Starting in July 2020, Baltimore Jazz Alliance (BJA) members — musicians and listeners alike — are eligible to apply to the BJA for financial support for a project that contributes to or enhances the Baltimore jazz scene in any way. This might mean, for example, helping to pay for recording for a debut CD; it could mean helping to fund a special performance or series; it could be buying instruments for a struggling music education program, or bringing in a guest artist to teach aspiring jazz students; it could even be helping to fund a jazz-themed mural, or a book of jazz-related photos. We want to hear what you think would have a positive impact on Baltimore jazz, and if we agree, and are able, we want to help.
Criteria for eligibility are simple:
- Applicant must be a member at the time of application, and must remain a member at the time of award.
- The proposed project must be relevant to our mission — that is, it should have some ties to the Baltimore metro area, and it should relate to jazz in some way.
- Members of the BJA Board of Directors are not eligible.
Selection Criteria & Process
Criteria for selection, on the other hand, are a little bit more complicated (but not much). Each proposal will be reviewed and discussed by our board and evaluated based on feasibility, impact, cost, and more.
- Feasibility: We will consider the project’s chance for success in the provided timeline, budget, and environment. We will also take into consideration the risks faced by the project to ascertain whether the project can achieve its stated goal. If the application is for partial funding of the project, we will consider whether the other funding sources are confirmed, or if not, how likely they are to be confirmed.
- Impact: We will also consider the proposed project’s impact on the applicant, on the BJA, and on the Baltimore jazz community. For the applicant, is this a dream to be realized, or a steppingstone in a career path, or just another in a catalog of endeavors — i.e., is it special? For the BJA, is it something that our other members will enjoy or benefit from? For the greater jazz community, does it promote Baltimore’s jazz scene, and contribute to its legacy in some meaningful way?
- Cost: BJA is a small non-profit organization, and our pockets are not deep. Realistically, we are unlikely to be able to fund more than $1,000 per project; half that is even more likely. However, we encourage applicants to present their projects no matter what the size. Even if we cannot fully fund a project, we might be able to help to locate other funding sources, or to act as a fiscal agent to seek grants from larger organizations.
- Non-monetary support: We may also be able to help in ways other than funding, such as promotion and publicity, or finding additional interested partners and/or volunteers.
- Deadline: Currently, is no application deadline — this is a rolling application process, and requests will be considered as they are received, usually at our monthly board meetings.
We have few fixed rules for these grants, but we do have certain expectations of any recipients of our support:
- As mentioned above, recipient must remain an active member of the BJA for the duration of the project.
- The project should be completed as described in the application, unless unforeseen circumstances arise causing a change of plans. In that case, BJA will try to work with the recipient to ensure that the project is still within the guidelines agreed upon.
- The BJA reserves the right to promote the project, using audio, video, images, and any other relevant material, to highlight our support for the project.
- Whenever possible, the recipient should recognize the BJA’s support, be it logo or mention on a physical product (such as a CD, book, etc.), on physical or digital marketing materials (flyers, social media post, etc.), or by special announcement on social media, or in person at an event. The means will vary depending on the project, but we just ask that the awardee recognize the BJA in some way.
- Funding will be delivered on a timeline consistent with the nature of the project; each scenario will differ, so we will work out the details with each recipient, but we will expect some evidence of the expenses such as contracts, receipts, estimates, or some other indication that the final product is indeed being produced.
How to Apply
To apply for a grant, please fill out the form found here.
PLEASE NOTE: It is unlikely that we will be able to fund every applicant, much as we would love to, so we will weigh each proposal carefully and try to support the ones that we feel best balance all the contributing factors. We will also try to provide feedback on any project that we are unable to fund, so that the applicant understands our reasons, and may even be able to adjust the request and re-apply.