Honoring the memory of John Stites and his passion for jazz music

Honoring the memory of John Stites and his passion for jazz music

2024 – NEW YEAR - NEW AWARDS PROCESS!
See Awards Page for Details

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When will the award winners be announced?

Please refer to the Awards page. Key dates are listed in the Timelines and Deadlines section. Award winners are notified by both email and “snail” mail and must sign the contract attached to the award notice before receiving any funds. Those who do not win will also receive an email notification and are encouraged to reapply during the next awards cycle. Descriptions of the winning projects are posted on the website a few weeks after the winners are announced.

2. Can non-US Citizens apply for awards?

Non-US Citizens with Resident Alien status can apply for awards and will need to add their social security number to the application form. Applicants without Resident Alien status are ineligible.

3. Are awards taxable to the recipient?

Individual award winners (US Citizens and Resident Aliens) will receive a 1099.

Note: Group/Ensemble award winners will need to provide an EIN or TIN for their organization and specify their nonprofit status before receiving funds.

4. Can I apply for funds to hire a publicist, so that I can expand my career opportunities?

The highest scoring applicants typically create a development plan that positions them to make a unique contribution to the industry.

While hiring a publicist could be a part of such a plan, the focus and the majority of the expenditures should be on how the individual plans to enhance their own skill set rather than depend on the skills of a publicist.

5. Can I apply for funds if I live outside the Midwest?

There are no geographic restrictions on applicants applying for Artistic Development Awards.

6. Do I need to provide an answer to every question in every section of the application form?

YES. Points are awarded in each section. You can determine the possible number of points for each section by “hovering” over the answer box. If you leave a section blank, you will lose all the points for that section. Be sure you provide a timeline, budget, and supplementary documents to obtain all the possible points. Several of these questions can best be answered by uploading a pdf file.

7. What type of documents are typically uploaded in the Supplemental Documents section?

Applicants should upload at least one personal reference from someone who can attest to their musical knowledge/ability/talent as well as performance experience. Many applicants upload a reference from a collaborating musician or someone who will be assisting in the performance or project (such as the venue director, your prospective teacher, a recognized professional in the field, and/or a commercial or nonprofit entity providing financial or in-kind support for the project or performance, etc.)

Applicants are encouraged to provide a reference from a previous teacher or mentor, as well as individuals in the profession who are familiar with the applicant’s work.  A sound file (Mp3 or similar) of a personal musical performance or a link to one should also be included. Generic documents such as online biographies, links to websites, and publicity downloads are helpful, but less effective than references from individuals and organizations who write a specific personal reference stating why you should receive an award to pursue your project or course of study.

8. If I do not win an award, can I reapply to fund the same or a similar project during the next award cycle?

Yes, you can reapply and we encourage you to do so. The JSJA recommends that you print a copy of your completed application, so that you will have it available to reference if you decide to reapply.

9. When will the new links be posted for the next Award Cycle?

The links for each award cycle are posted about two weeks before the Award Cycle opens (see Timelines and Deadlines section of the Awards page on our website for the most up-to-date information).

John was kind and patient with great attention to details. He loved good music of all sorts...

Joel Mabus

The John Stites Jazz Awards (JSJA) are funded by the John Stites Jazz Artist Organization.

The organization funds advanced studies for emerging and established professional jazz musicians, as well as personal development projects which enhance their career opportunities.