Sparkplug Foundation: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW: The Sparkplug Foundation supports music development and projects that “launch new voices and ideas.”

IP TAKE: This funder supports a diverse range of musical projects and activities. Grants are modest, which may make it a better resource for smaller and local groups rather than larger national organizations.

PROFILE: The Sparkplug Foundation is a family organization that “funds start-up organizations and new projects of established organizations,” and supports organizations working across various fields. 

Sparkplug typically funds new and emerging musicians and development programs in order to help their work become more sustainable. Grantseekers interested in music training or education are asked to apply to the foundation’s Education and Teaching or Grassroots Organizing programs.

This funder does not offer grants to fund gaps left by local, state or national budget cuts. The foundation offers single and multi-year funding to rights groups, ranging from $2,500 to $15,000. For example, 651 Arts received a grant for the development of Tania Leon’s Son Sonora Ensemble. American Radio Choir received an award for its “Music of the New World” program. To get a broader sense of the organizations Sparkplug supports and at what level, explore its grants database.

Sparkplug accepts unsolicited grant applications and runs two grant cycles each year, one in spring and one in fall. For the spring cycle, letters of intent must be submitted by April 17 and completed applications by May 5. Deadlines for the fall cycle are typically posted the first week of June.

The foundation offers emergency funding of up to $5,000 for prior grantees or at the board’s invitation. Emergency grants are available for education and community organizing.


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