ASCAP Foundation: Grants for College Performing Arts

OVERVIEW: The ASCAP Foundation provides yearly grants to nonprofit organizations engaging in "music education and talent development programs that are consistent with the mission and objectives of the ASCAP Foundation." This includes a long list of scholarships for college-age music students, but institutional higher education grants are not a priority for the foundation.

IP TAKE: The ASCAP Foundation is not clear about how much money it offers for grants and awards, but it does not prioritize higher education in its general outreach. Its awards and scholarships for higher education are primarily invitation-only.

PROFILE: The ASCAP Foundation was founded in 1975 with the goal of "nurturing the music talent of tomorrow, preserving the legacy of the past and sustaining the creative incentive for today's creators through a variety of educational, professional, and humanitarian programs and activities which serve the entire music community." Its main grantmaking priority is Outreach, which aims to fund “music education, talent development and humanitarian programs that serve the entire music community.” ASCAP prioritizes non-profit organizations that target young children, especially in underserved communities.

Rather than maintain dedicated grant priorities, ASCAP prefers to offer broad college-age students awards and scholarships. Awards fund “emerging composers and songwriters and Recognition to honor the achievements of established composers and songwriters.” ASCAP boasts dozens of awards, generally named after famous composers. Grant seekers should note that very few of these awards accept open applications, and most of them are awarded to participants in ASCAP’s various workshops and programs.

The ASCAP Foundation also offers a number of Scholarships; however, none of them accept applications. Schools must nominate eventual scholarship winners. In addition, schools must already partner with the foundation. Many, but not all, of the partner schools are listed among their Program Partners.

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