New Music USA: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW: New Music USA was founded through the merger of the American Music Center and Meet The Composer, two organizations that have long supported the music community. It provides over $1 million each year in grants, through their three programs, for the creation and performance of new musical work and community building throughout the country.

IP TAKE: New Music USA is fairly unrestrictive and open about what music projects it considers. It prioritizes projects in need of $3,000 or less, so small scale projects could have a lot of luck here.

PROFILE: Created through the merger of the American Music Center and Meet The Composer, New Music USA seeks to “support and promote new music created in the United States” by “fostering connections, deepening knowledge, encouraging appreciation, and providing financial support.” It supports the music community through three different programs, their Project Grants, the Music Alive Program, and the Impact Fund.

Project Grants are available to a wide range of music projects, including the creation of new musical work, new live music for dance, recording costs for a project, or residency and community outreach activities. Essentially any activity that involves getting new music out to the world through a live performance or a recording will be considered. This can include the creation of new musical work, new live music for dance, recording costs, and residency and community outreach activities. New Music USA very much favors projects that involve living composers, and recent music and give special consideration to requests of under $3,000.

The New Music USA application process is unique in that it does not require traditional proposals or applications. It provides a platform in the form of a private project page on their website for each applicant to create and upload all of their work samples and project information. If selected for an award, the page is published and made public so the recipient can post updates as the project unfolds.

The Music Alive program is administered in partnership with the League of American Orchestras and offers "financial and administrative support for composer-in-residence positions with orchestral ensembles." These residencies are for three years and are intended to support the development of new musical works, mentoring less experienced composers, and creating public access to the artistic process. These grants total $220,000 over three years and include living and travel expenses. Click here for information about how to apply.

The Impact Fund provides general operating support for professional music organizations and presenters in the five boroughs of New York City. These organizations must have annual budgets under $600,000 (for ensembles without a physical venue) or $1,000,000 (for presenters with a physical venue). Grantees receive $3,000 to $15,000 in operating support per year for a three year period. The fund also pairs musical ensembles with venues and provides marketing support through the New Music USA website. 

The best way to keep up with ongoing deadlines and newly announced ones, as well as updates from New Music USA's grantmaking team is to join their mailing list. Grantseekers should also check out the searchable database of past grantees to get an idea of the types of projects it typically funds.


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