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Amphion Grant Program

We are not accepting applications for Amphion Grant Program at this time.

Amphion Foundation Spring 2021
Modified post-COVID Transition Round Guidelines

The current spring deadline is on Thursday, April 1 at 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time for the following applicant types: Performing Ensembles. The notification will be announced by the end of July 2021.

The fall deadline for Music Service Organizations, Presenters, and Festivals will be in the fall. The next deadline for these types of applicants is on September 15, 2021 at 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time. The online application system will open approximately eight weeks prior to the deadline.

Please read the guidelines carefully. There are new guideline items specific to the Spring 2021 application round for ensemble applicants.

Eligibility

Applications may be submitted by publicly supported non-profit or fiscally-sponsored organizations that have a history of substantial commitment to contemporary concert music at a high level of excellence. Organizations must have been in existence for at least two years at the time of application. Applicant organizations that are applying for support for performances must have presented two full seasons prior to the season for which support is requested, except for special projects of extraordinary significance. In that case, one must contact the Grants Manager for approval prior to beginning an application. Applications from organizations with a budget of over $10 million will be considered only for project support. The Grants Manager should be contacted for approval prior to beginning an application. Please note that, in general, the grant program does not support jazz music.

Eligible Activity

Owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation will accept proposals for:

  • Socially distanced and other safe methods of live performance
  • Virtual and web performances, including live and recorded streaming
  • Touring only at such time later in the 2021-22 season when it is deemed safe to do so by local government officials

The Foundation does not accept proposals for:  

  • Commissions to composers  
  • Endowment funding
  • Audio or audio-visual recordings (other than those mentioned above)
  • Music publishing projects
  • Projects that are part of the curriculum of an educational institution
  • Composition competitions except as part of a larger program of support for composers

Project support generally will be given only for a project that begins in the current season. Thus, for the 2021 grant round, support generally will only be given to projects that begin between September 2021 and August 2022. The Foundation will consider projects that fall outside of the normal period of support under extraordinary circumstances. Please contact the Grants Manager for further information.

Funding Provisions

For Project Support applicants: An eligible project is a clearly defined endeavor that includes one or more live and/or virtual performances of contemporary concert music* and, often, other activities related to the performance(s) that improve the public’s knowledge of such music. An aggregated list of contemporary concert music activities spread intermittently over the course of a season would not be eligible for Project Support, but could be considered for General Operating Support if a multi-year history of substantial commitment to contemporary concert music as an integral part of the applicant’s activities is demonstrated. Applicants should be aware that support in one year does not imply continuation of that support. In general, grants will range between $1,000 and $7,500, although larger grants may be awarded to larger performing organizations with an extraordinary commitment to contemporary concert music or a particularly significant project. Organizations who are members of a commissioning consortium and who are requesting support for the performance of the commissioned work should contact the Grants Manager for further advice.

*Please note that the term “contemporary concert music” (which includes opera and all other forms of such music) is intended only to distinguish such music from contemporary popular music, which is not fundable.

The Amphion Foundation encourages applicants to consider the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their programming decisions whenever possible.

Criteria

The following criteria will be applied in evaluating grant proposals:

  • History of high-quality performances of, or otherwise substantially fostering the public knowledge and appreciation of, contemporary concert music
  • The significant contributions the organization has made to the field of contemporary concert music in the past and those it is likely to make in the future
  • The responsibility and effectiveness of management
  • Ongoing activity in the absence of public concerts due to COVID-19 or the reasons why such activity could not be undertaken.

How to apply

Please log in to the web site and proceed to the program page.

Then, click the “Apply Now” button to begin the online application process. You may work on your proposal in stages but you must save it as you go along. It is not necessary to complete the application in one session.

You will need to check the following items and, if necessary, update your account to reflect the most current information (particularly to have the physical addresses be your current preferred mailing address):

You will need to supply the following information:

Organization Information

  • Contact information, including current e-mail address.
  • A copy of the IRS determination letter confirming tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that the applicant is not a private foundation. If the applicant organization is not based in the United States, submit a letter from a local lawyer confirming its equivalence to a publicly funded 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Federal tax ID number
  • Four-year financial snapshot including FY19, FY20 final, which we recognize will be COVID-impacted, FY21 projected, which may also be COVID-impacted, and a pro forma FY22 budget based on whatever information you have at this time. If providing FY 22 information will be particularly difficult for your organization, please contact the Grants Manager.

