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Quality Work Sample Submissions

A quality work sample is one of the most important advantages you can give yourself in the panel process. Wonderful applications have been undermined more than once by unsatisfactory work samples. In many instances, there is a large amount of material reviewed within a limited time frame – your work sample must be high quality and relevant to the proposed project/grant.

Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing work samples for panel submission:

Digital Images:

  • Images should show work – not background. No white sheets draped over chairs with your work propped up – no busy backgrounds – no shadows.
  • Work should be current and representative.
  • Digital images should be of the highest quality available to you. Generally, images of 1MB or higher produce excellent reproductions for viewing.
  • Follow instructions for digital submission - make sure your image is the correct file type (jpeg, gif, eps, etc.), size, and is labeled according to the guidelines.

DVD or Electronic Upload:

  • Do not use promotional DVDs/uploads – they are generally not in-depth enough for panel review.
  • Your sample should be shot in the highest quality available to you.
  • Make sure the work can be seen. If the piece is generally dark, you may want to up the lighting for your work sample.
  • Choose a sample that shows the breadth of your work in a limited time span. A piece that starts off slowly (i.e. 50 seconds of slow set-up before the actual dance piece begins) may not be the best choice for a one minute work sample. You can always ask for the piece to be shown from somewhere other than the start.
  • The audio is as important as the visual. If it is inaudible or patchy, it can reflect poorly on the sample.
  • DVDs should have selection clearly labeled and be capable of being forwarded to a particular track. You should test your DVD before sending.
  • Do not send masters; instead, use high quality dubs.

CDs and Audio Files:

  • Your sample should be recorded in the highest quality available to you.
  • Choose a sample that shows the breadth of your work in a limited time span.
  • CDs should indicate which track is to be played.
  • Do not send masters; instead, use high quality dubs.
  • Test your work samples before sending them in!


  • Do not send photo-reduced copies of pages from publications; send original drafts instead. Samples should be easily readable.
  • Be careful with your copies. Make sure the work is clean, the pages are in order, and the work is assembled in the manner indicated in the application materials (i.e. no 3-ring binders if the instructions say unbound.)

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