You are applying for funding to produce a show in the Issues in American Music concert series. Working in a small group (your GSI will assign this), identify a contemporary socio-political issue that you feel requires action and design an event that explores this issue through music. Select three artists (solo or ensembles) that speak to your theme to perform in the concert.

Your concert and proposal will be evaluated on quality, thoughtfulness, and originality. Your show should educate the audience on the issue, offer possible interventions, and help spur listeners to action. Think also about how the concert itself can be an act of protest or civil disobedience versus simply presenting “political” content. How can choices in format, venue, audience-performer engagement, and other dynamics further a particular political goal? What are the various ways an artist, piece, or space can be radical? Remember that music can be political not only in textual references but in how, where, and by whom it is performed.

Grant proposals should follow this outline (in this order) and include subheadings:

  • Title. Give your concert a title that colorfully illuminates your theme and will attract audiences.
  • Theme (one paragraph). State your socio-political issue, describe how your series will help listeners better understand it, and detail its importance to discussions of race, politics, and/or music in the U.S. In this paragraph, you should be making an argument for why your concert should be funded: its socio-political importance, its relevance to the Issues in American Music series, its appeal to audience, and what you hope it will do in terms of intervening in your issue.
  • Audience (one paragraph). Who is your target audience for this show? Why? How will you get word to this audience and work to get them to your show?
  • Venue (one paragraph). Where will your event be held? Why is this venue important to your show?
  • Artists (one paragraph each). List each of the three artists you will include in your concert and give basic information on the musician/group (who, style or styles they play, from where, instrumentation, or any other important features) and how they relate to and illustrate your concert theme. BE SPECIFIC about what and how audiences will learn about your theme through the music or broader performance of your artists. Also, include a print citation or weblink (NOT wikipedia) for each artist so the grant committee can learn more about them. NOTE: There are no era or geographical limitations. Artists can be dead or alive, from different time periods than each other, or from outside of the U.S., as long as they best exemplify your theme. You can choose genres we studied or not, although you can only include up to two artists we discussed in class.
  • Publicity. Create a piece of marketing for the show. Publicity can be a poster, video, social media ad, proposed live publicity action, or anything else you can dream up. Include a draft of this marketing piece as an addendum to your proposal (this should be in addition to the three pages).

Rubric (105 points total):

Articulation of issue and how the concert intervenes [20]

Audience, venue, and artist selection that supports theme [30]

Creativity in approach to issue and concert design [20]

Quality and appropriateness of marketing piece [15]

Well-written proposal free of spelling and grammatical errors [10]

Concise and informative presentation [10]

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