artist commissioning program:
frequently asked questions


What is an art producer?
An art producer can be a Queens community member, art lover, or artist who supports a contemporary artist to help create new works. Art producers will select the artists and engage with them until their world premiere. We believe the term “Art producer” levels the playing field by transforming the definitions of who can support artists.


What is a commission?
A commission is when an individual or a group pays an artist to create a new work. This commission provides artists $10,000 to create a dance, theater script, or music score.


What do you mean when you say you're seeking art that "tells untold stories, defies the cultural mainstream, or privileges underrepresented identities?"
We're looking for artwork that highlights 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. 


Who is eligible to be an art producer?
Anyone who lives in Queens with an interest and appreciation for the arts can participate. Art producers need not be artists or otherwise currently involved in the arts. We encourage individuals from different fields and perspectives to apply! If selected, we will ask you to provide proof of residency. Preference will be given to Jamaica and Jackson Heights residents.


Do I have to live in Queens to participate as an artist?
Yes, artists must live or create artwork in Queens. Preference will be given to Jamaica and Jackson Heights residents. Selected artists should be prepared to provide proof of residency or workspace.


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 events culminating in a dress rehearsal and world premiere.


If I am selected to participate as an ART PRODUCER, what is my time commitment?
Art producers are expected to attend artist monthly events 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 final dress rehearsal, and a world premiere.


Why is there a $100 participation fee for art producers?
By contributing $100, art producers demonstrate their investment and time commitment to the project. 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.


Is this $100 participation free (for art producers) tax deductible? 
Yes, this fee is considered a tax-deductible donation to Queens Council on the Arts.


What if an art producer knows an artist that applies? How will that impact the panel? 
If an art producer 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.


What if I am a multidisplinary 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. Keep in mind that your application will be judged according to this primary discipline. For instance, if you apply as a choreographer, your work will be considered alongside other choreographers. If your project is accepted, you will be able to create work in a multidisplinary fashion as long as you create a dance notation, music score, or theater script.


Can I employ dancers, musicians, and actors to present my world premiere?
Yes, of course! The commission will cover performers’ fees. However, one individual—the composer, choreographer, or playwright—willbe considered the primary ACP applicant.


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.


I am a previous Queens Art Fund (QAF) grantee. Can I apply as an artist?
Yes, you may! All previous QAF grantees are eligible to participate in the ACP program, regardless of what year you received your award.


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.


Still have questions? Feel free to contact artist commissioning program manager Kelly Olshan at