Announcing New Music USA’s New Music Organizational Development Fund

Announcing New Music USA’s New Music Organizational Development Fund

New Music Organizational Development Fund
Overview and Guidelines

Deadline for applications: April 22, 2021 at 11:59 pm Eastern.

New Music USA 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. See all of our funders here.

Download the announcement PDF here.


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.


We aim to support and represent a broad range of organizations across different US cities and music genres. Additionally, we would like to build connectivity amongst the organizations we support to facilitate shared learning, exchange of ideas, and opportunities.

We ask each organization to present their year-round work on or offline, including

  • Music program planned
  • Artist development opportunities
  • Community of artists served (we support music creators/artists based in the US and US territories)
  • Audiences the activity will reach

We are particularly interested in supporting organizations which are having a deep and consistent impact on their community of artist 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.



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.

Funding Transparency

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 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

Review criteria

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, and People of Color led, LGBTQIA+ led organizations, and organizations representing persons with disabilities.

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
  • 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


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
  • have a dedicated organizational bank account

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


The deadline for applications will be April 22, 2021 at 11:59 pm Eastern.

Application requirements

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 video (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


Further questions or information:

Please email

And be sure to check out the FAQs here.

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