Monday, September 24, 2012

Did you know? Information about MAP Fund and Helpful Hints for Applying

The Field’s Shawn René Graham sat down with MAP Fund Program Director, Moira Brennan, for an info session on applying to MAP. This is what we learned!

A little background:

Did you know that the MAP Fund is 24 years old? It is the oldest direct grant for performing art activities in the US and is only second to the NEA in funding resources. They give away $1.2 million annually to up to 40 projects in all performing disciplines—theater, music, dance—and they receive about 1,000 applications every year.

Application review process:

The MAP Fund has three goals in mind when reviewing applications:
1. They are looking for contemporary works that challenge conventions
2. They are interested in the issue of “the other” or diversity in your work
3. They fund proposals that demonstrate excellence of execution.

They want to make it the simplest application form, by keeping it streamlined and only asking for essential info, which includes project description and artist statements, a budget, and work samples.

Funding is usually granted to artists who have been producing work publicly for at least two years. The average award is 10-25% of the applicant’s total budget.

MAP Fund is excited about international projects, but unless the project includes a US-based performance it is unlikely to get funded.

Helpful hints & suggestions:

Project Descriptions and Artist Statements: Resist throwing all of your collaborators’ thoughts into your proposals. Be focused on your vision so that the panelists can see that you are in command of your own project. Make your artistic statements grounded and related to your artistic process; it should be 80% practical and 20% philosophical. Be sure to include a clear execution plan in your project description. There are links in the application that tell you what to write, follow them closely.

Work samples: Make sure your work samples grab the viewer’s attention within the first 5 seconds. Find sections of your work that are explosive. Work samples should be thought out carefully and should include clear descriptions. Your text should direct the panelist’s eye and hold their hand.

Budgets: MAP Fund panelists are keen on artist’s fees. Always include as much detail as possible and break down artist payment fees more than anything else.

For more information about MAP Fund, visit

If you are a Sponsored Artist with The Field and you want to apply to MAP Fund, you must register through us. Contact Shawn René Graham ( immediately to apply.

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