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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

PAC NYC ~ The Democracy Cycle


Deadline: April 1, 2024, 5:00 PM EST

Over a 5-year period, The Democracy Cycle – a collaboration between the Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC) and Galvan Initiatives – will commission and develop 25 new performing arts works across the fields of theater, dance, music, opera, and multi-disciplinary performance that express themes related to the nature and practice of democracy, particularly as it is practiced in the United States.

Our hope is that the commissioned projects will enrich and expand discussion of and participation in democracy – be it in the national, state, regional, or hyperlocal community realm – as it is practiced within the United States and worldwide. The Democracy Cycle project is inspired by the following beliefs:Democratic values are a global expression of humanity’s striving to live with one another with respect and in peace.

Democracy, as practiced in the United States, includes a history of founding exclusions. It has been, and must continue to be, the ongoing work of our society to expand upon the ideals of inclusivity embedded in our founding documents.

Democracy faces significant perceived and actual threats in the current moment, both domestically and internationally.

The Intersection of capitalism and democracy creates both opportunities and tensions.
Artists are the beating heart of democratic values because of their ability to imagine new worlds, envision new possibilities, and provoke meaningful discourse across divides.

The primary focus of The Democracy Cycle will be on democracy as it is currently being practiced in the United States. However, commissioned projects may include references to democracies worldwide provided they have potential for informing and deepening our understanding of American democracy.

The Commission

Artists will receive a commission of $30,000 to create the new work and an additional $30,000 in support of the work’s development (research, readings, workshops etc.).

The Timeline
  • January 16, 2024: Application portal opens for Round One Open Call
  • February 15, 1:00pm EST: Live webinar where the Democracy Cycle staff will give an overview of the steps to apply and the application elements, with an opportunity for questions and answers at the end.
  • April 1, 2024, 5:00 PM EST: Application deadline date for Round One Open Call
  • May-June 2024: Applications are screened for eligibility by TDC staff. Eligible proposals are reviewed by a minimum of two Readers. Using Reader’s evaluative scores, a list of finalists is developed.
  • Spring/summer 2024: A peer panel drawn from the fields of performing arts and the study and practice of democracy reviews finalists’ proposals and selects 8 projects to receive the 2024 commissions.
  • September 2024: All Round One Open Call applicants notified of their project’s status.
  • Early 2025: Round Two Open Call timeline and guidelines announced
  • Early 2026: Round Three Open Call timeline and guidelines announced

Eligible applicants must:
  • Be generative artists working in the field of theater, dance, music, opera, or multi-disciplinary performance
  • Have completed and presented at least 2 full-length prior works of performance publicly, as evidenced by their bio, CV and/or work samples.
  • Propose a new live performance work which may be at any stage of development, but may not be planned to premiere before November 1, 2024. (Remounts of previously completed/premiered works are ineligible.)
  • Propose a new live performance work which is planned to be completed in 2025, 2026, or 2027.
  • Be prepared to manage the income-tax implications of accepting a commission from a U.S.-based arts organization. (U.S. citizenship is not a requirement.)
Proposals are not eligible if
  • The lead artist is enrolled as a full-time student in a degree-granting program
  • The lead artist is under the age of eighteen
  • The main purpose of the project is the curation or documentation of existing work(s)
  • The proposed work advocates by name for the success or failure of a current partisan candidate for office or a political party
  • The lead artist or any of the main collaborators are employees or immediate family of employees of PAC NYC or Galvan Initiatives

Selection Criteria

Readers and panelists will consider the following in selecting the commissioned projects:How does the proposed work model, hold accountable, expand, critique, or celebrate democracy, the practice of democracy, and democratic ideals? How has the artist or artists identified and responded to ideas or themes related to democracy, including core democratic principles and values (ex. political equality, majority rule, minority rights, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, among others.)

Does the work demonstrate clear potential for generating meaningful reflection and discourse on democracy as demonstrated by project narrative, samples of prior work, and artistic history of its collaborators.

Application Requirements

You will submit your application through Submittable. To do so, you will need to have or create a free Submittable account.

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