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In this article, I explore the role of Jewish Studies programs as incubators and artistic partners for creating new Jewish-themed musical works. I address this topic through a mode of autoethnography, reflecting on my own experiences in helping to develop and organize several artist-in-residence experiences at Indiana University between 2011 and 2018. By exploring how a Jewish Studies program embraced the creativity and risk inherent in artistic works—including trusting the artists to identify and solve their own challenges—I argue that a process-focused approach offers Jewish Studies programs opportunities for dialogue across academic units, while forging longer-term, trust-building relationships with artists. Such artistic models can open spaces for looking more deeply into the topography of artistic collaboration and evaluation, beyond the standard "reviews" of a "final product" that scholars and the public often rely upon for determining merit.