FAQs on New Music Organizational Development Fund

  • What is the New Music Organizational Development Fund?

    The New Music Organizational Development Fund offers grants to non-profit organizations, performance groups, dance organizations, festivals, presenters, and venues who need support to sustain their programming of new music, nurturing of music creators, and other services in the evolving circumstances of the pandemic. 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 their community. The main criteria for this fund are: artistry, impact, need, equity and inclusion.

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

  • What would make a successful applicant?

    We are particularly interested in supporting organizations which are having a deep and consistent impact on their community of artists and music lovers. For this reason, we are asking applicants to submit an endorsement from a member of their community.

    Successful applicant organizations will exhibit some or all of the following traits:

    • 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.
  • What does the fund support?

    The funding we provide can be used for general operating costs which support the organization’s regular programming of, and collaboration with US/territories-based composers and artists. It does not need to be tied to any specific project but we are asking you to tell us about the programs, events and initiatives that New Music USA’s support best aligns with.

    • 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 70 to 100 organizations.
    • Maximum grants available are $20,000.
    • The average grant will be $7,000.
    • The number of grants we give will depend on how our fundraising campaign progresses.
  • Am I eligible?

    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
    • be committed to working and performing in their community
    • have a minimum of three years of performing, programming, and budget activity at the time of the application
    • not have an annual budget over $5 million
    • have a dedicated organizational bank account
    • not be a university
    • not have been funded in the previous round of the New Music Organizational Development Fund (April 2021 deadline, June 2021 notification)

     

    This fund is for organizations only; individuals may not apply.

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

    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.

  • What if I’m a program/subsidiary of a university or larger organization with a budget over $5 million?

    We are giving priority to organizations which play a crucial role in the music community. If the program or subsidiary organization can demonstrate impact and need, then you may be able to make the case for receiving a grant.

  • What about Music and Dance?

    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.

  • Do I need to be a 501c3 organization?

    No. Fiscal sponsorship is also allowed and encouraged, but not required for those who are not 501c3 organizations.

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

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

  • What do you mean by “current budget?”

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

  • I am an individual artist, can I apply?

    NO. The New Music Organizational Development Fund offers grants to non-profit organizations, performance groups, dance organizations, festivals, presenters, and venues who need support to sustain their programming of new music, nurturing of music creators, and other services in the evolving circumstances of the pandemic. 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 their community.

    Individual artists may not apply. We have supported individual creators through the Music Creator Development Fund which closed on December 21, 2021.

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

    Maximum grants available are up to $20,000. The average award will be $7,000, given the range of proposals we are expecting and our aim to support a broad cohort of organizations from across the US.

  • What is the application like?

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

    Community Endorsement Letter

    • A statement of endorsement from an artist or other member of your community (e.g. audience member, stakeholder, partner, performer). Please highlight:
      • Why your organization is important to different groups within your community
      • What’s unique about your programs and activities?
      • Why New Music USA’s support would be important to your organization in this current climate


    Information About Your Organization

    • Organizational bio (max. 150 words for including on our website if you are awarded)
    • Your mission statement and an overview of the community you work with (please consider your community of creators, artists, audiences, participants, partners)
    • A brief outline of all your upcoming programming (on and/or offline) highlighting your commitment to new music, the new music program planned, any artist development opportunities, community of artists you are seeking to serve, and audiences you will reach.
    • A summary in just a few sentences of any specific aspects of your program and work with music creators that New Music USA’s funding would help to advance (This will be used on our website if awarded)
    • Why this funding is so important to you now


    Equity and Inclusion

    • 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


    Music Examples

    • 2 to 3 samples of music you have commissioned or programmed; you may provide links to YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, or upload mp3 files


    Finances

    • Amount requested
    • A budget for your current financial year (please include your request to New Music USA in your income projections)
    • Organizational budget totals representing the last three years

     

  • What kind of work samples do you require?

    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.

  • What are the review criteria and program priorities?

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

    New Music USA is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. We strive for our applicants and awardees to represent a broad spectrum of diversity across size, genre, race, ethnicity, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, religious belief, and geography. We encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, People of Color led, LGBTQIA+ led organizations, and organizations representing persons with disabilities.

