Applicant Support

About The Cycle

Learn about this cycle’s key features, timeline, eligibility, selection process, and more.

Application Questions

This year’s application includes a project description, information about the artists, and a work sample.

Submit Application

The Submittable application is open from March 14-May 27, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. ET. MAP does not accept late proposals.


MAP aims to make the application process as supported as possible. If your question isn’t in FAQ + Tips, reach out to MAP staff via email, phone call, or request project description assistance.

FAQ + TipsProject Description AssistanceEmailPhone Call
I’m eligible. Should I apply to MAP?
While we actively fundraise to support as many artists as possible, MAP is unable to fund every proposed project–in 2019, only 4% of applicants received funding. For that reason, we have only included those questions in the application that are absolutely necessary for distributing resources. We also aim to reduce the amount of time it will take to complete each question. This year’s application has a recommended length of 700-1,500 words, in addition to short answer questions (name of project, artist location, etc.), single and multiple-select questions (discipline of project, etc.), and a work sample.

As Lauren Slone, MAP’s Director of Grants & Research, noted in her presentation at the Dance/NYC 2021 Digital Symposium, “For any resource opportunity, if the odds are not in your favor, but the potential return is high (you could receive much more than the time it cost you to apply), and you have the energy to submit, we strongly suggest applying and setting your expectations accordingly.”

I'm a recent MAP grantee. Can I still apply for this grant cycle?
Yes; being a past grantee does not prevent you from applying for MAP’s 2022 cycle.
Can my collaborators and I fill out this application together?
MAP has enabled collaborative submissions on Submittable, in which multiple people can work on a submission at the same time. For information about how this process works, please refer to Submittable’s website. Please note that all collaborators on an application will be notified in the event of a grant.
Can I apply with multiple projects?
Yes; artists are not limited to applying with a single project. If you are interested in seeking funding for multiple projects, please submit a separate application for each project.
Does MAP fund adaptations?
MAP’s funding focuses on the creation of new performance work. Projects may be “inspired by” or reference classical literature or existing works in the global performance canon, but may not seek to reproduce existing content.
Does MAP have requirements around funding a certain career stage?
The funds are available to artists at every career stage and are explicitly present and future-focused. The grant program is not set up to reward past work or to acknowledge lifetime achievements, but rather to invest in the potential of current ideas, processes, collaborations, and organizing efforts.
In the event of a grant, how long do I have to premiere the project?
MAP does not require projects to premiere by any specific date. Upon receipt of the funds (November 2022), grantees are asked to spend down the grant towards the development of the project within two years. Exceptions to that timeline are possible on a case-by-case basis.
Should I address changing conditions around the COVID-19 pandemic?
Applicants may speak to contingencies if they wish. MAP understands that the pandemic has added further complications and unknowns around many aspects of making performance, and that the content, themes, additional collaborators, timelines, or production plans of a project might shift from the time of the application.
How much do reviewers weigh certain aspects of the proposal over others?
Reviewers’ votes account for the application as a whole. No single component should unduly influence voting more than any other component.
How do I know my application was received?
After clicking “Submit”, the primary contact will receive a confirmation email indicating that MAP successfully received the application. Check your promotions or spam folders if you don’t see it in your primary mailbox. A confirmation record is also available in Submittable’s “Activity & Messages” tab.
Is MAP providing feedback?
Because of how the selection process is structured, there will not be any feedback to deliver.
Where can I find examples of projects MAP has funded previously?
See a list of previously funded projects under the menu option “Past Grantees” under “Grants.”

PROJECT INFORMATION

Are any of the options around producing structures preferred?
No; MAP funds both self-producing artists and those who have a producing partner.
How do I list my creative partner/commissioner/producer?
In general, we would not recommend naming a creative partner/producer as one of the artists. When filling out the application, we recommend selecting “The artist(s) have confirmed one or more institutional producing partners” under the question “Which option(s) most closely resemble the infrastructure that will support the creation of the project?” so that you can name your creative partner/producer.
Do projects need to have a confirmed premiere venue?
No; having a confirmed premiere venue at the time of applying is not an eligibility or assessment criterion.

WORK SAMPLE

How should I select a work sample?

Whether you choose in-process documentation or past work, the goal is to use the sample to make a connection to the proposed project. For example, if an artist proposes to choreograph a dance, it’s best for them to submit a sample of choreographic work. We encourage you to submit what you already have, rather than generate something solely for the purposes of applying. The only exception is marketing reels, which are not successful in MAP’s process.

