Government grants for musicians

Written by rachel mattison
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Grants provide many opportunities for musicians who want to fund a project to compose a symphony or further the study of certain aspects of music and music education. Often it proves difficult to find information about the types of grants available to musicians, since many organisations have limited the amount of award monies for creative projects. However, many federal and state government agencies currently offer grants to fund a variety of projects, including helping musicians research a particular genre of music, and offering educational music programs to children in disadvantaged areas.

National Endowment for the Arts

Finding funding often proves difficult for musicians and musicians' organisations that have pioneered a certain type of music or work to preserve historical and cultural aspects of music. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) offers many types of grants for musicians living in the United States, including grants for music excellence, which awards grant monies to support areas including organisations that work to preserve cultural music traditions, organisations that encourage and promote the abilities of individuals to create and promote their work, and arts programs that enhance communities. Other grants offered by the NEA include the National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors. Recipients receive this award based on their lifetime achievements and pioneering efforts in opera.

United States Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education offers yearly Arts in Education grants to support music and arts programs that encourage children in elementary and middle schools to perform and create. Projects that have recently received funding from the U.S. Department of Education include those that create music programs and materials for children, and those that find innovative ways to teach and promote arts education. Applicants must prove how they can integrate and implement these teaching strategies in elementary and middle school systems.

State Grants

Many state governments offer grants for musicians to help them fund various music projects and programs. The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) offers grants to musicians, organisations, and radio and television programming. This funding ensures that musicians receive necessary monies to help establish their professional music careers and enable them to promote performances. Grant awards also provide funding for non-profit music organisations as well as creative projects that pioneer new technologies and trends in music. Applicants must reside in New York State for at least two years to qualify for any of the grants offered by the NYSCA. In 2009 the California Arts Council along with the Department of Justice awarded several arts organisation grants to support music performances for 42 music organisations throughout the state. Each year the Massachusetts Cultural Council, through its Local Cultural Council Program, awards grants to fund educational music programs that feature school trips, concerts, and festivals that enrich the lives of individuals and communities.

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