Frequently Asked Questions

Here you'll find answers to the questions we get asked the most.

New Music USA Grants & Funding FAQs

  • Where do I apply for New Music USA grants?

    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 Old logins are no longer active.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. 

  • What are the basic review criteria and program priorities for your funding programs?

    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.

  • What are some of the basic eligibility requirements to be considered for New Music USA grant programs?

    We require that you are based and doing work in the US.

    You must have a demonstrated commitment to music creation or producing, performing, and/or commissioning the work of living, US/territories-based music creators.

    You should be committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in your organization, engagement, and programming.

    We require that you be committed to working and performing in your community.

    We suggest that you have a dedicated bank account for your professional activities.

  • What are some of the basic required materials for New Music USA funding applications?

    A budget breakdown. Please be prepared to outline how you plan to use the funds, if awarded.

    Work samples demonstrating artistic quality for music creator/key collaborator(s). Usually, 2 to 3 work samples demonstrating recent work. You may provide links to YouTube, Vimeo, or Soundcloud, or upload via mp3.

  • Why are there geographic or interest area restrictions to some New Music USA funding?

    Our programs 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 here so that all applicants have a better insight into these restrictions, which influence the applications our advisors select.

    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 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

    1% is restricted to Pennsylvania based artists/organizations

  • Are there activities New Music USA cannot support?

    Yes, there are. In particular: projects in which work is not in some way delivered or disseminated publicly through performance, recording, etc.; expenses that are not connected specifically to a project, including general administrative expenses; competitions or contests; tuition expenses; professional development; benefits or fundraisers; or funds for artists and organizations based outside of the USA.

  • As a grantee, what media do I need to submit to New Music USA?

    The header image will be the first image to be seen as representing your work. It is best to provide a eye-catching photo!

    We’re looking for:

    High resolution images in landscape format 

    At least 2500 pixels wide 

    Images without any added text.

    Images that can be cropped to the center of the rectangle.

    Please include the photographer credit wherever possible. You/your ensemble/your organization and your photographer will be clearly credited in all instances.

  • Panelist Review Criteria: Artistry

    These are the questions regarding artistry that we ask panelists to keep in mind while reviewing applications.

    We realize that evaluating artistry is by its nature a matter of interpretation and that there may be several ways to think about artistic excellence.

    Given the diversity of the pool, below are some questions that may be useful for your review:

    Does the work compel your interest? Does it make you want to keep listening/watching?

    Does the work embody a distinctive and authentic artistic voice?

    Does the work feel fresh?

    Does the work show highly developed craft or technical excellence?

    You will find one to three media samples for your review. If you feel you need additional information that is not found here, you may find additional media in the collaborator profiles.

  • Panelist Review Criteria: Capacity & Impact

    These are the questions regarding capacity and impact that we ask panelists to keep in mind while reviewing applications.

    Capacity: The applicant’s ability to execute the project as proposed

    You will not score this criterion, but instead answer two questions:

    Can they do it? (Yes/No/Maybe)
    Please note: Collaborators that display on a project page means that that collaborator has confirmed their involvement in the project (i.e. their letter of commitment). If an important collaborator has not confirmed their participation, you may take that into account in your review.

    Is the Request Amount Appropriate (Yes/No)

    Impact: The extent to which the proposed project positively impacts the communities and participating artists involved.

    Taking the project as a whole, what is its impact on the participating artists/composers and the community/audiences involved. Below are some questions that may be useful for your review:

    Is the project a particularly meaningful opportunity for the composer, community, organization, and/or musicians?

    Does the project represent an opportunity to build new relationships and/or strengthen existing relationships with audiences, organizations, performers, collaborators, and/or community members?

  • How can I become a grant panelist?

    If you are interested in serving as a grant panelist, please contact our Grantmaking team and let them know that you are interested.

  • How will I know when grant cycles are open?

    Please sign up for our mailing list to get the latest funding cycle announcements delivered straight to you.

    You may also check out Get Funding page to see what is open currently.

New Music USA Funded Projects

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