New Music Creator Fund
New Music Creator Fund – Overview and Guidelines
*Music Creator refers to any individual composer or artist who creates original music. Some music creators may also be performers; some may only create music for other people to perform. All of these individuals are eligible to lead applications for this fund.
The New Music Creator Fund offers grants to individual music creators who need support to advance or get to the next stage of their creative practice. The program will support costs which relate to collaboration with other artists and practitioners. Individual performers may also apply as long as their collaborator is a music creator. Our aim is to enable music creators to take the lead in the development of new and existing ideas and projects. We are also striving to stimulate creativity and collaboration between music creators and other artists from any discipline or background and to build community in response to the restrictions we have all been facing.
Program approach and priorities
We aim to support and represent a broad range of individuals across the country and musical spectrum. We expect the applicant pool to be very diverse in terms of genres, styles, and aesthetic and we will be particularly interested in applicants that display originality of sound, music, and artistry, shaping the future of music creation and sound.
Projects should be in progress or be developed in roughly the next year. Our commitment to an equitable ecosystem for new music means that we are particularly interested in receiving proposals from BIPOC and other under-represented artists.
Given the large volume of applications our process will prioritize the following in making determinations:
- Music creators who have evidence of experience making music professionally and are engaged in music on a professional level.
- Projects that do not already have funding or limited funding
- Projects involving new collaborations
- Projects that involve artistic growth or stretch, innovation, or have an impact on creative practice
- Projects that display originality of sound, music, and artistry, shaping the future of music creation and sound.
- Projects that impact or contribute to the community in some way.
What we mean by collaboration
This fund encourages new collaborations. We are leaving the nature of the collaborative practice to applicants to define – it may revolve around existing work that you want to bring to life, record, or transform for a new medium. It could focus on the creation of new work, the R&D time you need with your artistic collaborators and/or a live or virtual performance of some kind. Most important to our fund is that the work you propose will have a positive impact on the next steps in yours and the other participants’ creative practice.
What the program supports
Applicants will be able to seek support for a variety of activities which may form part of their collaboration. Applications must be led by music creators and can involve creative collaborators from any discipline.
We are open to hearing from you about the support you need to initiate or sustain collaboration with other artists and to help you keep creating in these uncertain times. We will prioritize proposals with the most potential to have a significant impact on the creative practice and potential. We are most interested in hearing how this project will help provide a breakthrough or help you advance in your career, the impact it will have, and why funding for the project is needed at this particular time, the urgency for support.
We envision that costs incurred through your collaborative work may include:
- Support for the time you need to create new material and initiate new collaborations with your proposed artist(s)
- Creation fees for a work in progress that does not have additional support
- Performer or other collaborator fees
- Project specific equipment
- Recording costs
- Technical assistance/skills building
- Support for digital presentation
- Joint R&D (research and development) into new project ideas
- Other costs you consider to be essential e.g. childcare for yourself or a collaborating artist
What the program does not support:
- Benefits or fundraisers
- Competition Fees
- Projects that are already 100% funded
- Projects that have already been completed
- Funds for international collaborators
We plan to make 50 to 60 awards of up to $5,000 each (with the average grant being $3,000) with funding from New Music USA’s endowment and annual funders.
Both the New Music Creator Fund and the New Music Organization 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
Equity and Inclusion
New Music USA is committed to inclusivity and equitable treatment in all of our activity and across our nation’s diverse population. We strive for our applicants and awardees to represent a broad spectrum and welcome the unique contributions that artists bring in terms of their education, opinions, culture, genre, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, dis/ability, languages spoken, religious beliefs, and geography. We encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQIA+ artists and artists with dis/abilities.
- The lead applicant must be a US-based music creator
- This is for individuals only; organizations cannot apply
- Each lead applicant may only submit one request
- If the lead applicant appears on another application as a collaborator, only one project containing the applicant will be selected for an award
- If a collaborator appears on more than one application, only one project containing the collaborator will be selected for an award
- Lead applicants may not have been funded in the previous round of the New Music Creator Fund (December 2021 deadline, announced in April).
- The applicant must be pursuing music on a professional level
- Activities/use of the funds should be in process and/or planned as of April 2023.
Applications will be screened first by staff for eligibility and completeness. Applications will then move forward to a peer review process completed by roughly 30 to 40 panelists working from around the country. The panel process will involve two stages. Panelists will review each application by the criteria listed below providing a score that will then be averaged to create a ranked list. The Review Criteria will be equally weighted during the first stage of review. Those scoring the highest in the first stage will be moved to a second stage review. Given the volume of applications, the quality determined by the first stage review, and with the aim to help those projects most in need, the Need criterion will be weighted during the second stage review. Award determinations will be made using the final ranked list, program priorities, and taking into account any funding restrictions as necessary.
Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria. Given the volume of applications, Need will be weighted during the second stage review process.
- Artistry– projected artistic merit of the collaboration based on the proposal and existing body of work
- Collaboration – strength of the collaboration proposed
- Need – how you want to use the money and the urgency of support right now
- Impact – the difference this project will make to the next steps of yours and other participants’ careers
PLEASE SEE FAQS FOR MORE DETAIL ON THE REVIEW PROCESS AND CRITERIA
Deadlines and Timeline: Application Deadline: December 15, 2022
The application deadline will be December 15, 2022, at 11:59 pm (Eastern Time). Decisions will be made in April 2023. Projects may be in progress or recently beginning. They can be process or performance-oriented, rather than leading to a definitive final outcome. An outline of your progress and experience will be required by the end of August 2023.
The application form can be completed by submitting a video or audio (max 5 mins) or written response. You are not required to submit a video/audio response, but you must please choose one of these approaches as our advisors won’t have time to assess both. In order to be eligible and move forward in the review process you MUST answer the following questions:
- Question 1: Please tell us about the strength of the COLLABORATION proposed.
- Some questions to consider:
- Tell us about the collaborative work you’d like to lead including who you’re proposing to collaborate with.
- Why are you choosing this collaboration?
- Why is this collaboration important now?
- Is this a new collaboration? If an existing one how is this moving in a new direction or contributing to artistic growth?
- Would this collaboration happen without support from New Music USA?
- Question 2: Tell us about the IMPACT this project will have and the difference this project will make in advancing yours and other participants’ careers.
- Some questions to consider:
- How will this advance or help you move forward to the next stage of your creative practice?
- What will happen once the project is completed?
- What impact will this work have for you?
- Why is it important for you to lead this work right now?
- Why is it important to work with this/these collaborator(s)?
- How will this work impact or contribute to your community (e.g. your community of artists, the community you are in, etc.)
- Question 3: Please outline the NEED for support, how you want to use the money, and the urgency of support right now.
- Some questions to consider:
- How would you use the money you are applying for?
- Why do you need our support?
- Would this work happen without our support?
- Why is it important to do this work right now?
- Does the project already have support? If so, why is funding from New Music USA crucial at this time?
- Question 4: When will you do this work (please include any relevant dates)?
Other required material:
Please outline how you plan to use the funds
That can include individual costs for you and/or your collaborator, funds for performers, equipment, recording, or other fees. Please be descriptive.
Please outline any funding received or projected to date for the proposed project
Project Samples demonstrating artistic quality for music creator/key collaborator(s)
2 to 3 work samples demonstrating recent work by you and your collaborating artists
You may provide links to YouTube, Vimeo, or Soundcloud, or upload via mp3
Further questions or information:
Please see the FAQs HERE https://newmusicusa.org/faqs-on-new-music-creator-fund
Please email email@example.com; please note that due to the high volume of inquiries please allow 24 to 48 hours for a response.