Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW: The Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation supports programs that involve musical entertainment, concerts, and recitals "appropriate for the education and instruction of the public in the musical arts." Special consideration is given to traditional classical music programs and educational programs that aid organizations in their efforts to present classical music to the public.

IP TAKE: The Bergen Foundation prioritizes grants to organizations in the New York and New Jersey areas and those that deal with classical music forms.

PROFILE: Created in 1983, the Bergen Foundation honors the legacy of conductor Charlotte Bergen. The foundation seeks to "aid worthy students of music to secure complete and adequate musical education" and support organizations that present "fine music to the public, provided that such organizations are operated exclusively for educational purposes." There are no geographic limitations, but grants go primarily to organizations and individuals in New York and New Jersey.

Bergen distributes around 26 grants annually, and most individual grants average between $5,000 and $20,000. Past grant recipients include the Newark Boys Chorus School, which received $30,000, the Atlantic Coast Opera Festival, which received $11,000, the All Season's Chamber Players, which received $5,000, and the Discovery Orchestra, which was awarded $20,000. Occasionally, under special circumstances, amounts can go as high as $70,000.

All of the Bergen Foundation's grants are administered through Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services and applications can be completed online. Applications are accepted year-round and there are no set deadlines; however, they must be submitted by mid-July in order to be reviewed at the September grant meeting. All organizations submitting an application must be recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization. The foundation also requires that all grantees submit a progress report within six months after receiving funds.


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