New Music USA Organizational Development Fund Grant Recipients Announced

Written By

Jill Strominger

Total amount of $518,500 awarded to 72 organizations across the U.S. 

New Music USA is pleased to announce the selection of 72 awardees of the 2021 New Music USA Organizational Development Fund. The fund was launched to support 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 that work regularly with, and support the development of, music creators and artists and offer a crucial resource to the community. 

Organizational Development Fund grants total $518,500 in awards, which are to be used for general operating costs that support the organization’s ongoing and regular program of new music and collaboration with composers and artists. The average award given is $7,200. The 72 awardees represent a broad range of organizations across 22 states and 17 musical genres.  

The Organizational Development Fund aligns with New Music USA’s vision of creating a thriving, connected and equitable ecosystem for new music across the United States. In addition to funding, New Music USA will build connectivity among the organizations by facilitating shared learning, exchange of ideas, and opportunities. 

“We are proud, this year, to support over 70 organizations which were selected by independent advisors for their deep and consistent impact on their communities of artists and music lovers,” said Vanessa Reed, President and CEO of New Music USA. “General operating support is crucial for music nonprofits as they recover from the restrictions imposed by the global pandemic. We’re excited to provide funds they can use in flexible ways to support the creation of new music across the U.S.” 

New Music USA is committed to making its grant programs equitable, by removing barriers in the application process, by consistently elevating all artists and organizations who receive our support and by giving applicants straightforward guidelines. New Music USA’s peer review process for the Organizational Development Fund applications reflects ongoing efforts to dismantle bias. For this round, which attracted more than 400 applications, New Music USA engaged 18 artists, composers, musicians, and administrators, building a panel formed of 72% women and 39% people of color, working from a broad range of locations from around the country. 

Learn more about the Organizational Development Fund here.

New Music USA Organizational Development Fund Recipients for 2021 

New Music USA extends deep gratitude to the panelists who reviewed Organizational Development Fund applications: Kati Agócs, Sidra Bell, Theo
Bleckmann, Samantha Boshnack, Kirsten Broberg, Heather Buchman, Andrea Clearfield, Dan Kellogg, KT Nelson, Chris Kim, Laurie San Martin, Odeya Nini, Miles Okazaki, Jane Rigler, Ashley Shabankareh, Wayne Wallace, Melissa Wimbish, and Jocelyn Zelasko. 

Funding Information for the New Music USA Organizational Development Fund  

The Organizational Development Fund is funded in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and with support from Howard Gilman Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.  

New Music USA also acknowledges and is grateful for the support of its Endowment Donors, including The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Helen F. Whitaker Fund, Baisley Powell Elebash Fund, Hewlett Foundation, Fidelity Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts. 

Support for New Music USA and its many programs and activities is provided by foundations, corporations, government agencies, and hundreds of individual contributors. Find out more here.  

Funding Transparency 

Both the New Music USA Creator Development Fund and the New Music USA 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 music genre. 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 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 


About New Music USA 

New Music USA supports the sounds of tomorrow by nurturing the creation, performance, and appreciation of new music for adventurous listeners around the world. We empower and connect US-based music makers, organizations, and audiences by providing funding through our grants; offering support and fostering new connections through our programs; deepening knowledge through our online magazine, NewMusicBox; and working as an advocate for the field. New Music USA envisions a thriving and equitable ecosystem for new music throughout the United States.