The Aaron Copland Fund for Music is celebrating 30 years of grantmaking with a special, community-driven program. The purpose of this program is to support organizations with a strong commitment to contemporary American music that have not been supported by the Fund before.

Only applicants who have received an invitation from the Copland Fund may submit an application to this program. No other applications will be considered.

The program’s objective is to support performing and presenting organizations whose artistic excellence encourages and improves public knowledge and appreciation of contemporary concert music and contemporary jazz music by American composers.

The program’s objectives are to increase the public's knowledge of and appreciation for contemporary American concert music and contemporary jazz through the documentation and distribution of commercial recordings. Pre-approval is required to submit a proposal; first see the Preliminary Round.

Pre-application to the Recording Program is required. Submissions will be reviewed and a select number of applications will be invited to submit a full proposal to the Recording Program.

The program’s objective is to support non-profit organizations that have a history of substantial commitment to contemporary American music but whose needs are not addressed by the Fund’s programs of support for performing organizations and recording projects. Organizations whose principal function is to support a specific performing ensemble should apply to the Performance Program.

General Eligibility FAQs

What is the Fund's definition of "contemporary concert music?"

The Fund considers music composed within the last 40 years to be contemporary. Concert music includes opera, orchestral and chamber music for instrumental and/or vocal ensembles, as well as concert music in experimental genres and similar formats. (For more information, please review program guidelines.)

What is the Fund's definition of "American music?"

Music by composers with U.S. citizenship, wherever they may live, as well as non-citizen composers who have lived and worked in the U.S. and its territories for a significant period.

Does the Fund support jazz music?

Yes, the Fund supports contemporary American jazz music composed within the last 40 years. (For more information, please review program guidelines.) 

Will the Copland Fund consider funding for holiday or pops concerts?

No, but pops and holiday concerts will not have an adverse effect on your application if there is sufficient eligible contemporary concert music activity throughout your season.

Does the Fund support musical theater?

No, Broadway-style musical theater projects are generally not supported. Opera and dance projects involving live performances of contemporary concert music are supported.

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

Yes, provided you obtain fiscal sponsorship from a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. Be sure to review program guidelines and application instructions to submit proper documentation.

Can I apply to the Fund as an individual?

Fiscally sponsored individuals may apply for support in the Recording Program only; the Fund does not accept applications from individuals (fiscally sponsored or otherwise) for the Performance Program or Supplemental Program.

Individuals may find other grant opportunities on Candid.

Does the Fund make grants for retroactive support?

The Performance and Supplemental Programs provide funding for programming that occurs between September of the current year through August of next year.  Activity that occurs before this period is no longer eligible. Activity that occurs after this period should be submitted as part of a future application.

The Recording Program provides funding for recordings that have not been released prior to the application deadline. Recordings that will have been released before that date will no longer be eligible.

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

Yes! Non-profit and fiscally sponsored organizations with eligible activity throughout the United States and internationally will be considered for funding from the Fund.

Does the Fund provide funding for educational institutions or initiatives?

For the Performance Program, educational institutions and organizations seeking funding for educational outreach may not apply for activities involving school-age students, student ensembles, or credit-bearing university activities. Educational institutions may apply to the performance program as presenters for activities such as faculty recital series and concert presentations featuring professional musicians. 

The Fund supports professional development and training activities that meet eligibility criteria through the Supplemental Program

Youth choruses that perform contemporary concert music specifically composed for children’s voices may be considered. Please inquire with the Grants Manager.

Does the Fund provide funding for community, volunteer, or amateur ensembles?

Due to the competitive nature of the Fund’s grant programs, community, volunteer, and amateur ensembles are generally not competitive for support. For specific inquiries, please inquire with the Grants Manager.

Can I apply to the Fund for a commission, or as part of a consortium project?

The Fund does not provide grants for commissioning fees. In the case of consortium projects, contact the Grants Manager with your specific details.

May I apply to more than one grant program?

Yes! Performing organizations (e.g. orchestras, choirs, chamber music groups, opera and dance companies, etc.) that are seeking funding for live performances should apply to the Performing Program. Applicants seeking funding for commercial recordings should apply to the Recording Program. Applicants seeking funding for non-performing activities should apply to the Supplemental Program.

NOTE: Performing organizations may also apply to the Supplemental Program only if they operate a discrete and substantial standalone program that qualifies for eligibility, and only with permission from the Grants Manager.