Submission Deadline: May 20, 2019
Award notifications: June 10, 2019
Description: For projects premiering between Jan 1, 2020 and Dec 31, 2023

Applications are available to NPN Partners via the Partner Portal.


  • Artistic projects in the early stages of creation, to be presented no sooner than January 1, 2020 and no later than December 31, 2023.
  • Projects that advance racial and/or cultural justice and further NPN Creation Fund goals.
  • Projects that culminate in live experiential exchange between artists and communities in a public setting, regardless of discipline.
  • Artists/companies based in the U.S. and its territories or Mexico.
  • At least two co-commissioners (one of whom is an NPN Partner) in different communities confirmed at the time of application.
  • NOTE: If the artist is a company member, staff member, or resident artist of one of the co-commissioning organizations, three co-commissioners must be identified (in different communities) to ensure visibility for artists beyond their home base.
  • Artists who have not received a Creation & Development Fund in the last two years (FY17 and FY18: July 1, 2016 – present).
  • Co-commissioning fees must be available and paid out by all co-commissioners to NPN by June 1, 2020 – no exceptions.
  • Artists and co-commissioners must credit NPN and co-commissioners for the life of the work in all marketing and promotional materials.
  • In alignment with NPN’s commitment to creating an arts sector rooted in justice, we are committed to ensuring spaces, structures, and processes free of racism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, misogyny, classism, or other bias. Our expectation is that all artists and co-commissioners receiving NPN support will honor this ethic.

Co-Commissioning Requirements 

a) Commissioning Fees – Creation & Development Fund projects begin with an artist or company, at least two co-commissioning organizations (one of which is an NPN Partner) in different communities, and a vision of new work. Each organization contributes to the artist’s commissioning fee, and there is no limit to the number of co-commissioners a project may have. In Phase I, each artist receives a minimum of $12,000 of Creation Support.

b) Commitment to Live Public Engagement –  Co-commissioners have a three-year period in which they commit to hosting the artist in a live exchange of the co-commissioned work. This exchange can take any format such as a public presentation, performance, exhibition and/or community residency, as long as it centers live experiential artistic exchange between the Co-commissioning organizations community, the artist and the new work. NPN offers access to, but does not guarantee, Artist Engagement Funds to NPN Partners to support artist fees for these exchanges.

Fees paid per organization:

  • With annual organizational budgets less than $1 Million  – $2,000 each
  • With annual organizational budgets of greater than $1 Million – $3,000 each
  • NPN – $8,000

Advancing Racial and Cultural Justice 

NPN recognizes there are many strategies to advancing racial and cultural justice and will support a variety of approaches that benefit artists, organizations and communities marginalized by current and historic systems of oppression. Furthering this goal may look like: commissioning an artist of color, indigenous artist, artist with disabilities, or trans artist; supporting a project that deals with issues of racial or cultural justice; supporting a process that builds work with communities who have been underinvested in, etc.

Selection Process

NPN will convene a peer panel of NPN Partners and artists to select awards. Please note awards will not be made based on language, grammar, or writing. Additionally, projects will not be judged on artistic merit or career successes but rather the alignment with NPN’s program goals and quality of relationships. NPN will fund 8-13 projects in this application round, prioritizing projects using the following criteria:

  • Artists and co-commissioners who represent communities historically underinvested in, including but not limited to communities of color, Native American, indigenous, disability, trans, and rural communities
  • Projects that advance racial and/or cultural justice and further NPN Creation Fund goals
  • Projects that honor long-term relationship building and/or cultivate new authentic, reciprocal collaborations between artists, communities, and/or commissioners
  • Projects in the creation phase of development (as opposed to near completion or touring)



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