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Application Guidelines

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Application Calendar
Online Letter of Inquiry Application Open

Online Letter of Inquiry Application Deadline

Notification of Invite for Full Proposal

Deadline for Full Proposals (by invite)

APRIL 2016
Final Notification of Panel Results

JULY 1, 2016 - JUNE 30, 2018
Grant Activities Period

Who Should Apply to MAP

The MAP Fund is founded on the principle that experimentation drives human progress, no less in art than in science or medicine. We welcome applications from artists, ensembles, producers and presenters of a high artistic standard, whose work in the disciplines of contemporary performance embodies this spirit of exploration and deep inquiry. MAP is particularly interested in supporting work that examines notions of cultural difference or "the other," be that in class, gender, generation, race, religion, sexual orientation or other aspects of diversity.

How to Apply

Open submissions to the MAP Fund are accepted in the first stage of our three-stage review process.

Stage 1: Register on the MAP Fund website for the Online Letter of Inquiry. This is an open call requesting written information about your project and the lead artists involved.

After a review by field evaluators and MAP staff, those proposals that most closely align with the MAP Fund goals are invited to make a full application through email notification.

Stage 2: Full Application (by invitation). Also online, the full application requests a complete project budget, statements from lead artists, and work samples, in addition to the information submitted in the LOI. Full applications are reviewed by field evaluators and MAP staff and, based on these scores, a selection moves forward to the on-site peer panel.

Stage 3: A nationally composed peer panel meets on-site in New York City to review the applications. The panel recommends which proposals will be funded.

Review Criteria

Proposals are evaluated on the basis of the following criteria, which are weighed equally:
  • How well a project aligns with the MAP Fund's goal of supporting experimentation and innovation in all traditions and disciplines of live performance, especially work that brings insight to the issue of cultural difference, be that in class, gender, generation, race, religion, sexual orientation or other aspects of diversity
  • The artistic strength of the proposed project
  • The viability of the project, based on the applicant's professional capabilities as demonstrated in the project narrative, bio and artist statement, and work samples.

Eligibility Requirements

Letter of Inquiry and Full Applications must come from organizations based in the United States that have current nonprofit federal tax status (501c3). Unincorporated artists or ensembles may apply to MAP through a fiscal sponsor. Learn More About Fiscal Sponsorship.

Organizations and artists must demonstrate at least 2 years professional experience.

MAP supports only projects that contain a live performance.

Eligible projects must not have premiered anywhere in the world before the first date of the current grant activities period (see Application Calendar box).

The touring or documentation of work that has already premiered is not eligible for funding.

Current employees or board members of Creative Capital, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation or the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, or immediate family members of such persons may not apply for a MAP grant.

Artists who receive a MAP grant two years in a row are asked to sit out the next year before reapplying.


MAP does not support straight adaptations from one medium to another, remounting of past work, traditional restaging of classic works, educational projects, youth programs that do not achieve as high an artistic standard as competing professional works, festivals, or contests.

Allowable Activities

MAP supports most direct costs related to the conception, creation and premiere of a new work. These include but are not limited to commissioning fees and artists' salaries, research costs, rehearsal and workshop expenses, promotion, and audience outreach and production costs up to and including the premiere run of the work.

Number of Awards

Up to 40 grants per annual cycle, ranging from $10,000 to $45,000. The average award amount is $25,000.

Panelists and Evaluators

The MAP Fund is adjudicated by artists and arts professionals, as well as by members of the MAP Fund staff. Panelists and evaluators are paid a small stipend.

Panel recommendations are subject to approval by the Creative Capital board of directors.


Feedback is available on a limited basis to applicants who made it through to the panel round only. Information on how to request feedback is provided in the notification letter.


Can an artist without 501(c)3 status apply for a MAP grant?

Yes, through the support of a fiscal sponsor. Artists should check with their state or local arts councils or artist-service organizations in their area to learn about sponsorship opportunities. About fiscal sponsorship.

Can an organization apply for more than one project?

Yes, as long as the artistic personnel on the projects are entirely separate.

What's a Lead Artist?

A Lead Artist is the choreographer, playwright, composer, or other artistic maker who is leading the creation of the new work according to her or his artistic vision. Lead Artists are those who have envisioned the proposed work, and without whom the work could not exist.

Artistic directors or executive directors who are not actively, creatively generating the proposed work should not be designated Lead Artists.

All Lead Artists on a project are required to submit a bio during the LOI phase. If the project is invited to make a full proposal, each lead artist will be asked to submit work samples and a personal statement of intent.

A Lead Artist must be made aware that she or he is being submitted on a MAP application and must personally write a statement of intent regarding their interest in the project.

If an artist is submitted for more than one project, the artist will be asked to choose which project she or he wants to move forward.

The MAP staff is happy to advise on the issue of Lead Artist. Feel free to call us: 212.226.1677.

How many Lead Artists can an application have?

At least one but no more than three Lead Artists may be named on an application. Please note that "work for hire" artisans regardless of how skilled, are not usually considered Lead Artists by MAP's definition. Please consult the MAP staff for guidance about Lead Artists.

Can a Lead Artist be submitted on more than one MAP grant a year?


A Lead Artist must be made aware that she or he is being submitted on a MAP application and must personally write a statement of intent regarding their interest in the project.

If an artist is submitted for more than one project, the artist will be asked to choose which project she or he wants to move forward.

Do Lead Artists have to be American citizens?

No. Applicant organizations must be based in the US, but artists may be from anywhere.

What if my project has more than three Lead Artists?

Choose three whose work best represents the proposed project. Call the MAP office for guidance: 212.226.1677.

Can an ensemble be considered a Lead Artist?

Yes. Ensemble companies may list the company as a single Lead Artist, and submit up to three work samples representing the group's work.

Can multiple ensembles apply for one project?

Yes. You may submit up to 3 ensembles as composite Lead Artists, and submit no more than 10-minutes of work sample material for each ensemble.

What does MAP mean by "ensemble"?

MAP defines ensemble as a group of three or more artists who have been co-creating works together for at least 2 years.

Does my project have to premiere inside the United States?

No. However, the MAP Fund aims to support and encourage the performance field in the United States, so it is exceptionally rare that a project that exists entirely outside the U.S. will be funded by MAP.

Can I apply for the same project two years in a row?


Can I know who is on the panel?

Panelists and evaluators names will be announced at the same time the final awardees are announced. Nominate an evaluator or panelist.

What if I miss the submission deadline?

Late submissions will not be accepted under any circumstances.

What's the typical amount of a MAP Fund grant?

MAP grants tend to range from 25 to 30 percent of a project's total budget.

How much money can I request from the MAP Fund?

Approximately 30 percent of your total project budget.

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