Doris Duke Charitable Foundation: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW: The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is one of the top funders of dance and theater in the country, and, to a lesser extent, music. Their music funding opportunities are wide and varied, as they offer opportunities for both individuals and presenting organizations, but jazz is the only musical genre they consider for funding.

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

PROFILE: The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation regularly makes the top 10 list of performing arts funders. Ms. Duke loved jazz, and it turns out that's the only genre her foundation actually funds. Duke's funding for music programs in the last few years has also become tighter and tighter, and the Foundation has a tendency to favor large music organizations over smaller ones, though this isn't always a hard and fast rule as the occasional smaller program has definitely received awards in the past.

The largest recent 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. The second largest recent 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, keep in mind that the Foundation's primary loves are jazz and dance. They have four strategies and you must fulfill at least one of them to qualify for a grant.

Artistic Creation and Distribution. This initiative supports the 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. The first step is to submit a letter of inquiry.

Unrestricted Support for Artists. The goal of these grants is 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.

Recent grant recipients have included 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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