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  • Application deadline:
    September 13, 2024
  • Awards announced:
    February 2025
  • New Works performance tickets Public on-sale:
    February 2025
  • New Works performance event:
    May 31, 2025



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 on May 31, 2025.


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 2024 and must not be performed publicly prior to the premiere event on May 31, 2025.

  • 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 2025
  • 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 2025
  • One preview/talkback with students from central Indiana schools, in person or online, during Spring 2025
  • 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 submission deadline is September 13, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.
Winners will be announced in February 2025.


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 13, 2024 at 11:59PM.
Winners will be announced in February 2025.


If you have questions contact




Previous New Works Awardees


Watch New Works 2024: Premiere Performances on YouTube, livestreamed from the Tarkington on June 1, 2024.


Hippocrates Cheng (2024)

All of Us: An Anti-Asian-Hate Opera


Cheng is a composer, music theorist and ethnomusicologist from Hong Kong. He completed his music composition doctorate and is pursuing a music theory doctorate at Indiana University in Bloomington. All of Us is an opera inspired by true stories from people of Asian-American and Pacific Islander heritage, shedding light on issues of Asian hate and emphasizing unity and empathy in our diverse society. The music, incorporating Asian traditional and Western classical elements, will be performed by an ensemble of singers and instrumentalists. The presentation will include staging, lighting, and multimedia components.


Jared Thompson (2024)

Classical Scratch


Thompson is a saxophonist, composer, arranger and leader of the Indianapolis-based modern jazz quintet Premium Blend, which has been featured in two national award-winning documentaries and has released five studio albums. Classical Scratch is a three-part composition for tenor saxophone, piano (twin brother Joshua Thompson), emcee and DJ that integrates classical, jazz and hip-hop music to celebrate the contributions of Black artists over the past 300-plus years. The presentation will include lighting effects and projected images of influential artists.


Iris Rosa Santiago (2024)



Santiago is a Puerto Rican-born choreographer, professor emerita at Indiana University, and founder of Iris Rosa Dance Studio and Seda Negra/Black Silk Dance Company in Indianapolis. Pathways/Caminos is a work for 10-15 Seda Negra dancers, inspired by spiritual traditions of the African Diaspora in Caribbean and Latin American countries. The presentation will feature spoken word by Santiago and recorded music from the Indianapolis Pan-African Drum and Dance Ensemble directed by Andre Rosa-Artis, as well as costuming and visual projections designed by Filipino-American artist Kelvin Burzon.


2023 Awardees

  + Show winners

2022 Awardees

  + Show winners