Which formats does the application accept?
You may upload a file (.pdf, .jpg, .m4a, .mp3, .wav, .avi, .mov, .mp4) or provide a link and, if applicable, password. A field for cue points or page ranges is available so that you don’t have to edit the sample to a particular length.
What should I include in the work sample description?
Assert what you want reviewers to notice about your work, especially any elements that will help them imagine the proposed project.
Can I see an example of a work sample description?

– Example for those submitting in-process documentation: “These are the first 9 pages of the play’s second act. The cast will collectively devise the dance on page 43. We’ll use techniques that our company has developed over the past two years, which draw from the influences noted in our bio.”
– Example for those submitting a past work: “These are the first 3 minutes of a 45-minute composition. Please focus particularly on the instrumentation and rhythmic choices. These are good indicators of my compositions generally, and this section highlights some phrasing choices that I plan to investigate further in the proposed project.”

ARTISTS

Which artists should go in which section?

MAP needs to know which artist(s) hold the greatest degree of artistic and financial responsibility because we will work with them directly in the event of a grant. Artists who do not hold these responsibilities should be listed in “Additional collaborators.”

There are up to three entries available in the application, which may be individuals or ensembles (an ensemble counts as one entry). We assume that each entry holds a similar level of leadership or decision-making authority.
– Example A: Entry #1 is an individual artist who is writing the script for this project. Entry #2 is an individual artist who is directing and choreographing the project. They both hold equal decision-making power.
– Example B: Entry #1 is an ensemble of 4 artists who are collectively devising the script and performing the project. Entry #2 is an individual artist who is composing all music and lyrics for the project. All ensemble members and the individual artist hold equal decision-making power.

For information on how to list a creative partner/producer, see “PROJECT INFORMATION” above.

The role I hold in this project is not in the list of options. What should I select?
Please select the option that most closely describes your role. If you wish to elaborate further, use the bio or project description fields.
I am an interdisciplinary artist. Which discipline(s) should I select?
MAP understands that artists may not feel accurately or adequately represented within these categories. Please select the discipline(s) that most closely describe your practice or performance work.
What information should I include in my bio?
We recommend providing context about the proposed project’s relationship with practices, themes, questions, and/or interests that you’ve been investigating during your artistic career.
What information should I include in the Additional collaborators field?
A simple list of the names of collaborators, the roles they hold in the project, and a digital presence (one link to a website, a social media account, etc.).

DEMOGRAPHICS

Would you provide an example of how I might fill out the demographics section?
MAP respectfully requests that you only report demographic information for the individual artists and artist ensembles listed as having the most decision-making responsibility, and do not include artists listed under “Additional collaborators.”

– Example A: Entry #1 is an individual artist who identifies as Thai American. Entry #2 is an individual artist who identifies as Afro Cuban. For the question “Which option(s) best describe how the artist(s) would define their race/ethnicity or races/ethnicities,” the artists might select “Asian, Pacific Islander,” Black, African American,” and “Latina/o/x/e.” For the question “How many artists identify as people of color/people of the global majority/BIPOC,” the artists would select “All of the artists (100%).”
– Example B: Entry #1 listed is an ensemble of three people, one who identifies as straight and two of whom identify as lesbian. For the question “How many artists identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, two spirit, and/or queer+,” they would select “Most of the artists (more than or equal to 50%),” as ⅔ of their team would fall under the lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, two spirit, and queer+ umbrella.

We acknowledge that these categories will not reflect the nuances of everyone’s identity. Applicants who wish to share more may do so in the final question.

Why is MAP collecting demographic data?
MAP collects demographic data to track who is and is not represented among eligible entrants. Any data that MAP collects will only be shown in the aggregate. Demographic data is not visible to reviewers.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few prompts that might be helpful when drafting a project description:

What exactly is the project, and how will it take form? If multi-faceted, which components meet the eligibility criteria of “live performance”?

How does the project resonate with MAP’s purpose to support artistic investigation/experimentation that disrupts the oppressive dominant culture in the name of cultural and social equity?

What or who are your influences?

How long might it take to create and share with the public?

How might you select collaborators for this project?

What are your methods of collaboration and creation?

Where do you want the work to take place?

What inspires you to focus on this particular project at this time?

For those creating a project that does not culminate in a conventional performance and/or who work in ways that are cyclical or non-product oriented, we recommend speaking to:

What are your longer-term artistic goals?