Applicant Information

  • Type of organization
  • Mission of the organization
  • If the applicant is a performing ensemble or presenter, or is applying for support for performances, the number of concerts projected in the season (including online) for which support is being requested and the two years prior. (The review panel will take into account that in most of 2020 and the first part of 2021 there may have been few or no live performances.)

Proposal

  • State the specific time period for which support is requested. If you are requesting general operating support, please indicate support period as “2021-2022 season.”
  • Indicate the amount and type of support (general operating or project support) requested, and purpose of the request. Note that orchestras and opera companies, other than contemporary concert music specialists, may apply only for project support.
  • General Operating Support description or Project Support description: Please describe details, repertoire, and nature of activity in request. Please provide a brief summary of your intended repertoire or other related activities for the upcoming concert season, particularly regarding contemporary concert music. Please also provide, as best as you can, information about your intended contemporary concert music-related activities in the 2021-22 concert season. Special for 2021 grant program: If your organization has been able to maintain some public-facing activities during the period that public concerts have not been possible due to COVID-19, please describe your contemporary concert music-related activities since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, including online activities, streaming, web presence efforts to maintain or grow audience, and ways your organization has adapted. (5,000 characters or less)
  • If project support is requested, please upload a project budget, a breakdown of the project costs, and an itemized list of other sources of income for the project with the amount of support from each source. Also note whether support from each source has been secured or is prospective funding.
  • History of the organization listing all of the activities in which it has been engaged during the past two years and the activities in which it proposes to engage during the season for which support is being requested. Special for 2021 grant program: Please describe any actual or potential changes in your board and/or administrative team and/or ensemble personnel since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. You may also address any specific fundraising or budgetary challenges your organization experienced. (5,000 characters or less)
  • Description of the constituencies or audiences that are served, including size, age groups, and geographic regions. You may link to relevant online data here.

Musical and Media Materials 

Please submit:

  • For ensembles of up to 13 players, a list of performers who comprise the ensemble. Please indicate the date of the beginning of their participation as permanent members of the ensemble. Please also indicate the number of non-permanent players who perform in each season.
  • For opera and dance applicants, as well as any applications for which the visual element is important to the presentation of the music, video work samples of the performers, company, any choreographer and the project’s director are very helpful in assessing a proposal. However, the Foundation recognizes that there may be legal or contractual restrictions that prevent an applicant from furnishing video work samples. If an applicant of this type is unable to furnish a video due to legal or contractual obligations, please so state in the proposal. Video samples should involve live performances of contemporary concert music. Promotional or news clip videos which include substantial amounts of spoken commentary should not be submitted unless there is no alternative video available, and this should be indicated.
  • For all other ensemble applicants, please submit mp3 recordings of three contemporary concert compositions performed by the ensemble and recorded within the current performance season and the two performance seasons immediately prior (i.e., for the 2021 round, within the 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons). Each recording should be between three and five minutes in length (excerpts are acceptable).
  • Please submit recordings of live performances rather than edited studio sessions unless no live recordings are available and this should be indicated if so. Musical examples should demonstrate the performance quality of the core members of the ensemble playing together in representative repertoire, rather than feature extended soloistic passages.
  • For each recording and/or video submitted, provide the title of the work, names of the composer and performer(s) and date of the performance.
  • The review panel strongly recommends that for one of the three recordings a score be uploaded in PDF format, marked at the point at which listening is to begin. If this presents serious difficulties, please so indicate.
  • If project support is being requested for the work of (a) particular composer(s), make every effort to include a recording of a representative sample of the work of that (those) composer(s), even if the recording is by performers other than the applicant ensemble.

Supporting Materials

  • Please provide a list of all performances and repertoire for the season for which support is being requested and the two years prior, including identification of any outside artists or organizations, if applicable. This should amount to three consecutive years of information. The review panel will take into account that this information will be COVID-impacted. Please do not submit this list in the form of season brochures.
  • A list with award amounts of foundation, corporate, and government support for the season for which support is being requested and the two years prior. This should amount to three consecutive years of support information. (Projections are acceptable for the coming year and, to the extent necessary, the current year.) For the year for which you are requesting support, it is required to differentiate between secured funding and prospective funding.
  • A list of members of the Board of Directors (or equivalent) and their principal affiliations.
  • Organizational budgets which should amount to four consecutive years of financial information using the required budget template. Link here.
  • Also submit your most recent audited financial statement, if available. (Not every organization is required to have an audited financial statement; however, if your organization has one for any of the past three fiscal years, you are required to submit the latest one.)

Application cycle and deadline

Applications must be received by Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time.

Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by the end of July 2021. Funds will be dispersed by the end of August 2021.

