Welcome to JumpstART Commissions!
A sense of place, a landscape that reflects our past, present, and future as a community, is vital to our mental health and feeling of belonging. We want this year’s JumpstART to inspire artists to reflect back to us who we were, who we are, and who we want to be here in Chatham County. JumpstART commissions artists to make art, from tiny to medium-sized projects–and then to share those works in the public sphere. If you want to be considered for a JumpstART commission this year, please read on.
- County Residence :: To propose a JumpstART Commission, you must be a performing, visual, or literary artist living in Chatham County, North Carolina.
- Financial Need :: We’ve removed the financial need requirement for this year’s commissions, but special consideration will be given to artists who are experiencing economic challenges.
- Past JumpstART Artists :: You can still apply if you’re a past JumpstART artist. Where possible, the panel will prioritize artists who are new to JumpstART.
- Individuals and Collaborations :: You may apply as an individual artist–or as a collaborative group. If you are a collaborative group, at least one member of the group must reside in Chatham County. We ask that you apply for only one project per artist, please.
- Public Showing :: All applicants must agree to participate in a public sharing in the spring of 2024 that includes all JumpstART Commissions. This season’s JumpstART showing will happen at our annual ClydeFEST, to be held the weekend of April 13-14, 2024. The Chatham Arts Council will not require artists to participate in a way that feels COVID-unsafe to the artist.
Funding process and timeline
- Applications available online: August 09, 2023
- Application submission deadline: September 19, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.
- Panel review: Late October, 2023
- Awards Announcements: November 02, 2023
- Public showing: The weekend of April 13-14, 2024 at ClydeFEST
Guidelines and FAQs
What level of funding is available?
We’ll commission individual or collaborative projects from $500 to $1,500. Note that we have $10,000 in total funding, and we seek to commission 10 projects, so you might take that into consideration when planning your project.
Is there any creative direction here?
We’re particularly interested in commissioning and sharing a body of work by diverse artists across disciplines that feels specific to Chatham County. We propose to your artist mind the concept of The Locals. We ask that you choose a Chatham resident–past or present–and let that person be a springboard for your project.
What types of projects can I/we propose?
The project can be in any form, as long as it is shareable at a family-friendly, outdoor spring event. If you’re a performing or literary artist, you’ll perform this work. If you’re a visual artist, you’ll show the work.
Are there more details about the JumpstART showing at ClydeFEST?
Yes! We plan to share all JumpstART projects at our ClydeFEST event on the weekend of April 13-14, 2024. (Here’s a bit about last season’s ClydeFEST, in case you’ve never been.) The event will only happen on ONE of those days, and we’ll determine that date no later then September 30. JumpstART artists who need set-up time will install on Friday, April 12 and/or the morning of ClydeFEST, and JumpstART artists will be required to be present for a set period of time on the day of ClydeFEST. ClydeFEST a free family event, and last season roughly 2,500 folks attended. That’s a whole lot of folks who can experience your work! Three things to consider: (1) We anticipate the JumpstART work will have its own area at ClydeFEST; (2) Performing artists may be performing their pieces multiple times; and (3) We will ask that each JumpstART artist include a small interactive component with their project so that kids (and kids-at-heart!) can engage with the work in some way.
Does my art have to be specifically for kids?
No. You don’t have to write juvenille fiction or write music like Ziggy Marley on “Family Time”–though you certainly could! Kids like all kinds of art–not just art that’s made especially for them.
And can you tell me more about this small interactive component?
Sure thing. We’re looking for some small, but specific way folks can engage with your work. That could be a response question on an index card that you ask everyone to answer. It could be a bit of fabric that each visitor can attach to one panel of the work so that it evolves in place–or a bit they can choose and take away home with them. It could be a song section you teach or a moment when you ask folks to give you a phrase to complete a verse. Maybe it’s something specifically inspired by your Chatham County person’s life work or way of being in the world. There are tons of possibilities, and it doesn’t have to be big–but we do ask that it be intentional.
- Who will own the completed work?
Artists will retain ownership of their work. In accepting a JumpstART commission, you would be giving CAC the right to exhibit and/or show the work at ClydeFEST on April 13 or 14, 2024.
Are there restrictions around the use of funds?
At least 75% of each commission must fund your artist fees. The remaining 25% may be used for materials, rehearsal space rental, or other project needs–or it may also be used to fund your artist fees.
What are the reporting requirements?
We will not require a formal report at the end of this project. Your participation in the public event will serve as the report.
May I apply for more than project–either individually or as part of more than one collaboration?
No. Please only participate in one application this year.
How are JumpstART proposals evaluated?
Artists and community members from across the county serve on our JumpstART Commissions panel. The panel will consider the project’s artistic merit, the feasibility of the project in the timeline and budget, and project as a part of a curated experience of The Locals. Panelists may give special consideration to proposals artists from traditionally underserved communities, artists experiencing economic challenge, and artists who have not previously been a part of JumpstART.
Why does the application ask about ways in which I identify?
This information will help us live up to our inclusivity value. Our panel actively seeks to work with artists who are traditionally underserved and/or have less access to funding mechanisms as part of this commissioning round.
Why does the proposal form ask where I live within Chatham County?
We are called to serve the entire geography of Chatham County, and this information will help us do that.
Will I need to pay taxes on any commission I receive?
Per legal requirements, CAC will issue 1099s to any individuals who receive funds totaling $600 or more in this calendar year. A W-9 will be required at the time of payment.
If my project is collaborative, who will get the commission check?
We will issue checks per the primary applicant’s direction. For example, if you have a band, we can write a check to each member. W-9s will be required for each person who receives payment.
Before you begin the proposal, please note that it cannot be saved or returned to at a later time. Please compose longer answers in a program where you can save them, in case of power outages, laptop battery death, or other miserable mishaps that befall us all from time to time. Thank you in advance for your interest in JumpstART and for your work at creating art in Chatham County.