Herb Alpert Foundation: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW: The Herb Alpert Foundation supports arts education, jazz, professionals in the music community, and organizations whose programs promote "compassion and well-being." Its grant amounts vary wildly and are given to organizations both large and small.

IP TAKE: Grants from the Herb Alpert Foundation are by invitation only, and the foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals for review, so this could be a difficult funder to approach.

PROFILE: The Herb Alpert Foundation “envisions a world where all young people are blessed with opportunities that allow them to reach their potential and lead productive and fulfilling lives.” It prioritizes three core areas in the arts: Arts Education, Focus on Jazz, and Support to Professionals.

Most of the Foundation's grantmaking takes the form of "seed monies to move innovative founders forward in their work, or as incremental support to a more established organization that is ready to take on activities at a new level of complexity or commitment."

The foundation's Arts Education includes "programs that seek to use the arts to help meet the needs of underserved and at-risk youth and to help build competencies that will enable them to become successful adults." But in the field of music, Focus on Jazz and Support to Professionals are the areas that give the most support directly to musicians and musical organizations.

Focus on Jazz identifies and trains the "next generation of great jazz musicians." The programs funded in this area help students "respond creatively to elements of music and apply what they learn to writing and other projects," as well as to encourage their creative self-expression and "desire to take a productive role in society."

Support to Professionals includes unrestricted grants to "artists who have shown remarkable talent in their mid-careers," as well as support for resources and "attention to human service issues within the music industry through organizations like MusiCares."

According to its website, the foundation's grantees "run the gamut from small organizations working at the local level, perhaps in the earliest stages of their development, to larger and more mature organizations that may have a regional or even a national scope and perspective." Past grants by the foundation include, at the high end, $500,000 to Community Arts Partnership, $350,000 to the Harlem School of the Arts, and $300,000 to Modest Needs Foundation, and on the lower end, $14,000 to Friends of Big Band Jazz, $4,000 to Grantmakers in the Arts, and $25,000 to the International Trumpet. 

There is also the separate Alpert Award in the Arts for music, dance, film/video, theatre, and visual arts that may be worth investigating for some, though candidates for this award are nominated by other artists.

Unfortunately, all grants are invitation only and the foundation does not support unsolicited proposals.


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