In a press release just received comes news of a funding opportunity from the new arts program Emergent Seed.
The organization is offering $500 microgrants to emerging writers and composers in the DC Metro area to have their work broadcast in virtual events.
The release explained: “Committed to addressing the immediate financial stress caused by COVID19 closures, Emergent Seed is investing in the virtual infrastructure for the performing arts. Emergent Seed’s vision is to spotlight the local creative community while addressing the lost income and lost visibility of so many performing artists.
Submissions will consist of 2-5 minute videos of original work in one of four categories – Poetry, Storytelling, Song & Lyrics, and Instrumental.
When asked how specifically this includes the theatre world, Emergent Seed gave this guidance: “Playwrights may submit ‘micro plays’ in the Storytelling category, and composers may submit a Musical Theatre Style song in the Song & Lyrics category.” All must be complete in 5 minutes or less.
“Our goal is to showcase diverse, local talent for audiences, by curating short video performances. As a result, we’re not, in this initial phase, accepting excerpts of longer pieces for submissions (e.g. excerpt from a play, musical or novel) because all submissions must be complete works that have a natural beginning and end….In our effort to curate broadcasts we want to offer audiences complete, cohesive pieces in the form of 5 minute performances.”
How to apply:
Emergent Seed is receiving applications through Monday June 15th, 2020 at 12pm EST. To be eligible, applicants must live in DC or one of the 6 surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia consisting of Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Montgomery, and Prince George’s, be 18-35 years old, and have been financially impacted by the coronavirus closures.
Artists always retain sole ownership of their material.
There are two options for any artist selected – 3 year Exclusive or Non-exclusive license. The Non-exclusive does not come with the $500 though, and has a smaller royalty as described in the License Agreement. The Exclusive is only for 3 years to allow us to promote the piece and the artist. The Royalty payments are forever.
Note, this round is designed for only submissions that are a complete piece (song, poem, story, etc) and can be performed in under 5 minutes so we can’t accept pieces from a larger work like a play or musical. That’s why we call them micro plays and musical theater style songs. The primary benefit of Emergent Seed is that we are dedicated to introducing the winning artists to others who can help them in multiple ways, both with additional financing and in other ways specific to their artistic career.
Writers and composers may apply by visiting the website, www.emergent-seed.org, to learn how to make and submit videos of their original work.
About Emergent Seed
The name “Emergent Seed” reflects both the “emergency” coronavirus situation we are living in, as well as both who it will help – “emerging” artists – and how it will help – with “seed” funding and short video performances.
The founder of Emergent Seed, Adrianna Smith, is a writer and poet living in Washington, D.C., who has been published in the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Poet Lore, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly. She has privately raised money for this round and a second one in the summer and will be raising additional funds to keep Emergent Seed an ongoing effort. Emergent Seed plans to grow as a social enterprise – a financially self-sustaining vehicle – raising money to give out microgrants beyond the initial funding raised and host virtual events and broadcasts.
Smith is also the host and creator of Makars (https://www.makar-studio.com/makars-series), which has been a free, monthly open mic series that brings together high-quality, genre-diverse local performers in different locations across the DC Metro area. Makars has attracted a community of over 500 people. Inspired by this spirit of creativity and community-building, Smith is dedicated to finding ways, especially during this COVID19 crisis, to support both the kinds of emerging artists she regularly saw at Makars, as well as those yet to be discovered.
Today, “emergent” means under 35, non-white, female preference, therefor not truly “diverse.”