Foundation for Contemporary Arts: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW: The Foundation for Contemporary Arts supports a fairly wide range of musicians, composers, performers, vocalists, and sound artists.

IP TAKE: FCA does not appear to have many restrictions when it comes to the kind of sound and music work it supports, making it a good candidate for projects that some might consider controversial.

PROFILE: The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA) was founded by artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg in 1963. Since then it has been awarding grants “to encourage, sponsor, and promote innovative work in the arts created and presented by individuals, groups, and organizations.”

Grants for music and sound are awarded out of the FCA's Grants to Artists program. Unrestricted grants of $40,000 are awarded to artists who have been nominated by their peers. Grant recipients are chosen by a selection panel and are not intended for specific projects, but rather to back artists and their activities.

FCA-supported artists include musical performer, composer, and scholar Gelsey Bell, and vocalist, composer, and performer Shelley Hirsch. To learn more about grantees, explore FCA's grant recipients page, which gives detailed descriptions of grantees. 

In addition to its regular grantmaking, FCA offers the $40,000 Robert Rauschenberg Award to visual and performing artists “in recognition of outstanding achievement that reflects the spirit of its namesake.” As well, the $50,000 John Cage Award as given biennially in honor of the composer.

Finally, FCA operates an Emergency Grants program for both performing and visual artists who have incurred unexpected expenses or have been presented with unanticipated opportunities they cannot otherwise fund. Emergency grants range from between $200 and $2,500. Open applications are accepted for this program.


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