Opportunity for MN Musicians & Composers


The Cedar Commissions

The Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, a nonprofit music venue with a mission to promote intercultural appreciation and understanding through live music and dance is seeking commissioned work from MN artists. Each year, the center commissions six musicians/composers to create new work and debut it at The Cedar. The center would love to see more applications from Greater Minnesota this year! For more information, visit the RFP link:



Contact: Emmy Carter, Booking Director
The Cedar Cultural Center
Cell: 518.590.9942

More information:

Applications are now open for the 2018/19 Cedar Commissions

Download a PDF of the 2018-19 Cedar Commissions application here.


The Cedar encourages applicants from all musical genres and styles. The Cedar is committed to supporting a diverse cohort of artists that reflects its stewardship of global music, relationships, and community. Indigenous people and people of color are encouraged to apply. The Cedar will work to address any barriers to the application process such as language, technology, ability, etc.  Please contact Jess Rau at jrau@thecedar.org with questions.


What is The Cedar Cultural Center?

  • The Cedar is a non-profit performing arts organization and all-ages music venue located in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • The Cedar’s mission is to promote intercultural appreciation and understanding through the presentation of global music and dance. The Cedar is committed to artistic excellence and integrity, diversity of programming, support for emerging artists, and community outreach


What is The Cedar Commissions?

  • A program that commissions 6 local, emerging composers and musicians each year to create and perform new music, made possible with a grant from the Jerome Foundation www.jeromefdn.org
  • Each artist is paid $3,500 plus a $1,000 stipend for additional performance expenses
  • Since the program’s launch, we have commissioned 45 artists of diverse styles and backgrounds. For a history of past projects visitwww.thecedar.org/cedar-commissions-archive


What do Cedar Commissions Artists do?

  • Create 30+ minutes of new music. New music is: music that has not been previously written, composed, recorded and performed
  • Debut and perform the new music in a public concert at The Cedar in February 2019
  • Participate in marketing and engagement events like interviews, Q&A sessions, or collaborative performances with the other commissioned artists
  • Participate in monthly workshops and artist meetings
  • Attend a wrap-up meeting and complete an evaluation


How are Cedar Commission Artists chosen?

  • Artists are selected through a review process. A review panel made up of local musicians, former Cedar Commission Artists, community members, and Cedar Staff look at every application and review them based on 4 criteria:
  1. Project Idea
  2. Feasibility
  3. Emerging Artist
  4. Quality of Work Samples
  • Previous commission recipients are ineligible for two years following their commission year.
  • Applicants must live in the state of Minnesota.
  • Only one application per lead artist is allowed; collaborators can be listed as part of more than one project.
  • Full-time, degree-seeking students are not eligible.


How do artists apply?

  • Submit the following by Friday, June 1, 2018, 11:59 PM by email to jrau@thecedar.org:
    • Submit 1-2 pages describing your project:
      • What is your project Idea?
      • The strongest applications will demonstrate innovative approaches to the artist’s work and how receiving the commission will give them an opportunity to explore new territory, ideas, or collaborations that would have otherwise not been possible. The focus of the project is on the creation, writing, or composition of new music (not audio production, recording, etc.)
      • How feasible is your project?
      • The strongest applications will show that the applicant has a grasp of the timeline and budget required to complete their project. Applicants should consider that their work will be performed along with two others projects in an evening-length performance. New work should be 30-40 minutes in length and stageable within The Cedar’s space.
    • Submit 1-2 pages describing your artistry:
      • What is your background as an artist and how this project will further your career as an emerging artist?
      • Jerome defines “emerging artists” as artists who take risks, have potential, are diligent, and who have some evidence of professional achievement but not a substantial record of accomplishment. Strong proposals demonstrate how the commission would further their career. Please include:
      • Previous composition experience
      • Previous performance experience
      • Other relevant experience (may include any private lessons, formal education, mentorship or apprenticeships, etc.)
    • Submit 2 audio or video work samples:
      • Strong work samples fully represent the artist’s capabilities and musicality
      • The total length of the 2 work samples combined must be less than 5 minutes
      • If your work sample is one part of a longer piece, please note start and end times of the sample in the body of your email
      • Samples may be hosted on any 3rd party site (YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.)


How can I get support on my application?

  • Attend an application workshop:
    • @ The Cedar on Saturday, May 12; 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
    • Application workshops are designed to help potential applicants learn about the program and how to write and submit an effective application.
  • If you cannot attend the application workshop:
    • Workshop will be streamed live on Facebook and archived on Youtube
    • Questions may be emailed to  jrau@thecedar.org
  • If the process presents barriers based on language, cultural background, or disability, we accommodate special application requests to the best of our ability; email jrau@thecedar.org or call 612-338-2674 x 109


When will the 2018/19 Cedar Commissions Artists be announced?

  • Selected artists will be contacted July 1st by 5:00 PM
  • Public announcement will be released August 1st


Read about past Cedar Commissions projects here.

Download a PDF of the 2018-19 Cedar Commissions application here.

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