artist commissioning program:
frequently asked questions
WHAT IS AN ART COMMISSIONER?
In the context of QCA’s Artist Commissioning Program, an Art Commissioner is a Queens-based or affiliated community member, art lover, or artist who selects and supports a contemporary artist to help create new works. Art Commissioners will select the artists and engage with them until their world premiere. QCA created this role of an Art Commissioner in efforts to level the playing field of who can commission art and actively support the development of new culture.
WHAT IS A COMMISSION?
A commission is when an individual or a group pays an artist to create a new work for a specific purpose. In the case of Artist Commissioning Program, this commission will provide four artists $10,000 each to create a dance, theater script, or music score.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHEN YOU SAY YOU'RE SEEKING ART THAT "TELLS UNTOLD STORIES OF UNDERREPRESENTED PERSON(S)?"
We're looking for artwork that tells a story that is not currently visible in American art. It should highlight a narrative of individual person(s) and character(s), emphasizing the lives, backgrounds, and experiences of individuals/groups that often go underrepresented. Examples may include the LGBTQ community, people of color, immigrants, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, religious minorities, among countless other distinct heritage and cultural identities. The themes associated with the proposed artworks should reflect the diversity of the borough.
WHAT IF AN ART PRODUCER KNOWS AN ARTIST THAT APPLIES? HOW WILL THAT IMPACT THE PANEL?
If an Art Commissioner encounters an artist they know personally in the panel process, they will be given an opportunity to recuse themselves. This program’s selection panel is not blind, or anonymous, as artists submit materials that include their identity, such as a website. Artists and Art Commissioners cannot apply to together; the selection process for each are independent based on the applicants' merits.
WILL THE WORLD PREMIERES BE FOUR SEPARATE EVENTS, OR ONE COMBINED EVENT?
We are planning to host four separate events, one for each artist. This is primarily so each artist can chose the venue that best suits their project. However, it’s ultimately up to the selected artists: if all four artists decide they want to join forces and host one large event, QCA will support this direction and help make that happen.
HOW ARE THE WORLD PREMIERE VENUES SELECTED?
While Artists are encouraged to have ideas for their venue before they apply, they do not have to have a venue confirmed or selected at the time of their application. For this program, we see selecting a venue as something that comes after the project starts to take shape, and realize that many artists do not have independent access to hosting sites. The process of procuring a venue is something that takes place as a collaborative effort between the artists, art producers, and Queens Council on the Arts. Both the Art Commissioners and Queens Council on the Arts work to ensure selected artists secure a presenting venue that is a good fit for their work. There is no requirement or pre-determined list for venues, other than that they must be located in Queens. For examples of past World Premiere venues, please visit our list of previous ACP awardees.
DO I HAVE TO LIVE IN QUEENS TO PARTICIPATE AS AN ARTIST?
As of the 2019-2020 cycle of ACP, artists no longer have to live in Queens to be eligible for the ACP. However, strong project proposals will demonstrate a connection and relevance to either the areas of Maspeth/Ridgewood or Flushing. Preference will be given to artists currently living in Queens and with a strong connection to one of these neighborhoods.
IF I AM SELECTED TO PARTICIPATE AS AN ARTIST, WHAT IS MY TIME COMMITMENT?
Selected artists will be preparing a dance, music score, or theatre script over a ten-month period. In support of this new work, artists are expected to attend and participate in Monthly Convenings culminating in World Premiere in Queens. See Program Calendar for dates & details.
WHAT IF I AM A MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST?
Multidisciplinary artists are eligible to apply, but we ask that in your application you specify your primary means of production as a choreographer, playwright, or composer. When considering multidisciplinary components of the prospective production, keep in mind that ACP Awardee’s works should be capable of being replicated and produced by a third party or artist via your commission’s deliverables to QCA. If your project is accepted, you will be able to create work in a multidisplinary fashion as long as you document every component (in addition to the core choreography, music score, or theater script) so it is capable of being replicated.
CAN I HIRE DANCERS, MUSICIANS, ACTORS, AND/OR OTHER ARTISTIC PERSONNEL TO PRESENT MY WORLD PREMIERE?
Yes, of course! The commission will cover performers’ fees. However, one individual—the composer, choreographer, or playwright—will be considered the primary ACP applicant.
I'VE PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED A QUEENS ART FUND (QAF), SU CASA, ARTHOTEL, OR ARTPORT GRANT THROUGH QCA. CAN I APPLY AS AN ARTIST?
Yes, you may! All previous grantees are eligible to participate in the ACP program, regardless of what year you received your award. You are also encouraged to apply to multiple QCA grants for the same project; see below for details.
IF I'M APPLYING TO ACP, CAN I APPLY TO OTHER QCA GRANTS?
Yes, in fact, we encourage it! Artists can apply to any other grants from Queens Council on the Arts. The New Works Grant may be particularly applicable, as it supports artists for the creation of new work. Artists are welcome to apply to both of these grants for the same project. Applicants are also free to further support their projects by applying to external funding sources independent of QCA.
for art COMMISSIONER
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BE AN ART COMMISSIONER?
Anyone who lives, works, or has a strong connection to Maspeth/Ridgewood or Flushing with an interest and appreciation for the arts can participate. Art Commissioners need not be artists or otherwise currently involved in the arts. We encourage individuals from different fields and perspectives to apply!
IF I AM SELECTED TO PARTICIPATE AS AN ART PRODUCER, WHAT IS MY TIME COMMITMENT?
Art Commissioners are expected to attend artist Monthly Convenings over the course of a year. These events include the initial interview, the selection panel, kickoff party, an assortment of monthly art salon/studio visits/artist talks/professional development events, a World Premiere in Queens. See Program Calendar for dates & details.
WHY IS THERE A $100 PARTICIPATION FEE FOR ART PRODUCERS?
ACP's objective is to create the next generation of Queens-based art patrons. For this reason, QCA asks art producers for a monetary contribution to demonstrate their commitment to supporting artists. Additionally, the program will provide hands-on professional development, enabling art producers to designate resources towards the independent commission of future works of art after the program.
Please note that ACP is largely privately funded; this fee does not cover program costs.
IS THIS $100 PARTICIPATION FEE FOR ART PRODUCERS TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
Yes, this fee is considered a tax-deductible donation to Queens Council on the Arts.
WHAT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY AS AN ART COMMISSIONER?
As an Art Commissioner, you are required to pay the $100 fee and participate in one of two panels selecting the artists on either Tuesday, December 17 (Flushing Group) or Wednesday, December 18th (Maspeth/Ridgewood Group).
You are also expected support the artists throughout their creative process by being present and engaged at Monthly Convenings such as art salons, networking sessions, and professional development events (see Program Timeline for dates & details). Art Commissioners also advise the artist on procuring a venue, market the World Premieres to their network, and assist with the event production of the World Premieres.