How do you intend to use MAP’s resources during the two-year grant period?

What is your artistic process?


We encourage applicants to share their project descriptions with peers for feedback. Should they wish to use it, our feedback methodology is outlined below.


Key Areas

We’ve collected tens of thousands of comments from hundreds of reviewers and panelists over the past ten years about which aspects of proposals would benefit from more clarity or detail. Their recommendations can be distilled down to six key areas:

Audience intentions

Cultural integrity

Disruption

Partnerships

Production logistics

Word choice & paragraph sequencing

Knowing that reviewers connect clarity in these areas to their ability to assess a proposal’s alignment with MAP’s funding goals, we’ve developed a project description assistance method to support applicants. It does not guarantee funding in any way, but it does attempt to provide a thoughtful, individualized, and artist-directed opportunity for dialogue about an application prior to submission.

We work within a specific set of parameters to generate feedback, and offer it here should anyone find it useful.

Key Questions

Do they speak to who, what, where, why, when, and how in roughly equal measure?

Are there any details missing that you would need in order to help the artists make the project?

Do their sequencing choices (paragraphs, sentences, etc.) make it unnecessarily difficult to understand the project?

Do they introduce a complex idea or term without explanation (i.e. make an (un)conscious assumption that the reader will know the reference)?

Is your reaction or response connected to your own taste (i.e. an impulse to shift an artistic choice they’ve made) or to supporting the clarity of the artist’s own intentions?

Mindset

When taking in the applicant’s proposal, we try to absorb it from the point of view of someone who: (1) is completely unfamiliar with the artist, their work, and their aesthetics, and (2) has been tasked with helping the artist make the project.

This is key because it requires our brains to scan for sufficient detail and understanding of the applicant’s intentions. Also, in the real assessment, reviewers will be unfamiliar with many of the applicants in their docket.

From this perspective, we highlight anything that raises questions, could be restructured, or seems to be missing in terms of how the applicant could make their ideas as clear as possible.

Examples

“The majority of the description is dedicated to the ‘why’ of the project. It would be helpful to include more information about where and when the project might take place because of how connected they are to the ‘why’ of your work.”
Note: We use language like what is underlined above to signal a potential future, rather than a requirement that the artist knows this answer right now. We don’t want to subtly suggest that someone must do something in a particular way.

“I noticed that you are planning to work in public spaces. It may be helpful to speak briefly to whether or not you have secured the necessary permits from the city, and/or how you intend to navigate those kinds of bureaucratic processes. There’s no need to spend much word count on this particular detail. Including it signals that you are aware and accounting for the kinds of logistics that make producing this project more complicated.”
Note: Whenever possible, we think it’s important to speak to why we are offering a suggestion.

“The details at the end of the narrative about the performance environment, as you imagine it so far, are clear. As I read, I experienced wondering if they would be addressed. I’m curious about whether the reader would have a stronger sense of the project overall and the audience experience, if paragraph #6 came second instead of last.”
Note: Rather than say, “You should do X” or “Have you tried X” (both of which could come off as if we know better or are making an assumption that an artist hasn’t thought about something deeply), this phrasing is a more neutral way of encouraging another structural possibility.

“When you were talking about the audience intentions in paragraph #2, you mentioned ‘phenomenology of performance.’ I wasn’t sure how you were defining those terms. Just a little more detail would help me connect the dots to how that concept informs the way you collaborate with audience members.”
Note: It’s helpful to express why adding more detail could illuminate other important aspects of the proposal.

“I know you stated that it’s ‘important’ for the project to happen in a specific location, but I felt like I was missing some details about the origin of the importance.”
Note: You might think to yourself “I wish they would present this somewhere else.” These kinds of suggestions may be intuitive to you as you learn about the work, but they aren’t welcome in this context. This is offered an example of what we recommend not saying. Follow the artist’s choices and then discern if more detail or clarity is needed.

MAP staff is available to answer questions via email. Please allow up to four (4) business days for response.

Applicants who wish to have a brief one-on-one conversation with a member of the grant team may schedule a 15-minute call. Appointments become available 10 business days into the future.
We are dedicated to providing individualized support to every applicant who desires it. To do that as equitably as possible, each project team is asked to only sign up for one call at a time. Please note that if you are more than five minutes late to your scheduled call, your time will be released.

Banner: 2019 grantee Always Greener by Erin Austin, Noa/h Fields, Thrisa Hodits, Tekki Lomnicki, and Jacob Watson.