CMS Fund: Grants for College Performing Arts

OVERVIEW: The CMS Fund is a branch of the College Music Society, a consortium of musicians, conservators, and academics dedicated to promoting music research, education, creation, and outreach. It supports both students and educators, mostly for projects focused on instruction or community engagement.

IP TAKE: The fund’s awards are modest, but if you are a music educator looking to gain recognition for your teaching accomplishments or a professor or grad student developing a community-centered project, this funder is worth reaching out to.

PROFILE: The CMS Fund is housed within The College Music Society, which was founded in 1958 when the College Music Association and the Society for Music in Liberal Arts Colleges merged into a single organization. The CMS Fund “supports exemplary and innovative projects of the Society's members to bring to the wider public community the accomplishments of the music profession in higher education.” CMS offers three grant opportunities in the music space: CMS Instructional Technology Initiative Award, Community Engagement Seed Grants, and Education in Music.

The CMS Fund conducts grantmaking to music in higher education all three of its programs. Its Seed Grant Support  offers funding “for music projects that bring together participants in higher education and members of the local community,” particularly ones that “have potential for sustainability over time in local communities.” Individuals, organizations, and specific departments can all apply for this grant, which provides a $200 stipend.

The CMS Instructional Technology Initiative Award “recognizes exceptional contributions made by the CMS membership in demonstrating the effective use of technology to improve college music instruction.” The award recognizes an active CMS member who has demonstrated “exceptional initiative in integrating technology with college music instruction” for which they receive a $500 stipend.

Lastly, the Education in Music program offers $1,000 to recognize “established and on-going, imaginative and effective programs of engagement by higher education music faculty members that further education in music with local or area organizations (e.g., schools, civic associations, faith organizations).”

The CMS Fund also offers graduate students in music the opportunity to apply for the CMS-Yamaha In-Residence Fellowship Award. This $2,000 award is given “to a graduate professional music student pursuing engagement and outreach activities,” enabling him or her “to create and complete a residency in a community institution, including educational, artistic, and civic enterprises during the subsequent academic year.”

Grants are modest and range from $200 to $2,000. In all cases, applications are due in around early July, with award winners announced in late July. Applicants must be CMS members in order to be eligible for consideration.


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