South Arts is now accepting applications for the second cycle of Jazz Road Tours, offering grants of up to $15,000 to support tours by emerging and mid-career jazz artists. Artists can apply for funds to build tours that include three to six sites, with an emphasis on bringing jazz to rural, isolated and underserved parts of the country.
This national program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is led by South Arts in partnership with the five other US regional arts organizations (Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Western Arts Alliance/WESTAF).
“This year, we have simplified the application process for artists,” said Sara Donnelly, director of jazz with South Arts. “We recognize how challenging it can be for artists to gain footholds in new markets or secure engagements in parts of the country that rarely see touring jazz artists, and Jazz Road aims to make touring possible.”
This cycle of Jazz Road funding will support tours occurring between August 2020 and August 2021. Recipients will be able to use the funds to pay for necessary aspects of touring, including travel, lodging, meals and artist fees. “Artists deserve to be paid equitably for their work, and Jazz Road is able to ensure that musicians can focus on their art as much as their wallets,” continued Donnelly.
To apply, artists must submit information about themselves and any other artists in their ensemble, samples of their work, the structure of the tour and offer letters countersigned by the performance venues. Artists living anywhere in the US may apply. A peer panel will review all of the applicants using the criteria of artistic excellence and merit of the proposed tour to recommend funding.
“Because of [Jazz Road], the tour was financially stable,” said Caleb Wheeler Curtis, a previous Jazz Road Tours grant recipient. “Without touring, a band cannot be a band. [Our] music grew exponentially. We are excited for the future and can imagine growing an audience to a sustainable size.”
Applications for this round of Jazz Road Tours are due by April 21. Artists selected for funding will be informed in July. Full guidelines, program information and additional details are available on jazzroad.org and southarts.org.