IMPORTANT: You are responsible for complying with all legal and contractual requirements that may apply to the creation of your materials. The Amphion Foundation hereby disclaims all legal responsibility in connection with your submissions. In case of questions, consult your legal advisor.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") Policy

Inquiries

Prospective applicants are first encouraged to read the Frequently Asked Questions. If your question is not answered there, please contact the Grants Manager prior to the time of application.

Telephone: 212-461-6956
E-mail: grantsmanager@amphionfoundation.org

Hard copies of scores should be addressed to:

The Amphion Foundation, Inc.
254 West 31st Street, 15th floor

New York, NY 10001
Attn: Grants Manager

Revised February 23, 2021

General FAQs

I am making a recording of contemporary concert music. Can I apply to the Foundation for support?

The Foundation does not support recordings.

 

Are music education projects eligible for funding?

Education projects focused on pre-college age children are generally not eligible.

The Foundation will consider professional level performance projects with an education component, as well as training programs for emerging professional-level musicians or composers, provided that they have a focus on contemporary concert music.

My project will take place before the application deadline. Am I still eligible to apply?

Except in rare circumstances, projects that take place before the deadline will not be considered.

What is the Foundation’s definition of a "project"?

The Foundation considers a "project" to be out of the scope of an organization’s regular programming activities, often (but not necessarily) a one-off initiative that adds incremental expenses to your operating budget in order to achieve its goals.  An aggregated list of your contemporary music activities spread intermittently over the course of a season would not be eligible for project support.  Please explain how you will fund those aspects of the project expenses not covered by the Amphion Foundation in order to ensure the project can take place as envisioned.


 

Our proposal was not funded. Can you tell us why?

Programs are very competitive. Unfortunately, each year many worthy projects cannot be funded simply because they exceed our available resources. You are welcome to call the Grants Manager at 212-461-6956 for feedback about how your proposal could be improved in the future.

What organizations are eligible to apply for general operating support?

Chamber ensembles (those comprised of under 20 performers), service organizations and presenters are eligible to apply for general operating support.  Large organizations such as orchestras and opera companies, other than contemporary music specialists, are eligible to apply only for project support.

What is the Foundation’s definition of "contemporary"?

For the Foundation’s purposes, music written in 1960 or later is considered contemporary.

Our organization performs/presents pops and holiday programming. Is this repertoire eligible for support?

Generally, no. The Foundation’s emphasis is on contemporary concert music. However, programs of this nature do not have an adverse effect on your application as long as there is sufficient eligible contemporary concert music activity.

Must I use the Foundation’s 3-year budget template or may I upload my organization’s pre-existing budgets for my application?

The Foundation requires use of its 3-year budget Excel template.  Other budget documents are not accepted and should not be uploaded to the application.  As part of the form, you will find space to make any explanatory notes you find necessary.

What is the Foundation’s definition of a "performing ensemble"?

Performing groups such as orchestras, opera companies and chamber music groups with a consistent core membership, as well as ”flexible” ensembles with consistent artistic leadership and identity, are considered performing ensembles. Dance companies are also eligible to apply for projects that involve live performances of contemporary concert music.

Please note that orchestras and opera companies that do not specialize in contemporary music are only eligible to apply for project support.

 

My organization is the lead applicant in a consortium project. Does it have to be a service organization, a presenter or a performing ensemble in order to apply?

The lead applicant in a consortium project must have non-profit status, but doesn’t need to fit the criteria for service organizations, presenters or performing ensembles.

Consortium projects that support composers and performers through grants, residencies, training programs, etc. or aid in the preservation and dissemination of contemporary concert music, or projects that involve organizing and presenting live performances of contemporary concert music are eligible for support.  

Do I need to submit a Letter of Intent in order to apply?

There will be no letter of intent to submit prior to applying to the program.

What is the Foundation’s definition of a "presenter"?

Music festivals, music venues, and any other organization that organizes and presents live musical performances by a variety of performing groups can be considered a “presenting organization”.

Our organization does not have non-profit status. Can we apply?

Organizations without non-profit status may seek support with the sponsorship of a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. You must submit a letter from the sponsoring organization describing the nature of the arrangement, and undertaking to be responsible for disbursement of funds if a grant is awarded. In addition, you must include the sponsor's IRS tax-exempt determination letter. Create one PDF that contains both items.

It is not necessary to submit board or financial information for the fiscal sponsor unless we follow up with you with a request for more information.

Where are the guidelines for the Amphion grant?
What is the Foundation’s definition of a "music service organization"?

