Grant programs
Except where noted, these grant opportunities are available only to Professional Company Members of OPERA America.
Since the inception of its granting program, OPERA America has awarded a total of nearly $18 million to the opera field to support the work of opera creators, companies and administrators. Currently, OPERA America awards more than $2 million each year through a range of grant initiatives. In addition, OPERA America provides travel grants that allow members to participate in network forums and attend performances of new North American works.
Innovation Grants
Generously funded by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
OPERA America’s Innovation Grants support vibrant Professional Company Members in implementing innovative projects in opera’s most important areas of practice, including artistic vitality, audience experience, organizational effectiveness and community connections. The program enables companies to increase their investment in experimentation and innovation, and contribute to field-wide learning. Grants will support projects that are (a) efforts new to the field; (b) adaptations or applications of strategies that have been implemented elsewhere, but are new to the applicant company or its community; and (c) refinements or enhancements to proven organizational strategies that merit continued development. OPERA America will assist with evaluation and documentation, and disseminate resources to share lessons learned from the projects.

The 2019 Innovation Grant application cycle is now open.

Intent to apply deadline: November 8, 2018, at 11:59 p.m.
Application deadline: January 28, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EST
Adjudication and notification: March 2019
Grant start date: July 1, 2019

Guidelines:2019 Innovation Grant Guidelines (PDF)
Companies that describe multiyear approaches may request consideration for two-year grants. Payment in the second year will be at the same level as the first. A company may only have one active Innovation grant at any time. Recipients of two-year grants in 2017 may not reapply for Innovation funding until 2019 (fiscal year 2020).

2019 Worksheets:Intent to apply questions (PDF), application questions (PDF), budget template (XLSX),
Apply: All applications must be submitted online at operaamerica.org/GrantsDashboard.
The Opera Fund: Civic Practice Grants
Civic Practice Grants build on learning from the Audience Development program. This new grant program is intended to support Professional Company Members’ efforts to learn more about civic priorities within their communities, to develop relationships with leading arts and non-arts organizations, and to discover and deliver services that strengthen both the community and the opera company.

For more information on civic practice in opera, click here.

Application available online: July 2018
Intent to Apply deadline: September 10, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EDT
Application deadline: October 2, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EDT
Applications adjudicated: November 2018
Grantees notified: December 2018
Current grant period: January 2019 – August 2020

Guidelines:2019 Civic Practice Guidelines (PDF)
2019 Worksheets:Intent to apply questions (PDF), application questions (PDF), budget template (XLSX),
Apply: All applications must be submitted online at operaamerica.org/GrantsDashboard.
The Opera Fund: Repertoire Development
Repertoire Development Grants assist OPERA America Professional Company Members and their partners in meeting the special costs incurred by developing and producing new North American opera and music-theater works. A PCM may apply as a sole applicant or as part of a consortium. Grant range:
  • Up to $65,000 for consortium support
  • Up to $35,000 for sole applicant support
The 2017–2018 Repertoire Development application cycle is now closed. For a list of grant recipients, click here. The next application cycle will open in fall 2019.
Opera Grants for Female Composers
Supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation
Opera Grants for Female Composers provide support for the development of new operas by women, both directly to individual composers and to OPERA America Professional Company Members, advancing the important objective of increasing diversity across the field.
  • DISCOVERY GRANTS
    OPERA America invites proposals for grants of up to $15,000 from female composers able to document their ability to compose theatrical works for the trained voice and instrumental ensemble. In addition, grant recipients will have the opportunity to meet leaders in the field and participate in forum meetings and annual conferences.

    For a list of previous grant recipients, click here.

    Application available online: October 3, 2018
    Intent to apply deadline: November 28, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. EST (required for access to full application)
    Application deadline: January 7, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EST
    Applications adjudicated: February 2019
    Grantees notified: March 2019

    Guidelines:2019 Discovery Grant Guidelines (PDF)
    2019 Worksheets:Intent to apply questions (PDF), application questions (PDF), budget template (XLSX)
    Apply: All applications must be submitted online at operaamerica.org/GrantsDashboard.

  • COMMISSIONING GRANTS
    This program helps OPERA America Professional Company Members to commission works by talented women who compose for the opera stage. Grants cover up to 50 percent of a female composer’s fee for a full production of a commissioned work, with awards of up to $50,000.

    The Commissioning Grants are only open to OPERA America Professional Company Members based in the United States.

    The 2018 Commissioning Grant application cycle is now closed. Grantees will be notified in June 2018. The next application cycle will open in spring 2019.

