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IDEA Opera Grants

Grants and In-Kind Support to USA BIPOC Composers and
Librettists for New Works and Professional Advancement

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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OPERA America

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

09/22/21 11:59 PM EDT


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Grants and in-kind support to USA BIPOC composers and librettists for new works and professional advancement. Applicants are required to submit an intent to apply prior to a full application. Funding is intended for applicants who identify as African, Arab, Asian, Latinx, and Native American. Grant funds may be used to support readings, workshops, performance-based events, participation at national convenings, and supplemental support to create high-quality, promotional video recordings of the works.

Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Vocalist, instrumentalist, and other performer fees;
  • Music director/conductor;
  • Dramaturg;
  • Stage director;
  • Vocal coach;
  • Sound designer;
  • Rehearsal and performance venue rental fees;
  • Stage manager;
  • Equipment rental (e.g., lighting, sound, instrumental cartage);
  • Graphic design, web design, and programs for project;
  • Child care and/or elder care while creators are in rehearsal or performance;
  • Research materials; and/or
  • Transportation and housing for personnel related to creative meetings, rehearsals, and performances. Airfare is limited to coach-class.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187956

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant recipients will receive:
- $12,500 per team to support costs associated with the production of a workshop, reading, or other performance-based event;
- A high-quality video portrait of the composer and librettist for promotional use and multi-camera footage of the work in development;
- Complimentary registration, travel, and housing to attend OPERA America’s New Works Forum, an annual gathering that brings together producers, publishers, composers, librettists, and artists to discuss the creation and production of new operatic works;
- Complimentary registration, travel, and housing to attend the annual Opera Conference, the pre-eminent convening of opera company leaders, artists, trustees, volunteers, and other industry stakeholders; and
- An introduction in Opera America Magazine.

Term of Contract:

Funding may not be applied to expenses incurred before December 1, 2021. Grant-funded activities must be completed by November 1, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Although it is anticipated that creative teams will consist of both a composer and a librettist, the composer may also serve as the librettist and apply as a sole applicant. Projects involving more than two creators (i.e., one composer and two librettists) are also eligible.
- Applicants (composer and librettist) must identify with a racial or cultural heritage that includes African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and/or Native American (ALAANA) and have U.S. citizenship, permanent residence, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.
- The lead applicant may be either the composer or the librettist, who will serve as the fiscal agent for the project. If awarded, the fiscal agent will disburse all funds received and provide all required financial and narrative documentation.
- Applicants must demonstrate their ability to write for the opera/music-theater medium by providing samples of theatrical work for the voice and instrumental ensemble.
- Applicants may only be affiliated with one proposal per application cycle.
- Recipients of IDEA Opera Grants may not reapply for an IDEA Opera Grant in a subsequent cycle.

Ineligible expenses include:
- Commissioning fees or living expenses for the applicants (composer and librettist);
- Set, costume, or properties construction or rental expenses for a staged production;
- Institutional overhead expenses if partnering with a producing organization;
- Expenses that are not connected specifically to the project, including general administrative expenses and competition or contest application fees;
- Tuition expenses;
- Professional development fees;
- Fundraising expenses; and/or
- Ticket subsidies.

Pre-Application Information:

Application Cycle
- Application available online: June 2021
- Intent to apply deadline: August 11, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. EDT
- Full application deadline: September 22, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. EDT
- Adjudication: October 2021
- Applicant notification: November 2021
- Grant period: December 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
- Promotional filming: completed by November 1, 2021

No matching funds are required. Additional expenses to complete the project are the responsibility of the creators.

Grantees may request up to 75 percent of the total award in one or more installments for expenses incurred on or after December 1, 2021. The final balance of the grant will be paid after the completion of the activities proposed in the application and upon the submission of the final report.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

For questions about applications or eligibility, contact or 646.699.5236.

You may also contact Diana Hossack, grantmaking associate, at or 646.699.5236 with any questions.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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