New Arts Venture Challenge

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Eligibility               Instructions for Proposal Submission



2015 New Arts Venture Challenge

Have a great idea? Of course you do!

Come to an informational session and find out how to win $2,000!

The UW–Madison New Arts Venture Challenge is a campus-wide competition to encourage new thinking and innovative ideas. Entrants will develop and submit a thorough proposal for an arts event, exhibition, series, commercial venture, or other artistic projects.

Proposals should demonstrate creativity, innovation, added value to the arts, and potential for success. Potential proposals could be a new kind of gallery show, a series of performances, an online course, an outreach program, or anything else your creative mind can devise—the sky is the limit! The winner will be able to present his or her event or exhibition to the public or even launch a new entrepreneurial venture.

Entries may be from individuals or from teams of up to three. The LEAD team member must be a full-time UW-Madison student.

All proposals will be evaluated in a preliminary ONLINE round by a panel of judges.

Four student proposals will be invited to participate in the final round, where each proposal will be evaluated on both the written plan and an oral presentation. Finalists will be coached to help prepare for the final presentation.

The final round (open to the public) will take place on May 1, 2015 in the beautiful Plenary Room in the UW-Madison School of Business Grainger Hall on the UW–Madison campus.

Please direct your questions to:

Professor Stephanie Jutt, School of Music


Phone: 608-263-0134


Announcing the 2015 New Arts Venture Challenge Finalists!

Congratulations to the five groups who made it into the final round for the 2015 New Arts Venture Challenge:

  • Alternative Odyssey
  • Shedding a New Light on Neural Activity
  • A new approach to the design and manufacturing of saxophone mouthpieces
  • The Bellhops Blues and Hip Hop Record Project
  • Gravity Maker: A Contemporary Hub fro Creative Wisconsinites

Please join us for the live finals on Friday, May 1st, at 3pm in the Plenary Room (ground floor) of the Grainger Business School.


First prize: $2,000* to produce your arts event, exhibition, series, or project during the 2015-16 academic year in Madison. You will also be matched with a mentor in your chosen field, an artist who has particular knowledge of your type of work, and who will advise you during its creation.

(Up to) THREE  Second Prizes: $500* each

*Prize money may be taxable. Entrants should consult a tax advisor.


Information Sessions – meet with Stephanie Jutt during this informal info session to discuss possible ideas or questions you have about developing your proposal.

March 11, 2015 | 4:00pm | The Hive in The Studio, The Creative Arts & Design Learning Community, Sellery Hall

March 16, 2015 | 4:00pm | TITU, Union South

March 23, 2015 | 4:00pm | TITU, Memorial Union

Proposals due: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 by midnight. All proposals will be submitted electronically

Finalists announced: Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Finalist individuals or teams meet for one hour consultation with Stephanie Jutt to prepare final live round – Saturday and Sunday morning, April 25-26, 2015

Finalists honored at dinner with Burrill Business School finalists: Thursday 6pm, April 30, 2015

Finals: May 1, 2015 UW-Madison School of Business, Grainger Hall, Plenary Room

What to Submit

A venture plan that includes:

