Doris Duke Charitable Foundation: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW:  The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is one of the top funders of dance, theater, and jazz in the country. Its music funding opportunities are wide and varied, as it offers opportunities for both individuals and presenting organizations. Jazz is the only musical genre it funds.

IP TAKE:  Doris Duke has a number of awards and grants for music, but it should be noted that it only funds jazz musicians and projects. No other musical genre is supported.

PROFILE: The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation seeks to “improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.” Doris Duke loved jazz, and that is the only genre her foundation actually funds. The Foundation prioritizes large music organizations over smaller ones, though this is not always the case as the occasional smaller program has received funding in the past. It does its music grantmaking through its Performing Arts funding area.

Large past jazz related grants include two $2.6 million grants to Creative Capital for funding works not only in jazz but in contemporary dance as well. Another large past grant of $1.6 million was awarded to EmcArts, again to support both jazz and contemporary dance programs. A few smaller music organizations received recent Doris Duke funds, including a one-year $20,000 grant to the Bronx based Casita Maria Inc., and a four month, $10,000 grant to Jazz Arts Group of Columbus. 

When applying for a music grant from Doris Duke, grantseekers should keep in mind that the Foundation prioritizes jazz and dance. They have four strategies and grantseekers must fulfill at least one of them to qualify for a grant.

Artistic Creation and Touring. This initiative supports commissioning, production, and presentation of new works. Funding is available through several programs run through partner organizations. These include Chamber Music America, which supports the creation and performance of jazz through New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development, and live performances, through the Presenter Consortium for Jazz, the Creative Capital Foundation, which provides grants to individual artists and has the Multiple Arts Production Fund, and the National Performance Network.

Support for Organizations. These grants help performing arts organizations institutionalize exploration, experimentation, and/or innovation in addressing future challenges. Grants for music are available through DDCF's re-granting partners, EMCArts Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts, and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Jazz.NEXT Program, the latter of which provides funding to both organizations and individual artists.

National Sector Building. These grants support the rebuilding and strengthening of national performing arts fields. This program only supports national organizations. Grants of $60,000 to $200,000 are available through the Fund for National Projects; however, these grants can cover only up to fifty percent of total project costs.

Unrestricted Support for Artists. This grants seeks to strengthen a fair and sustainable system of unrestricted support to individual artists across the country. Currently DDCF only supports artists through fellowship programs at United States Artists.

Past grant recipients include several jazz festivals, including the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival ($75,000), the Detroit Jazz Festival ($200,000), the Jazz Institute of Chicago ($225,000), the Monterey Jazz Festival ($400,000), and the Newport Jazz Festival ($100,000). Letters of Inquiry are accepted on a rolling basis, and there are no set deadlines for submissions.

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