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Curtis Creative Incubator

Like the Curtis Community Artists Program (CAP), the Creative Incubator provides an opportunity for students to develop career-necessary, entrepreneurial skills so they can take control of their creative vision, develop enterprises, shape and attract audiences, and engage with the community.

Funding and Mentorship

Through a Knight Challenge grant and support from Curtis and the Corzo Center, funding between $2,500 and $5,000 is available to Curtis CAP participants who are alumni, those currently graduating, or those approved by the Curtis Dean or CAP faculty instructor. Grantees are paired with mentors who work with them throughout the duration of the incubator.

Although not required, applicants are encouraged to attend these lectures and workshops to help define ideas and prepare to apply for the incubator grant program.

Grant Application Process

  1. Submit an intent to apply form.
  2. Attend an orientation session prior to applying.
  3. Complete an application and a budget form online prior to the deadline.
  4. Present before a panel.
  5. Sign an agreement that outlines responsibilities and the conditions of the grant.


CAP alumni, those currently graduating, or those approved by the Curtis Dean or the CAP faculty instructor are eligible to apply for funding. In the current academic year (2013–14), a limited number of grants between $2,500 and $5,000 will be awarded. Funding begins June 1 and the terms of the grant must be completed by May 1 of the following year. The deadline for applications is Monday, March 10, at 5 p.m., EDT.

Applications should reflect a clear sense of purpose, benefit, and audience, and demonstrate that the applicant has an ability to complete the project within twelve months. A panel of entrepreneurs and professionals in the field of music will review all applications. Grants are highly competitive and given to applicants whose ideas demonstrate a strategy to sustain the enterprise beyond the grant.

Deadlines will be announced on the Alumni Resources page of the Curtis website.


A panel will review applications with the following criteria in mind:

  • The application presents a context and a framework that tests it.
  • The applicant (or the team) has a defined vision, energy, intelligence, and the willingness to experiment and learn from those advising him or her.
  • The idea suggests an innovative use of the creative skills the applicant has developed. It suggests a novel way of communicating with new audiences, connects new content to traditional audiences, and/or promises social change.
  • The application presents a strategy that shows how the idea might be sustainable or has entrepreneurial potential.
  • The applicant has a good sense of the primary market.
  • The applicant has a realistic view of what’s being proposed and what it might take to achieve it.
  • The applicant’s experience demonstrates an ability to achieve the goals he or she sets out and to learn from the program.
  • The most important criteria: It is clear that the applicant's commitment to the idea can last despite difficulties.


Grants are paid in three equal allotments. The first payment will be within one month of signing the agreement, the second payment after the mid-program report has been received, and the final payment upon receipt of all deliverables. (Note: Grantees are responsible for any tax liabilities connected to this grant and should speak with their accountants.)


If an applicant is funded, a grantee will be required to:

  • Sign an agreement outlining the work promised, the timetable for completing it, and the expressed consent to credit the Corzo Center, the University of the Arts, Curtis Institute of Music, and the Knight Foundation in any public use of the work that results during and from the grant for up to five years.
  • Agree to the Intellectual Property Policy outlined which expressly provides that ownership of work rests with the creator(s).
  • Submit reports summarizing monthly advisory meetings and updates on work undertaken.
  • Submit a mid-program summary report detailing achievements, problems, and challenges faced, changes in the timetable and budget, and next steps.
  • Submit a final written report and video which includes documentation of the work that explains achievements, problems and/or challenges faced, and next steps.
  • Present the work to the Curtis community as well as to others outside of it.
  • Allow the Corzo Center, the University of the Arts, Curtis, and the Knight Foundation  a non-exclusive right to present or exhibit the work funded through the Incubator as part of the UArts, Curtis, and the Knight Foundation’s educational mission or marketing campaigns.


Paul Bryan, dean of faculty and students