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 longstanding traditions of support for the music community. They provide 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 they'll consider. They're especially fond of projects in need of $3,000 or less, so small scale projects could have a lot of luck here.

PROFILE: New Music USA offers support for 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. They very much favor projects involving living composers and recent music, and give special consideration to requests of $3,000 and under.

The New Music USA application process is unique in that they don't require traditional proposals or applications. They provide 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 received $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.


  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)