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School of Music

  • 2017 SAVVY Arts Venture Challenge

SAVVY Scholarships

Part of our value is helping participants develop strategies to increase their earned revenue. Unfortunately, many independent artists who could benefit most from our program do not have institutional support or the financial means to invest in professional development.

To address this concern, we are excited to introduce a powerful business model innovation. For every tuition-paying participant, we raise and offer matching tuition funding to a creative artist who could not otherwise afford to attend. There are two scholarship paths: SAVVY Partnership in Action and Solo Artist Scholarship Program.

SAVVY Partnership in Action (SPA)

For the 2018 season, we are delighted to introduce the SAVVY Partnership in Action program, intended to initiate or strengthen community connections between organizations and artists. This involves a dual application, with one “arts employee” and one “creative artist” who are interested in the potential of future collaboration. If accepted, the creative artist is awarded a FULL tuition scholarship, and the partners have the opportunity to learn together and build a joint effort.

  • Arts Employee - Typically a full-time employee for an arts organization including nonprofits (orchestra, museum, dance/theatre company, university, etc.) and for-profit ventures (record label, venue, etc.). Executive/artistic directors, support staff, professors and university administrators are all a good fit for our program.
  • Creative Artist - Typically artists and arts educators of all disciplines (music, dance, theatre, puppetry, circus, visual arts, media arts, poetry, etc) and levels (established, aspiring, student). We encourage the inclusion of artists from diverse backgrounds.

Benefits of SPA

Building a future where the arts thrive in unprecedented ways requires the imagination, collaboration, and hard work of both arts organizations and creative individuals. SPA participants:

  • Initiate a fresh partnership or build on an existing one
  • Envision a new collaborative project for their home community
  • Grow side-by-side during SAVVY’s transformational, hands-on professional development workshop
  • Have the option to plan a joint initiative during SAVVY-U that can be implemented within the next 12-months
  • Generate a story ripe for media attention
Step 1 - Identify Partner
This relationship can be initiated by either the arts employee or creative artist. This process provides an opportunity to strengthen an existing alliance or begin building a new one.
Step 2 - Imagine Initiative
Before applying, partners should brainstorm and select an intriguing, meaningful new arts initiative that might be implemented within one year after attending SAVVY. We encourage proposals that are innovative in some way: engaging new audiences, combining art forms, attracting fresh partners, etc. The effort may be income-generating, but it does not need to be.
Step 3 - Apply
Follow instructions for the SPA application, outlined here.
Step 4 - Register
If selected to participate, the creative artist receives a FULL tuition scholarship (value: $1250). Other fees still apply, such as the arts employee’s tuition, meals/supplies for both participants, housing (optional), and SAVVY-U (optional). Each partnership must decide if the creative artist expenses are self-funded or partially/fully subsidized by the partner organization.
Step 5 - Get SAVVY!
SAVVY participants enjoy personal growth and a transformational experience during our workshop, providing a host of strategies and perspectives that can propel their careers and organizations.
Step 6 - Build
After SAVVY, apply what you’ve learned to your initiative. Partners who attend SAVVY-U have the opportunity to create a detailed strategic plan for bringing it to fruition during this optional bonus day. The SAVVY network will share and celebrate your achievements.

Solo Artist Scholarship Program

Creative artists may also be considered independently. In this case, accepted participants are awarded scholarships covering 80-90% of tuition (depending on when they apply). Other fees still apply, such as meals/supplies, housing (optional), and SAVVY-U (optional).


If you have questions about our scholarship programs, please inquire: In particular, we are happy to discuss which path makes most sense for you and the SPA program: how you might go about finding a partner, submitting a compelling project, etc.