MAP awards $1 million annually to up to 40 projects. The key features of the program are:
- An open submission policy: MAP welcomes applications from artists and organizations across the US. Committed to the fullest expression of inclusivity, we hope to discover the freshest ideas and practices in the field, thus continuously seeding new growth.
- Panelists and evaluators who are committed to the Fund’s ideal of deep inquiry: MAP is adjudicated by artists and arts professionals who have demonstrated their own excellence of craft, leadership, and spirit of generosity to their peers. Their guiding role in MAP award selections allows the program to be nimble and responsive to movement in the field, establishing our credibility among applicants and thus encouraging artists to bring their best work forward.
- A focus on the creative individual: The MAP application centers on the creative process and is designed to let the peer panel hear directly from artists. Core components are the artist’s personally written statement of purpose, biography, and work samples.
- An appreciation of the artist’s process: The MAP Fund’s allowable costs are designed to emphasize process. They include residency costs, research and development expenses, workshop performances, and artist travel and commissioning fees.
- A national presence: MAP believes that inclusivity is critical to the health of the field and is committed to welcoming applications from every state and region in the country.
The MAP Fund has been the subject of two outside evaluations. In 1999, the research firm of Adams and Goldbard undertook a broad assessment of the needs of the performance field and the specific ways in which MAP had or had not met those needs. Their research involved interviews with MAP grantees, panelists, and administrative staff, as well as with field experts who had no formal relationship to the Fund. The report concluded: “MAP is widely perceived as having made great strides toward achieving its initial aims. [It has] taken risks in supporting emerging artists who were later recognized as major contributors to the culture.”
In 2007, Creative Capital commissioned Edward Martenson, professor of arts management at Yale School of Drama, to survey all lead artist and organization officials funded since 1989, and undertake one-to-one interviews with 25 selected grantee artists. The survey, sent out to approximately 500 individuals, elicited an astonishing 50 percent response rate. Martenson’s report similarly concluded that MAP remains a critical resource in the field.