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New Music Organizational Development Fund – FAQs

April 14, 2021

New Music Organizational Development Fund – FAQs

Q: What is the New Music Organizational Development Fund?

A: The New Music Organizational Development Fund offers grants to non-profit organizations, performance groups, dance organizations, festivals, presenters, and venues with a proven track record and impact who need support to sustain their programming of new music, artist development work, and other services in the evolving context of COVID-19. This program is for outstanding organizations which work regularly with, and support the development of, music creators and artists and offer a crucial resource to the community.

Non-profit recording labels that meet these requirements are also welcome to apply.

Q: What would make a successful applicant?

A: Successful applicant organizations will be perceived as a crucial resource to the artists they work with and will exhibit some or all of the following traits on a regular and sustained basis:

  • Committed to relationship building and collaboration with artists and other organizations in the community
  • Commitment to commissioning new work
  • Commitment to programming new music and providing opportunities for creators
  • Engaged in artist development throughout the year/season
  • Offers educational opportunities and is committed to building future audiences for the organization’s work.

Q: What does the fund support?

A: Funding will be available for general operating costs which support the organization’s ongoing and regular programming of, and collaboration with US/territories-based composers and artists.

  • It does not need to be tied to any specific project but should contribute to the continued programming of new music.
  • We aim to fund approximately 50 organizations.
  • Maximum grants available are $20,000.
  • We expect the average grant would be between $9,000 and $10,000.

Q: Am I eligible?

A: Applicant organizations must:

  • be based and doing work in the US
  • have a commitment to producing, performing, and/or commissioning the work of living, US/territories-based music creators
  • be committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in their organization, engagement, and programming
  • have a strong, local audience/roster of participating artists/creators
  • have a minimum of three years of performing, programming, and budget activity at the time of the application
  • have a dedicated organizational bank account

Please note: this fund is for organizations only; individuals may not apply

Q: What if I’m a cultural organization that doesn’t specialize in presenting music or working with artists?

A: We are giving priority to organizations which play a critical role in the music community. However, if you are an arts center or cultural organization with a significant and unique music program then you may be able to make the case.

Q: What about music and dance?

A: Some of our endowment funds are earmarked for supporting music and dance so we are looking to support some non-profits with an outstanding track record in facilitating collaboration between music creators and choreographers.

Q: Do I need to be a 501c3 organization?

A: No. As long as the activity being proposed is non-profit you are eligible to apply. Fiscal sponsorship is also allowed and encouraged for those who are not 501c3 organizations.

Q: There are multiple boxes for “biography” in the application form, which do I choose?

A: Please provide the organizational bio in the application form. The individual bio you can leave blank.

Q: What do you mean by “current budget?”

A: Please provide the budget that best represents your upcoming fiscal year. Please provide your request from this fund in your income projections.

Q: I am an individual artist, can I apply?

A: NO. The New Music Organizational Development Fund offers grants to non-profit organizations, performance groups, dance organizations, festivals, presenters, and venues with a proven track record and impact who need support to sustain their programming of new music, artist development work, and other services in the evolving context of COVID-19. Individual artists may not apply. We have supported individual creators through the Music Creator Development Fund which is currently closed. We will announce further funds open to individual artists by the end of the year.

Q: What are the award amounts and how much can I request?

A: Maximum grants available are up to $20,000. We anticipate that average awards would be around $9,000, given the range of proposals we are expecting and our aim to support a broad cohort of organizations from across the US.

Q: What is the application like?

A: This new initiative introduces an all-new application process for New Music USA grant applicants.

The application will be submitted online. Please provide the following:

  • A statement of endorsement from an artist or other member of your community highlighting
    • Why your organization is important to and unique within your community
    • What gap would be created if the organization no longer existed/had to reduce its activities
    • Why New Music USA’s support would be important
  • Organizational bio and mission statement
  • An overview of the community you work with (please consider your community of creators, artists, audiences, participants, partners)
  • History with new music and highlights from a recent season; please include concrete examples which demonstrate your track record within your community
  • A brief outline of upcoming programming either on or offline highlighting music program planned, any artist development opportunities, community of artists you are seeking to serve, and audiences the activity will reach
  • A brief statement, written (5 sentences) or verbal (around 1 minute ), outlining your main goal over the next year and why this funding is so important to you
  • A brief outline of how you address equity, diversity, and inclusion within your organization and programming
  • An outline of your policy for remunerating artists and creators including in the context of cancelled performances or commissions
  • 2 to 3 samples of music you have commissioned or programmed; you may provide links to YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, or upload mp3 files
  • An overview of the music programmed over the last three seasons including any commissions, dates, and artists/composers performed
  • A budget for your current financial year (please include your request to New Music USA in your income projections)
  • Organizational budgets representing the last three years
    • Most recent audit or financial statement

Q: What are the review criteria and program priorities?

A: Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria. All will be equally weighted during the review process.

  • Impact – the impact the organization has on its community of artists and audiences served; this includes a history of the regular and ongoing performing, programming, and engagement of diverse living US/territories-based music creators
  • Artistry – as demonstrated by submitted media & program outline
  • Need – why you need our support, how you’d use the support and why it’s important now
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – as demonstrated by the diversity of artists presented and the organization’s commitment to equity and inclusion

Q: What is the deadline and review timeline?

A: The deadline for applications will be April 22 at 11:59 eastern, and grants awarded by end of June.

Q: What is the project timeline for this fund?

A: The fund is meant as organizational support and will provide funding for the upcoming fiscal cycle for awarded applicants.

Q: Where do I apply?

A: We have launched a new application process on an all-new portal. Old logins are no longer active. All applicants must register at newmusicusa.smapply.io.

Q: I have an existing user profile on New Music USA, can I use that?

A: No. You will need to register on our new application portal.

Q: What kind of work samples do you require?

A: Please include 2 to 3 examples of your recent work that you have commissioned, performed, or presented. You may upload mp3, video or image files, or provide links to YouTube/Vimeo examples.

Q: How do I contact you if I have questions?

A: Please email grants@newmusicusa.org; PLEASE NOTE: Given the high volume of inquires we will be sure to respond within 2 days. Please also note that as the deadline approaches more immediate responses will be difficult.