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  • Application deadline (extended):
    September 27, 2023
  • Awards announced:
    February 2024
  • New Works performance tickets Public on-sale:
    February 2024
  • New Works performance event:
    June 1, 2024
    Tickets available now!



Contact us at

The Center for the Performing Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational, arts, and cultural organization.

Our Mission
The mission of the Center for the Performing Arts is to engage and inspire the Indiana community through enriching arts experiences.

Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation

New Works Project | Performing Arts


New Works: An Arts Commission Project is an initiative by the Center for the Performing Arts to promote and sustain central Indiana’s working artists and arts communities in an inclusive way by supporting the creation of new works across all performing arts disciplines. Commissions will be awarded for three selected projects to be developed and presented onstage at the Center's Tarkington theater for an on-site and online audience.


In celebrating artists’ voices here in central Indiana, we promote more diverse, connected and thriving communities. The core theme of the new works must align with one or more of the Center’s Core Values: Integrity, Excellence, Innovation, Collaboration and Inclusion. See further details and application instructions below.




Live Performance Commissions

Three (3) awards will be presented to performing artists or groups based in central Indiana for works to be performed at a joint event on the Tarkington stage in Spring 2024.


Performance requirements:

  • Proposed works must reflect one or more of the Center’s Core Values, which are Integrity, Excellence, Innovation, Collaboration and Inclusion.
  • The work cannot have been created prior to September 2023 and must not be performed publicly prior to the premiere event in June 2024.

  • The new work should be 10 to 20 minutes in length.
  • Only original or royalty-free music is allowed. If copyrighted music is used, all licensing for live and rebroadcast must be obtained by the artist.


Support for winners includes:

  • $2,500 artist award
  • Technical support prior to the performance to assist in development of lighting, sound, and/or set concepts for the new work (must fit within technical guidelines provided)
  • Onstage rehearsal time prior to the performance
  • Onstage performance at the Tarkington in a joint event with other New Works awardees
  • Professional-quality video of live performance for future use by the artist


Selection criteria used when applications are reviewed:

  • The proposed work reflects one or more of the Center’s Core Values, which are Integrity, Excellence, Innovation, Collaboration and Inclusion.
  • The artist demonstrates excellence in technique and skill as evidenced by examples of previous work.
  • The artist raises important/interesting questions, advancing their art form in a particular way.
  • The artist’s artistic vision is clear, and the proposed work communicates a unique vision or perspective.
  • The artist has an innovative, compelling and inspiring story to tell in the proposed work.


Public engagement opportunities/requirements:

  • One virtual education chat moderated by a Center staff member, profiling the artists involved in the project and the concepts behind the created works, to be shared on the Center’s social media platforms during Spring 2024
  • One behind-the-scenes conversation moderated by a Center staff member about the creation process, in person and/or shared on the Center’s social media platforms during Spring 2024
  • One preview/talkback with students from central Indiana schools, in person or online, during Spring 2024
  • Best-effort availability for press interviews


Please note: Artists of all backgrounds are welcome, including artists of color, artists in the LGBTQ+ community, artists with disabilities and indigenous artists. There is no application fee. Questions? Please contact us at




New Works Project Submissions

The extended submission deadline is September 27, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.
Winners will be announced in February 2024.


If you have questions contact


There is no fee to apply.


The application is your opportunity to share your creative vision. You will be asked to fill out a form with the following information. All criteria (Parts A, B, C and D) MUST be addressed.



Part A. Complete applicant information 


Part B. Upload a written statement addressing the following topics in no more than three pages. (word, doc, docx & xls files accepted)

  1. Begin with a brief artistic statement that describes your existing creative work, the discipline(s) you identify your work with, and your process.
  2. Share your concept for your new work and how it addresses one or more of the Center’s Core Values (Integrity, Excellence, Innovation, Collaboration and Inclusion).
  3. Identify all known or intended collaborators and additional artists, if any.
  4. Please address how this new work fits artistically, technically and spatially on the Tarkington stage. Be specific about your ideas for sound and/or musical accompaniment. Indicate the intended length of the new work (work should be 10-20 minutes in length and take no more than 10 minutes to set up/remove from the stage).
  5. Only original or royalty-free music is allowed. If copyrighted music is used, all licensing for live and rebroadcast must be obtained by artist.