    • 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
    • Need – how you’d use the support and why it is important now
    • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – as demonstrated by the diversity of artists presented and the organization’s commitment to equity and inclusion

     

    When evaluating an application panelists often consider the following in their review:

    • 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
      • Does this organization regularly perform and program living artists in their community?
      • Do they engage with the community in a meaningful way as demonstrated by the letter of support?
      • How or will funding from this program increase or assist their impact?
      • Why is this organization important to and unique within the community?
      • What gap would be created if the organization no longer existed/had to reduce its activities?
    • Artistry – as demonstrated by submitted media is the program of work providing artists with opportunities for artistic challenge or stretch?
      • Is the music programmed original and distinctive?
      • Is the organization supporting the creative development of music creators and artists?
      • Does the program and artistic exploration feel relevant and considered?
      • Does it communicate unique perspective(s), inviting the viewer to explore new ideas
    • Need – how they would use the support and why it is important now
      • Why do they need our support?
      • Why their work is important to their community of artists/audiences and why it’s critical to support this work in the current financial context
    • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – as demonstrated by the diversity of artists presented and the organization’s commitment to equity and inclusion
      • Do they have a diverse group of artists or creators they work with or program?
      • Have they considered EDI in their planning and programming?
      • Have they considered EDI in their own organization’s development?
  • How many of the applicants will be based in New York?

    Approximately 50% of our grant funding generally comes from New York funders. Therefore, a relatively high proportion of artists supported will be based in NYC and New York State. We are currently striving to create more opportunities for artists from across the rest of the US by fundraising for this activity so this proportion may change in time for this fund’s deadline. Below is a further breakdown.

    Both the New Music Creator Development Fund and the New Music Organizational Development Fund are made possible by the generous funders who either donated to our endowment or generously donate to New Music USA annually. Some of these funders had or have specific requests regarding the kinds of work we support because of their geographical location or specific area of interest. We are providing the facts and figures below so that all applicants have a better insight into these restrictions, which influence the applications our advisors select. Please note that applications may cover a number of the categories listed below; others may not fit with any.

    • Award rates are generally between 5% and 10% of the overall applicant pool (this means we support around 1/10 of the applications we receive each year)
      • Roughly 25% of the applications we fund must include the creation of new work (e.g. commissions and the facilitation of brand new pieces of music)
      • Roughly 25% of the applications we award must include creation or programming of live music for dance (creation, performance, choreographer, and dancer fees)
    • Geographical restrictions are as follows:
      • 49% of our grants budget is available without geographical restriction
      • 35% is restricted to New York City based artists/organizations
      • 11% is restricted to New York State based artists/organizations
      • 2% is restricted to New Jersey based artists/organizations
      • 2% is restricted to California Bay Area based artists/organizations

     

  • What happens after I submit?

    Applications will be screened first by staff for eligibility and completeness. Applications will then move forward to a peer review process by panelists working from around the country. Panelists will review each application by the criteria listed providing a score that will then be averaged to create a ranked list. All criteria will be equally weighted during the review process. Award determinations will be made using the ranked list taking into account any funding restrictions as necessary.

  • What is the deadline and review timeline?

    The deadline will be March 21, 2022 at 11:59 pm Eastern. Decisions will be made in June 2022. Funds are to be used for the 2022-23 season (July through June).

  • What is the project timeline for this Fund?

    The Fund is meant as organizational support and will provide funding for the upcoming 2022-23 season (July through June).

  • Where do I apply?

    Applications will be accepted online only. You may apply here: newmusicusa.smapply.io.

     

  • I have an existing User Profile on New Music USA, can I use that?

    If you applied to the Organization Development Fund in the past you may use that login, otherwise if you had a profile on New Music USA or only applied to the Project Grants program you will need to register on our new application portal.

  • My video work sample isn’t loading or I can’t see my video when I preview my application, what happened? What do I do?

    If you are uploading video work samples please prioritize .mp4 videos, using the most up to date software you have, as they will embed more seamlessly. If you are providing links to YouTube or Vimeo please be sure to provide “embed” links or conversely make sure your links are public. If you are providing links to password protected work samples, please make sure that you provide the password in the description of the work or at the tail end of your narrative, otherwise the panel will not be able to access your samples.

  • How do I contact you if I have questions?

    Please email grants@newmusicusa.org; please note that due to the high volume of inquiries please allow 48 to 72 hours for a response. Please also note that as the deadline approaches more immediate responses will be difficult.