Music Drives Us: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW: Music Drives Us is a small New England charity that provides organizational grants, musical performance grants, and scholarships to help support academic and community programs, music therapy, and assorted partnerships that promote quality music instruction in the northeast.

IP TAKE: Music Drives Us prioritizes grantmaking in the New England area, so grantseekers should make sure their program supports communities in that region before applying.

PROFILE: Created in 2006, Music Drives Us “seeks out organizations and individuals interested in using music as a tool to better the lives of people in all segments of society.” Most grants average around $5,000 to $7,000, with a maximum of around $10,000. Grants support organizations in the New England that provide both academic and community music education programs, music instruction, and public performances. They also provide musical instruments for schools and sponsor music therapy programs.

Organizational Grants support music education in both the public and private school systems, as well as "charter schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs and similar institutions that have seen dramatic cuts in funding for musical education or who are unable to fund a music program within their institutions." Music Drives Us prioritizes programs that serve disadvantaged populations and also offer technical assistance to grant recipients for fundraising and development.

Performance Grants are given to groups who perform jazz, classical, blues, rock, and international music and are "struggling to find the money to bring their music to interested listeners at schools, after school programs, in town halls, and on town greens." So, basically if grantseekers have a band seeking to do community performances and their application excites Music Drives Us, the foundation is likely to help if it has the resources. It understands that these types of concerts are "on the verge of extinction," so it seeks to work with musicians striving to broaden the public's exposure to different styles of music and tries to compensate them as best as possible. Its main stipulation is that the concerts must be free and must have a musical education component.

Past grantees include Berkshire Children & Families, which received $5,100 for instruments and music accessories for an after school music program; Music at Eden's Edge, which received $5,000 for a chamber music concert series for elementary schools; and $5,000 for the Parents and Community Build Group for a local street fair.

Grantseekers can contact Jackie DiNatale with questions regarding the grants: Grants@MusicDrivesUs.org. To keep appraised of grant cycles and deadlines, subscribe to Music Drives Us on Facebook and Twitter.

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