  • Executive Summary
    This is an overview of your project, in 750 words or less.  Say what you want to do, the general time frame for your project, whom you will be working with, why you think it’s important, how you’re going to get the word out, and what kind of impact it will have on the university and/or community.
  • Event or Exhibition Plan
    Please include any of the following:
    What is the actual production plan?
    What facilities or city agencies might be involved?
    Who do you need to partner with to make your project happen?
    What kind of equipment do you need and how will you get it?
    What are your current resources and opportunities?
    How will you integrate these elements into your project?
  • Audience Analysis
    Who is going to your event and why will they come?
    Why do you think that there is there a need for it (even if you are inventing the need)?
  • Timeline for your project, including planning and implementation
    Have you started your project already?  What’s happened so far?
    Depending on the length of your project, provide a monthly plan from the start of the project to the completion of the project.
  • Key Personnel (just the key people on YOUR team, up to three total people) – include bios or CV’s of all key personnel
    Only the LEAD person on the project has to be a full-time UW-Madison student
    Assisting artists do not have to be named and numbers of those assisting artists (like orchestra or cast members) numbers of personnel and their jobs
  • Financial Plan/Budget (List income, expenses, and explanation – no spread sheets necessary)
    Are you paying people? How much?
    Are you renting space? How much does it cost? How many alternatives do you have?
    How much income do you expect to have and how will you get it?
    Are you applying for other grants?
    What are ticket prices, if any?
    How about in-kind donations? A lot of arts events are created through great in-kind donations.
  • Marketing:
    How do you plan to reach your audience and what innovative, cheap, effective (i.e. free) tools can you use to reach your audience? Will you be taking out any ad space? Will you be printing flyers or anything else? Is postage involved? Bulk mail? Email newsletters, social media, etc?
  • Troubleshooting:
    What are your challenges now and what do you foresee your challenges will be over the course of the project?
  • Recent Work Sample:
    DVD, CD, Portfolio, etc.

Applications (excluding attachments) should not exceed 6 pages, with a minimum point size of 10.

Please feel free to use our NAVC Proposal Submission Template. You may also refer to this 2014 sample proposal. All applications for 2015 will be submitted online only.


  • The contest is open to all students who are enrolled full-time in a UW–Madison degree program and are in good academic standing.
  • Entries can be by individuals or teams of up to three members (supporting team members are not required to be full-time UW-Madison students)
  • Proposals must be of original work.
  • Proposals will be returned to all entrants with comments and suggestions from the judges.
  • The winning proposal’s event/exhibition/project must be presented to the community no later than May 1, 2015.


  • Judges will be selected from prominent members of the professional arts and business community.
  • The UW–Madison New Arts Venture Challenge reserves the right not to select a winner.
  • More than one second prize may be awarded.
  • Entrants are encouraged to seek advice from UW–Madison faculty and staff.

Four independent judges will review the proposals and choose four finalists. They will attend the competition finals and chose the first and second prize winning proposals.

Instructions for Proposal Submission:

Fill out the web form. Be sure to attach all application files within this web form.


  • Project Name, Name of Document, Number in Series
  • For example:
    • “Victorian Eyes.ProjectProposal.1of3″
    • “VictorianEyes.CVs.2of3″
    • “VictorianEyes.SupportingMaterials.3of3″

After filling out the form and attaching all appropriate files for a complete submission as outlined above, click SUBMIT.

  • Individual application files are limited to 30MB in size. You are allowed to attach up to 10 documents within the web form.
  • If a file is too large to submit, please email it directly to Allen Ebert (

You will receive an email confirming a successful submission. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Allen Ebert ( or Kate Lochner (

DEADLINE for all proposals is TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2015 BY MIDNIGHT.

2014 Winners

1st Place Winner

Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra: 2014 Summer Concert Series -Mikko Rankin Utevsky and Annie Wright

2nd Place Winners

Crowd Art -Chun-See Tsao, Dylan Shae Contois, and Alex Faber

Dream Collectors -Megan Marsh-McGlone, Andrew Salyer, and Katrina Schaag

These Canoes Carry Culture -Marcus Cederström, Colin Connors, and Thomas A. DuBois

NAVC 2014

New Arts Venture Challenge winners 2014


2013 Winners

1st Place Winner

“Victorian Eyes:” An exhibit on “seeing” through art, literature, and statistics  -Catherine De Rose, Frederick Boehm, and Carrie Roy

View the website for their exhibition or read up on what’s been happening. You can also follow their updates on Twitter @VictorianEyes

2nd Place Winners

Clocks in Motion -Sean Kleve, Dave Alcorn, John Jeffrey Gibbens, John Arnold, and Conuelo Sanudo

kinetic (aspect)  -Kat Cameron and Henry Holmes

Cooking with Frank N. Foode -Karl Haro von Mogel, Ariela Haro von Mogel, and German Mingramm Yarza.

New Arts Venture Challenge Winners 2013

New Arts Venture Challenge winners 2013