Emergent Seed seeks to support emerging writers and composers in the Greater DC Metro area with $500 and $150 microgrants and the opportunity to broadcast their work in virtual events.


Our goals are to address the immediate financial stress caused by coronavirus closures, as well as invest in the virtual infrastructure for the performing arts. We want to help the local creative community keep going, creating, and sharing, even as the pandemic has shuttered performance venues. Ultimately, we aspire to be a social enterprise. We seek to be a financially self-sustaining vehicle - raising money to give out microgrants beyond the initial funding raised - while also being fair to the artists we're serving. For example, if Emergent Seed holds a fundraising broadcast event, those Applicants whose videos are selected for broadcast would share in a royalty pool of the net proceeds to Emergent Seed if used in a specific fundraising event (see the License Agreement in the Application).


The name “Emergent Seed” reflects both the "emergency" coronavirus situation we are living in, as well as both who we help –- “emerging” artists –- and how we help -- with “seed” funding and short video performances. 

what we're looking for

Original work. ORIGINAL work. O.r.I.g.i.N.a.L w.O.r.K. 


We at Emergent Seed only have expertise in certain genres, and in order to move quickly, we felt we had to limit ourselves to the categories we felt comfortable reviewing immediately. As a result, we are focusing, at least in this round, on the following breakdown of genres.

4 Creative Categories / 9 Sub-Genres

Our goal is to support Greater DC Metro area creatives who perform, recite, or read aloud what they make since audiences can’t gather in-person at this time, and possibly for many months. Applicants must submit a single 2-5 minute video of a complete performance with a natural ending. The underlying content of this performance must be unpublished/un-produced work, and not under any form of agreement or payment, in one of the following 4 Creative Categories and under one of the *REVISED* 9 sub-genres:


Poetry - includes Spoken Word

Storytelling - micro Fiction or Nonfiction. Includes performance storytelling, short stories, personal essays and micro Plays


Songs - Folk/Americana, Indie/Rock-Pop, Musical Theatre and Jazz

Instrumental - Classical, Jazz, Folk/Americana, Indie/Rock-Pop

how it works

For this second round, open Sept. 9th - Oct. 9th, screeners will review up to 60 videos in each of the 4 Creative Categories (i.e up to 240 videos total), and a smaller number will be reviewed by a panel of Senior Reviewers. All submissions will be reviewed independently by at least two practicing artists in their fields. Top-scoring applicants will advance to the second stage and receive a phone call by Emergent Seed staff for the verification process. This includes verifying age and address of residence by seeing a copy of each Applicant's driver's license or other relevant document, and verifying identity by scheduling a short Zoom performance of the submitted piece (with the same performers, if any). The technical quality of the Zoom call will not be the primary basis for the selection decisions. Finalists will then be identified and again receive a phone call from an Emergent Seed staff member to verify additional information. Winners will receive a $500 microgrant and Honorees a $150 microgrant and may also have the opportunity to have their original work broadcast in virtual events. Some Applicants may be chosen to participate in the broadcast even if not selected for the microgrant.


These microgrants, combined with the virtual community-building and broadcast events, will serve as an investment in the local creative community. 

© 2020 by Emergent Seed, LLC

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Emergent Seed

creatives helping creatives

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