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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sonoma County Artist Awards for Performing, Music and Literary Arts for 2011

The Sonoma County Artist Awards for Performing, Music and Literary Arts for 2011 is a long way away as regards the actual giving of the award, but the process begins in 2010 and the application process and more have changed. Artists OF ALL KINDS need to be aware of these changes so they can prepare their work for the application process.

These awards are for Sonoma County artists only!

Firstly, everything is going virtual. Nominations, applications, submissions and judging. (It is possible that there will be a gathering in Santa Rosa for conference of many of the judges either in person or, for some, via Tele-Conferencing, to finalize their decisions.) There are several reasons for this and the biggest one is convenience for all.

The second is that we have a greater chance of not losing anything. Not that we did last time but you never know.

Thirdly we wish to expand the outreach for applicants, nominators and judges and to make the ability for their participation more convenient.

Finally, for those artists who already have much of their work memorialized online in social networks or sites such as My Space,Vimeo or You Tube, Music or Literary sites etc, artists will be allowed to reference them via URL rather than duplicate a submission. They will be asked to date stamp such references or performances.

The most important change is that we will no longer be asking nominees to submit hard copy such as DVDs, CDs or print material. That is, there will no longer be a need for an artist to create or copy any print material and submit it via the postal service with all the inconvenience that implies. Those whom we invite to be nominators will be asked to nominate on line, again saving time and lessening the inconvenience of submitting hard copy nominations. All artists' videos, audio and print material may be submitted via an online application form.

To that end I am asking you to spread the word among your respective artistic communities and to take note yourselves, that should the possibility of a $5,000 award appear enticing, artists should begin to think of memorializing their work on video or audio or by transferring it to digital. For Musicians from all genres that may not be a hard thing to do. For Performing artists, such as Theatre people, Dancers, Opera or Musical Theater performers, Street performers etc, recording their work on video or audio is getting to be far more common. Of course, getting the relevant permissions, will be a pain, but a pain worthwhile if an artist becomes a finalist. Last year many videos were submitted on DVD and I'm sure that followed the rules of the game. For Literary artists, without making any presumptions, many writers already have their work in digital format and therefore it shouldn't be a problem.

The rules, regs and restrictions for the awards will be posted online on the Artist Awards website early in 2010 and an email will go out to well over a hundred Sonoma County artists, organizations and commentators inviting them to nominate one Sonoma County artist from the categories defined. Those nominated artists will then be invited to apply for the awards. There will be a $25 submission/application fee, also payable online, to cover the costs of administering the awards program. By making the submission process an online experience the cost on postage, time and inconvenience will, we believe, be alleviated.

Finally, this award is the largest single monetary award, given out to any single artist, from each of the three categories, from any Sonoma County Arts organization. Based on a peer recognition process, the Arts Council and Community Foundation Sonoma County administer this program to encourage and promote the county's artists and to reward overall excellence, as suggested by the nominators and as adjudicated by the independent panel of judges. No member of the Board or Staff of either Arts Council of Sonoma County or Community Foundation Sonoma County will be allowed to apply for an award or have any influence or input in the final adjudication of the three winners.

So to summarize, The 2011 Sonoma County Artist Awards of $5,000 each to one Sonoma County artist each from the Performing, Music and Literary disciplines will be an all online affair. We ask that you spread the word within your community of artists to record their careers on video, audio and digitized formats to enable them to apply for this award. The award may be used in any way the winning artists deem useful and is not a grant for work to be produced but a recognition of the excellence of the artist. Many of you will be invited to nominate such an artist you think merits this award so, until then, please enjoy your festive season, keep healthy and we'll be in touch in the new year.

Thanks for all you do.


ps. If you have any questions please feel free to call me at 707-579-2787. The council offices will be closed from December 24th until January 4th 2010.
Performing, Music and Literary Arts Manager
The Arts Council of Sonoma County
404 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA
t:707.579.2787 ext 102

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