) 228-1407

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota;   New York City: Five Boroughs of New York City;   New York