So who are you again?
We are the Panza Foundation, a non-profit, independent music incubator started by John and Jane Panza. John is a veteran of Cleveland’s independent music scene, while Jane is a freelance writer and editor. 

So you are a non-profit?
Yes. The Panza Foundation has 501(c)(3) status. We are a private family foundation.

Why are you doing this?
Too often, independent musical artists producing sometimes challenging music do not qualify for or have access to financial support. That lack of support can sometimes stifle their ability to grow or even result in their disillusionment with their craft. It is our belief that even small amounts of assistance can have a profound effect on the artistic output and morale of independent artists.

Do you have a board?
We do! It’s the law. Our board serves an advisory role, providing both guidance and ideas while helping to choose the artists we support and the amount of that support each year.

How do you select your artists?
The board researches, considers, interviews, and then selects its support recipients. Musicians and bands must be based out of Northeast Ohio (i.e., Cuyahoga and its surrounding counties). They are selected and voted on by the foundation’s board members. THERE IS NO APPLICATION PROCESS.

When are artists selected and notified?
The board meets regularly to discuss current and potential artists. The final decisions regarding support are made in September, and the artists are notified. The announcement of the new bands is made at our annual benefit in November.

How much support do you provide?
Our foundation is neither a big-time record label nor a one-stop shop. We allot enough funds to cover a piece of the expenses associated with being an active musician or band. Each musician or band is given a set amount; whether they spend all, some, or none of it remains their option.

What kinds of support do you provide?
The categories the foundation supports for recipients include but are not limited to:
 - Musical and recording gear purchase and rental
 - Music production
 - Music post-production
 - Final product and promotion
 - Concert and tour expenses
 - Other related expenses as needed

If artists get support from you, how is it distributed?
The supported artists tell us what they want to do, and we help facilitate it. The support is generally distributed to businesses, vendors, and others who provide services to the bands. Our preference is that the funds are spent locally, but that is by no means a requirement.

If artists don’t spend it all, do they get to roll it over to the next year?
No. Artists have from January 1st to December 31st to spend their allotted support. Anything that remains will be allotted to new artists in the following year, although monies earmarked during the calendar year can be spent the following year or years.

How many artists do you support each year?
Currently, we support four musical projects each year. We are also the financial agent for the Cleveland Lottery League. And we support local festivals and clubs.

What genres do you favor?
Look at the artists we have already supported for a ballpark idea of the genres and styles our board currently favors. We don’t see genre as either a requirement or a barrier.

Do you accept unsolicited submissions?
It’s not our preference. Our board researches and then chooses the artists we support. Much like a record label, we find you, not the other way around. If you send us something, we might give it a listen and perhaps check you out, but there is no guarantee we will support you.

So then, how do I end up part of your little coven?
We do our research on the active, independent, regularly playing out, creative, and professional bands playing in Northeast Ohio. Each board member presents us with a different opportunity to learn about the artists producing interesting and challenging music in the local scene. We favor artists who produce all original music, play out frequently, play in other cities, and play well with others.

Do you accept donations?
Yes! Check out our DONATE link for both our address and an online donation page. 100% of your tax-deductible donation goes directly to the bands and musicians we support. We take Venmo, PayPal, and checks. Cold hard cash too!
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