Organizations that support composers and performers through grants, residencies, training programs, etc. or aid in the preservation and dissemination of contemporary concert music, are considered music service organizations.

What is the Foundation looking for in a project description?

The Foundation considers a "project" to be out of the scope of an organization’s regular

 programming activities, often (but not necessarily) a one-off initiative that add incremental expenses to your operating budget in order to achieve its goals. An

 aggregated list of your contemporary music activities spread intermittently over the

 course of a season would not be eligible for project support. Please explain how you will

 fund those aspects of the project expenses not covered by the Amphion Foundation in order to ensure the project can take place as envisioned.

 

Does the Amphion Foundation consider diversity in its application decisions?

The Amphion Foundation encourages applicants to consider the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their programming decisions whenever possible.

Does the Foundation support jazz music?

In general, it is not within the scope of the Foundation’s mission to support jazz music.  Among organizations that fund jazz are the National Endowment for the Arts, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Chamber Music America, and some programs of New Music USA.

 

What is the Foundation looking for in a proposal narrative?

A proposal narrative should be a general description of your organization’s activities, plans for the upcoming season, and any other significant points to make your case for support. Applicants applying for general operating support are required to submit only a proposal narrative. Applicants applying for project support are required to submit a proposal narrative and a project description.

When may an organization apply for a grant?

There are two deadlines each year for submission of grant proposals. The non-performing ensemble deadline is September 15, 2018. The next performing ensembles deadline is April 1, 2019. 

Does The Amphion Foundation consider diversity and inclusion in its grantmaking?

The Amphion Foundation encourages applicants to consider the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their programming decisions whenever possible.

Does the Foundation support musical theater?

Opera and dance projects involving live performances of contemporary concert music are supported. Broadway-style musical theater projects are generally not supported.

We are applying with a fiscal sponsor. For ”organizational budgets” should we submit our organization's budgets or the fiscal sponsor's?

Submit your organization's budgets. We will follow up with you if we need more information about your fiscal sponsor. 

What is the average amount of a grant?

For smaller organizations, grants range from $1,000 to $5,000; for larger institutions, awards average from $3,000 to $7,500, although larger grants may be awarded to larger performing organizations with an extraordinary commitment to contemporary concert music or a particularly ambitious project.

Does the Foundation support “pop” music?

Pop music is not supported. The Foundation’s emphasis is on contemporary concert music.

 

Which three years of organizational budgets should I submit?

Please submit organizational budgets for the season for which support is being requested and the two years prior. For the 2019 round, this means FY 2020, FY 2019 and FY 2018. Use of the Foundation’s 3-year Excel budget template is required.

Does the Foundation give grants to arts organizations outside New York City?

Yes. Non-profit performing and presenting organizations in addition to non-profit service organizations throughout the United States and abroad are eligible to receive grants from the Foundation. For information on how to apply, see the Guidelines page at this web site.

Are universities and other educational institutions eligible for support?

Educational institutions may apply for projects that involve professional musicians (including faculty). Activities including student ensembles are generally not eligible for support. Performances that are primarily by professional musicians are eligible even if some students also participate.

Youth choruses performing at an exceptionally high level are eligible for support, provided that they are performing contemporary concert music intended for young voices.

What is the difference between organizational budgets and financial statements (in the supporting materials section)?

Organizational budgets refer to three consecutive years of revenue and expense statements:

  • the actual statement from the preceding fiscal year
  • a projected statement (budget) for the current fiscal year
  • a projected statement (budget) for the fiscal year for which support is requested

We require using our Excel template to create your organizational budgets; the template incorporates the format and level of detail we wish to see.

Financial statements refer to statements, often prepared by an accountant and sometimes audited, that reflect a more complete picture of an organization's financial details, including statements of activity, cash flow, balance sheets, and accompanying notes. Not every organization is required to have an audited financial statement, however, if your organization has one for any of the past three fiscal years, you are required to submit the latest one. 

I am an individual composer. Can I apply to the Foundation for a commission?

The Foundation does not make grants to composers for commissioning new works. A good place for individual composers to research grant opportunities is The Foundation Center in New York City. The Foundation Center has an informative web site at www.fdncenter.org.

Our university is seeking funding for a project. May we apply for indirect costs?

The Amphion Foundation will not fund indirect costs on a project, so it is advised that you do not include them in the budget.

When will decisions be announced?

Award decisions will be announced in the January following the Septempber 15 deadline. 

Award decisions will be announced in the July following the April 1 application deadline.

Please do not contact the Foundation for grant decisions.