Aaron Copland Fund for Music: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW: The Aaron Copland Fund for Music operates three grant programs for the purpose of encouraging and improving the public knowledge and appreciation of contemporary American music by living or recently deceased American composers. This includes presenting organizations, ensembles, choruses, recording projects, festivals, and other projects meant to preserve and continue the traditions of contemporary American musical forms.

IP TAKE: The grants The Aaron Copland Fund for Music gives out under its three programs are focused strictly on the works of contemporary American composers of predominantly opera, classical, and jazz music.

PROFILE: The Aaron Copland Fund for Music runs three grant programs in support of "contemporary American music," which they define as music from living or recently deceased composers with U.S. citizenship. They will consider dealing with works written within the last century, but are primarily interested in supporting recordings of works by living American composers and those who died in 1980 or later. The fund is interested exclusively in works by classical and jazz composers. Popular music is not considered in their programs.

The fund's Recording Program grants are meant to "document and provide wider exposure for the music of contemporary American composers," to develop audiences through distribution of performances in physical retail markets and online media, and to "support the release and dissemination of recordings of previously unreleased contemporary American music and the reissuance of recordings that are no longer available."

Applications are accepted from non-profit professional performance ensembles, presenting institutions, and recording companies (either non-profit or commercial). Students, non-professionals, and projects sponsored by universities are not eligible. Around 30 grants are given out each year, ranging from around $4,000 to around $12,000 to places like Albany Records ($4,000), Los Angeles Jazz Society ($6,000), and Wet Ink Ensemble ($12,000). Deadlines are at the beginning of the year in January. Grants may not exceed $20,000 and will not normally cover more than 50% of the total project budget. Applicants must first submit a letter of inquiry.

The Performing Ensembles Program is meant to "support performing organizations whose artistic excellence encourages and improves public knowledge and appreciation of serious contemporary American music." These grants are given for general operating support or project support for "professional performing ensembles with a history of substantial commitment to contemporary American music and with plans to continue that commitment."

Applicants must have non-profit, tax-exempt status, have a performance history of at least two years at the time of application, and have a "demonstrated commitment to contemporary American music." Some 110 grants are given out each year, ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 to places like Afro Jazz Alliance ($5,000), Dallas Wind Symphony ($2,000), and the Young People's Chorus of New York City ($6,000). Deadlines are set in June each year.

The Supplemental Program is meant to support the needs of non-profit organizations that aren't addressed in the Fund's other two grant programs. This includes presenters, festivals, recording projects, and music service organizations, among others. Far fewer of these grants are given each year with amounts that vary widely. These grants are specifically tailored to the needs of each organization. Deadlines are at the end of October each year.

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