About the Festival

Since 2012, Fresh Inc has helped performers, composers, and pre-formed ensembles to envision and launch their own authentic careers in music, rooted in adventurous genre-defying collaboration, entrepreneurial thinking, and meaningful partnerships with audiences and community.

During this 2-week intensive, you will:

  • Participate in a comprehensive curriculum of workshops that foster experimental thinking and provide you with the entrepreneurial skills to sustain a fulfilling life in the arts
  • Add professional headshots and performance videos to your artistic portfolio
  • Premiere 24 new works of chamber music developed during the festival alongside established repertoire
  • Composers will write a piece for assigned instrumentation that will be premiered at the festival – performers will be a mix of students and 5HE artists or a pre-formed ensemble
  • Design and present 11 performance experiences for audiences of all types throughout Chicago and Milwaukee side-by-side with Fifth House Ensemble
  • Receive one-on-one mentorship and instruction with instrumental and composition faculty. Composers will receive one private lesson and one coaching with Dan Visconti and one additional private lesson with a guest composer
  • Become a part of Fresh Inc’s creative community, sustaining relationships with an active and evolving network of cultural change makers whose work continuously reinvents the role of the musician to bring about a connected world

June 8-21, 2020

"Fresh Inc is an invigoratingly unique take on training musicians to not only function in a world of uncertainties, but to thrive. The faculty is knowledgeable, welcoming, and immensely talented, as are the group of attendees they attract. The information and opportunities I have acquired through being in contact with such highly skilled and motivated individuals have proven invaluable, while the friendships I have forged I am forever thankful for. I cannot wait for next year."
Alex Cooke,
Cleveland Institute of Music
"I have never been to a festival as innovative, organized, and practical as fresh inc. Every day was packed with activities, pertinent information, advice, and experimental space for crafting one’s art. The faculty members’ mentorship is invaluable in my development as a composer, pianist, and most importantly, an artist. In addition, I learned so much about entrepreneurship I have not learned anywhere before in my higher education programs."
Grace Xu Schott.,
University of Southern California
"I loved meeting and working with Fifth House Ensemble! They are incredible performers and lots of fun to hang out with, and they really cared about giving my piece a great performance. Their music business advice was great, and they’ve been so approachable and helpful to me in my career, even after the festival was over. Their enthusiasm and support of other musicians is contagious – it was great to be able to spend that time with them."
LJ White
"Fresh Inc has given me the impulse to push hard for my vaudeville saxophone sextet, The Moanin’ Frogs, to have a big year. Nonprofit status, CD recording, crowdsourcing, social media, commissioning and contracts: it’s all happening. Tours, too, are in the works, including visits with Fresh Incers. I’ve become braver, understanding that what I want to do is, indeed, feasible. I can better identify which of my projects are of value to society and which perhaps are not, and I’m able to redirect my energies toward the ones that matter."
Jonathan Hulting-Cohen,
Professor, U Mass Amherst

Frequently Asked Questions

Tuition for the 2020 festival for composers, instrumentalists, and each member of participating ensembles is $2,000.

Tuition includes instruction, headshots, housing, and all meals for the duration of the festival provided by UW-Parkside.


All applicants are considered for merit-based scholarships as part of the application process. With the support of our sponsors below, we were able to award over $80,000 in scholarships last season.

This year, our Fresh Voices program offers dedicated scholarship support to participants who are female, artists of color, and/or LGBTQ-identified, to build leadership capacity, career advancement, and entrepreneurial skills among artists underrepresented in our field. 

A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due by March 1, 2019, and can be submitted via Paypal here. This secures your place at the festival, and allows us to assign instrumentation to composers for works to be created for this summer’s performances.

Tuition balances are due on May 1, 2019, after which date all payments are non-refundable except in the case of a documented medical emergency.

Absolutely. After you confirm participation, you’ll have the option to select a single room and to request linens (small additional charges apply).

Yes – we’ll ask you to let us know of any allergies or dietary restrictions, and the dining staff at UW-Parkside will accommodate any needs and requests.

If you’re staying very locally, yes. With that said, the schedule is packed and staying on campus is a great way together to know the other participants, so we highly recommend joining us in residence!

Fresh Inc is supported by grants from the Steven R. Gerber Trust, the Racine Community Foundation, the Kenosha Community Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund and the Amphion Foundation.