    Application available online: November 29, 2018
    Intent to apply deadline: March 27, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EDT
    Application deadline: April 24, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EDT
    Applications adjudicated: May 2019
    Grantees notified: June 2019

    Guidelines:2019 Commissioning Grant Guidelines (PDF)
    2019 Worksheets:Intent to apply questions (PDF), application questions (PDF)
    Apply: All applications must be submitted online at operaamerica.org/GrantsDashboard.

The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase
Supported by the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund
This program is intended to bring new talent to the forefront and connect promising directors and designers with those who are in a position to advance their careers. OPERA America will consider applications from director- or designer-driven teams of artists. Each team must create a production proposal for an opera chosen from a curated list.

Selected finalists will be funded to further develop their production designs for presentation at Opera Conference 2019. For a list of previous grant recipients, click here.

Application available online: June 2018
Intent to Apply deadline: August 20, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. EDT
Application deadline: September 27, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. EDT
Applications adjudicated: October 2018
Grantees notified: November 2018

The Director-Designer Showcase is open to emerging opera and theater artists, regardless of membership status with OPERA America.

Guidelines: 2018-2019 Director-Designer Showcase Grant Guidelines (PDF)
Worksheets: Intent to apply questions (PDF), application questions (PDF)
Apply: All applications must be submitted online.

New Works Exploration Grants
Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

New Works Exploration Grants provide travel and lodging support for representatives of OPERA America Professional Company Members in the U.S. to attend performances or workshops of new American works. During the trip, the recipient must meet with the creative artists and administrators responsible for the piece’s creation. The goals of the program are to broaden awareness of new American opera and music-theater works across the field and to create relationships among opera companies interested in pursuing the creation and production of new works. Grants cover the cost of transportation and lodging. There is no limit to the number of grants a company may apply for during fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019); however, the total amount granted to a single company cannot exceed $2,000 during the year. To ensure the distribution of funding throughout the year, the total available funds will be split equally into two sixth-month periods, for travel occurring between July and December, and between January and June.

Application deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all funds are exhausted for the fiscal year.
Guidelines: 2018–2019 New Works Exploration Grant Guidelines (PDF)
Upcoming North American Works: To view the list, please click here
Worksheets: Application questions (PDF), reporting form (PDF)
Apply: All applications must be submitted online.

New Work Featured Presentations at the New Works Forum 2019
Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
OPERA America invites applications for production support of new work performances, readings and workshops concurrent with the programming of the 2019 New Works Forum from January 10–13, 2019, at the National Opera Center in New York City. Featured presentations may be excerpts of complete new works that have premiered since January 2016, excerpts of complete works that are scheduled to premiere over the next two seasons, or selections from works being developed.

Application available online: June 2018
Application deadline: July 11, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. EDT
Grantees notified: July 2018

Guidelines: New Work Featured Presentations Guidelines (PDF)
Worksheets: Application questions (PDF), venue listing (PDF)
Apply: All applications must be submitted online.

OPERA America Loans

OPERA America's Co-Production Loan Fund
Generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

OPERA America’s Co-Production Loan Fund offers no-interest, no-fee loans to Professional Company Members operating in the United States to ease their participation in co-production partnerships with other companies. Loans will be available to companies only in relation to co-productions of new and existing American operas.

A total loan fund of $1 million is made possible through a deeply appreciated five-year program related investment from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Each company may request a loan of up to $100,000, but no more than $250,000 will be committed by OPERA America to the various partners of any single project.

LOAN REQUEST RESOURCES
Co-Production Loan Guidelines (PDF)
Application checklist (PDF)
Application questions (PDF)

Apply: All applications must be submitted online at operaamerica.org/GrantsDashboard.

Loan requests are accepted on a quarterly basis.

Application deadlines are: November 30, February 28, May 31 and August 3.

Questions regarding the Co-Production Loan Fund may be directed to Kurt Howard, director of programs and services, at KHoward@operaamerica.org or 212.796.8624.
Index of Grants

Upcoming Deadlines
JAN
7
Opera Grants for Female Composers: Discovery
Application deadline
JAN
28
Innovation Grants
Application deadline
MAR
27
Opera Grants for Female Composers: Commissioning
Intent to apply deadline
APR
24
Opera Grants for Female Composers: Commissioning
Application deadline

Grant Support
OPERA America’s grant opportunities are made possible through the generosity of The Opera Fund donors and 40th Anniversary Annual Fund donors, The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation and The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

The Opera Fund, launched by The National Endowment for the Arts, is funded by:
  • The Helen F. Whitaker Fund
  • Lee Day Gillespie
  • Lloyd and Mary Ann Gerlach
  • The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • The James S. and John L. Knight Foundation

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