George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

2020 Alumni Artist Support Initiative

March 26, 2020

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) believes that the arts are vital in creating and strengthening community, with artists at the center of that effort. To that end, we invite recent CVPA graduates (2009 or later) to apply for new, immediate funds recently made available to alumni artists. 

Goals of the Initiative

In the wake of COVID-19, our alumni artists are suffering sudden and extreme financial losses due to cancelled or postponed performances, exhibitions, and freelance opportunities. As they have been so vital in building a vibrant and creative community, we want to reciprocate their contributions in this time of unprecedented need.

Effective March 30, George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts has made new funds available to alumni artists in two ways: the Fund for Digital Content and the Fund for New Works. 

Fund for Digital Content

CVPA will pay up to ten artists $500 for the rights to stream, air, or otherwise showcase artistic work via Mason Arts at Home, a platform of digital programming offering artists a place to continue sharing their ingenuity and talent with our community members. Any web-connected device will now serve as a way in which people can learn, share, and further engage with the Arts at Mason from their homes. This platform will be live from April 2 to May 18.

Fund for New Works

CVPA will commission up to five new artistic works, to be premiered in-person in conjunction with the 2020 – 2021 30th Anniversary season at the Center for the Arts. Recipients will receive up to $1,000 in commissioning funds to create works that will be performed, exhibited, or otherwise shared in the Center for the Arts Lobby or Linda Apple Monson Grand Tier.

Eligibility

Applicants must be graduates of the College of Visual and Performing Arts from the class of 2009 and after.

  • Alumni having completed undergraduate or graduate degrees, and certificate holders are eligible, as are double majors and recognized minors.
  • Collaborative teams are eligible if one or more CVPA alums have a key creative role in the project.
  • Current Mason staff are eligible, even if they are currently enrolled in a degree program, as long as they have also completed an undergraduate degree, graduate degree, or certificate from CVPA.
  • Alumni who are currently enrolled in a second degree program at CVPA, may not apply for funding for artistic projects that are part of a current course/degree program.
  • Past recipients of CVPA’s Young Alumni Commissioning Project are eligible to apply for the Fund for Digital Content only.

Initiative Details: Fund for Digital Content - $500

Scope of Work

  • Proposals should be for a work in any art form, suitable and available for presentation in an online format between April 2 and May 18
  • We encourage livestreamed presentations when possible, though quality recordings of past work are suitable when also accompanied by a virtual discussion or additional activity, in order to provide context and an opportunity for further engagement with the community.
  • The CVPA Programming team will consult with the recipient to determine the most appropriate and robust way to engage with viewers, whether live streaming or presenting pre-recorded content.
  • Combined presentation and artist engagement should last approximately 30 - 45 minutes. 
  • Below please find a few examples of potential content. Please note this is not an exhaustive list, but is meant to provide some ideas for appropriate content:
    • A “living room” concert or a screening of a short film with a livestreamed Q & A to follow
    • A “gallery showing” of recent work, with a recorded curatorial statement
    • A description of movement vocabulary/creative inspiration used in a dance piece, along with a showing of a past choreographed work

How to Apply

Proposals should be emailed to the CVPA Programming Department to the attention of Haley Smyser, with “Artist Support Initiative: Fund for Digital Content” in the subject line. Proposals should be submitted in a single PDF, with hyperlinks to work samples embedded within the document, if necessary.

All Proposals should include:

  • Alumni’s name, graduating year, and School or Department where degree was received.
  • A 1 – 2 paragraph description of the proposed project, including any content warnings and a 1 – 2 sentence description of how your life has been affected by COVID-19. 
  • Brief biography of applicant (approx. 150 words)
  • Anticipated duration of work
  • Preferred streaming platform if applicable (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Zoom, etc). 
  • A video of the work, with a description of the engagement portion
    • If you will be livestreaming and do not have a video of the work that will be shown, please include a work sample that demonstrates artistic excellence and describe how it relates to the work you would be streaming. 