Part C. Provide video representations of your work through online video link. Items 1 & 2 below required.

  1. Proposed new work: Recording or visual representation of the new work you are interested in developing. Professional-quality video and/or editing is NOT expected (i.e., feel free to set up a camera in the corner of a room, parking lot, field or rehearsal studio and press record).
  2. Existing work: Recording(s) of existing work demonstrating your work history.


Part D. Additional creative representation

It is important for us to get a clear picture of your ideas for a new work. We understand that your artistic vision has its own, unique way in which it must be shared. Include a minimum of one additional creative representation that best supports/communicates your proposal. Some suggestions are listed below. Please do not limit yourself to these suggestions, but rather be as exploratory as you see fit in sharing your creative vision and process. (jpg, jpeg, png, doc, docx, xls file types accepted as well as online video links)

  • Costume or scenic design sketches
  • Graphic/artistic representation, photographs, or slides of choreographic sketches
  • Music sample
  • Storyboard of your current plans for the work





Submit materials and information through the application form at




Applications for the New Works awards due September 27, 2023 at 11:59PM.
Winners will be announced in February 2024.


If you have questions contact




Previous New Works Awardees


Watch New Works 2023: Premiere Performances on YouTube, livestreamed from the Palladium on June 10, 2023.


Cecily Terhune performing on saxophone against a projected video showing women in various powerful professional roles.

Cecily Terhune (2023)

Boon Bestowed


Boon Bestowed is a four-movement work for solo classical saxophone and electronic looper pedal, to be composed by Katie Madonna Lee and performed by Carmel-based musician and music educator Cecily Terhune. Each movement will feature one instrument from the standard saxophone quartet – soprano, alto, tenor and baritone – and each will represent a powerful female archetype: nurturer, leader, activist and teacher. A projected slideshow of images will accompany the music.


A scene from the opera Open Heart Surgery in which two women grasp each others hand between them.

Jamey Guzman (2023)

Open Heart Surgery


Open Heart Surgery is a contemporary opera modeled after a TV medical drama and featuring three singers and several live musicians from Bloomington-based New Voices Opera. Composer Guzman, who explores themes involving historically underrepresented communities, is collaborating with librettist Caroline Cao to tell the story of a young doctor caught between her dreams of working in film and her immigrant family’s expectations of a career in medicine.


Dancers perform against a dark stage and make strong, sharp poses.

Emily Franks and En Pointe Indiana Ballet (2023)



Suits is an original dance piece incorporating various styles and techniques, including ballet, contemporary, Graham and jazz, to be performed by 19 pre-professional student dancers from Noblesville-based En Pointe Indiana Ballet. Franks, an En Pointe instructor and former dancer with Dance Kaleidoscope, is choreographing a story based on her own career transition from professional dance to office-based work. The narrative is a mystery about a stolen document, set amid the human dynamics of corporate culture.



Kenyettá Dance Company (2022)

A Place in Time


Kenyettá Dance Company presents work that sparks conversation around social, political and spiritual topics. This four-part piece incorporates contemporary, modern, ballet and African dance, along with creative costuming, video projections and live and recorded music, to address systemic oppression with a message of hope and promise that empowers audiences.



Monika Herzig & Zackary Herzig (2022)
Fly High


Award-winning jazz pianist-composer Monika Herzig and her son Zackary have created music and choreography inspired by the family’s journey through Zackary’s gender transition. Zackary designed the costuming and performed to the live musical accompaniment on the Cyr wheel, a large metal hoop that the performer stands inside to roll, spin and perform acrobatic moves. They were joined by guitarist Peter Kienle, Monika’s husband and Zackary’s father.



Betty Rage Productions (2022)

Women's Work


This short play explores the complexities women face as they navigate external and internal challenges in the workplace. Six actresses – three younger and three older – represent three characters at the beginning and end of their careers in medicine, education and business, showing how their stories evolved over a 50-year span. Written and directed by Callie Burk-Hartz and Alicia LaMagdeleine with musical accompaniment by guitarist Dave Pelsue.