Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW: The Heller Charitable Foundation offers grants to symphonic and chamber music programs.

IP TAKE: This approachable funder accepts letters of inquiry throughout the year. Grants go out nationwide but preference is given to California-based groups.

PROFILE: The Clarence E. Heller Foundation was established in 1982 as the main philanthropic vehicle of its namesake. When Heller died, its trustees decided to officially establish the foundation’s funding priorities, which now include the environment, human health, education, and the arts. Within arts, music is the main priority.

Through its funding, the foundation aims to “encourage the playing, enjoyment, and accessibility of symphonic and chamber music.” It offers grants and scholarships to community music centers, schools, and related organizations.

Grants typically range from $5,000 to $50,000. While Heller shows an affinity for organizations in California, plenty of grants go to groups outside its home state. Grants have been awarded to the American Youth Symphony to support a concert featuring Steven Vai and the Monterey Jazz Festival to back a jazz in schools program. To get a broader sense of the organizations the Heller Foundation supports, explore its recent grants.

Heller accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry twice per year, with deadlines typically falling in May or June, and November. Applications must be submitted via Heller’s online system.


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