Adolf Busch Award: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW: The Adolph Busch Award was established in 2016 to highlight and reward individual musicians and music organizations that use music for social good.

IP TAKE:  The organization states that “social good” is its purpose—and that music is simply the conduit of that purpose. Grantseekers should use this as their guide for the application.

PROFILE: The Adolf Busch Award is named for the famous musician, a German born Swiss citizen who vocally opposed Hitler and the Nazi regime. The organization seeks to “recognize and support individuals who use music to promote a more civil and just society,” and the award is “given in recognition of those who have demonstrated compassion and creativity in enhancing socioeconomic opportunity, supporting education and mentorship, and addressing bias and oppression in its many forms.” The organization distributes one grant of $10,000 annually.

Since the organization is built on a legacy of profound historical events, it is likely that awardees will also be working on very visible, cultural playing fields. In fact, the organization references El Sistema, Polyphony Foundation, and the International Music Sessions as its models of inspiration—all three of which are notably committed to cultural and cross-cultural awareness, tolerance, and exchange. 

The application is open to any individual or organization in either the U.S. or abroad that uses music as its “primary vehicle” to advance the Busch award's mission. The organization also makes a point of stating that its $10,000 prize comes with no performance obligations—another reinforcement that while only musicians can apply, music is not the point. In fact, the brief initial application does not ask anything about music-making at all.

This brief initial application is due at the end of July. From there the Award chooses 10 finalists for another round of applications. Application guidelines can be found here.

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