Timeline:

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Digital content will be streaming April 2 - May 18. The CVPA Programming Department will inform applicants of their decision at any time between now and May 18, with preference given to early applications.

Selection Process and Criteria

  • The CVPA Programming Department will make recommendations to the Dean, who will make the final selection.
  • Project proposals will be evaluated with the following criteria in mind:
    • Artistic Vision/Excellence: Based on the work samples provided, does the applicant exhibit exemplary creative and technical skills and a strong artistic vision?
    • Ability to adapt to a virtual format
    • Funding will be disbursed in one payment, and recipients are advised to consult an accountant to discuss any tax implications.

Initiative Details: Fund for New Works - $1,000

Scope of Work

  • Proposals should be for an original new work in any art form, suitable for performance, exhibition, or screening in the lobby of the Center for the Arts in conjunction with one of the performances in the 2020 – 2021 season. The work should be ready for public presentation between approximately September 2020 and May 2021. 
  • Funds should cover project-related expenses, including but not limited to artist creation and performance fees, licensing fees, equipment rental/purchase, and travel expenses. 
  • Work should reasonably fit into any portion of the Center for the Arts Lobby, and last approximately 30 minutes in length. 
  • The work can be in any artistic medium, but should respond to one of two themes:
    • Inspiration drawn from a performance or event at the Center for the Arts that was particularly meaningful to the artist (in celebration of the CFA’s 30th Anniversary)
    • Migration, movement, and belonging – themes that will be explored throughout the 2020 -20 21 season as part of the Redefining Home series.

How to Apply

Proposals should be emailed to the CVPA Programming Department to the attention of Haley Smyser, with “Artist Support Initiative: Fund for New Work” in the subject line. Proposals should be submitted in a single PDF, with hyperlinks to work samples embedded within the document.

All Proposals should include:

  • Alumni’s name, graduating year, and School or Department where degree was received.
  • Brief biography of applicant (approx. 150 words)
  • A project summary, to include:
    • 2 - 3 paragraphs outlining the overall concept for the project 
    • Anticipated creation timeline
    • 1 – 2 sentence description of how your life has been affected by COVID-19
    • Statement on how these commissioning funds would impact your career trajectory
  • A project budget outlining estimated expenses and revenue associated with the creation and performance of the new work. Include Budget Notes as necessary to put financial projections in context of the project. 
    • Please include the $1,000 commissioning funds in your budget as pending revenue. 
    • If commissioning funds will not cover all anticipated expenses, please include Budget Notes to explain how adequate funding will be secured, and indicate whether it is confirmed or pending. 
    • If applicant plans to utilize Mason resources for the development of the work (i.e. equipment, rehearsal or studio space), this should be approved by the appropriate staff or faculty member before submitting the application. 
    • If the budget includes fees paid to those involved with the proposed project (including the applicant), please research industry standard rates. 
  • Two work samples in a medium appropriate to the project (video, text, images, sound files, etc.). Please provide a brief description of the work sample, indicate relevant sections if it is longer than 10 minutes, and explain how it is reflective of or relevant to the proposed project. 
  • A list of any relevant collaborators, along with their Mason affiliation, if applicable.

Timeline:

Applications are due by Friday, May 1 at 11:59 p.m. Applicants will be informed of funding decisions by Friday, May 8. 

Selection Process and Criteria

  • The CVPA Programming Department will make recommendations to the Dean, who will make the final selection.
  • Project proposals will be evaluated with the following criteria in mind:
    • Artistic Vision/Excellence: Based on the work samples provided, does the applicant exhibit exemplary creative and technical skills and a strong artistic vision?
    • Creative interpretation of the theme(s)
    • Feasibility of completion
  • Commissioning funds will be disbursed in one payment, and recipients are advised to consult an accountant to discuss any tax implications. 

Questions?

Email Haley Smyser, CVPA Programming and Engagement Coordinator.

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