OPERA America Announces Recipients of The Opera Fund: Audience Development Grants
Eleven Opera Companies Receive a Total of $150,000 to Engage Audiences in New American Opera
OPERA America is pleased to announce it has awarded grants to 11 opera companies through its Opera Fund: Audience Development grant program, which promotes deep learning experiences about new or infrequently produced American operas and music-theater works. Each grant supports audience development activities associated with a specific work being produced by an OPERA America Professional Company Member.
A total of $150,000 has been awarded to the following 11 opera companies: Cincinnati Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera (New York, NY), Long Beach Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre (Detroit, MI), Minnesota Opera (Minneapolis, MN), Opera Saratoga, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Seattle Opera, Skylight Music Theatre (Milwaukee, WI) and Tulsa Opera.
“Supporting the creation of new American opera is central to OPERA America’s mission, yet for that new repertoire to thrive, we must also excite, engage and inform audiences,” stated OPERA America President/CEO Marc A. Scorca. “As the most recent group of grant awardees demonstrates, opera companies are pursuing increasingly diverse and innovative strategies to offer their communities entry points into opera. We are deeply grateful to The Opera Fund donors for making these crucial audience development activities possible.”
Applications for The Opera Fund’s Audience Development grants were reviewed by an independent panel consisting of Steven Osgood, conductor; Rebecca Ratzkin, senior consultant, WolfBrown; John Michael Schert, visiting artist and social entrepreneur, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business (and co-founder of Trey McIntyre Project); Lisa Steindler, artistic director, Z Space; and Theodore Wiprud, vice president, education, the New York Philharmonic.
OPERA America’s long tradition of supporting and nurturing the creation and development of new works led to the formation of The Opera Fund endowment, allowing OPERA America to make a direct impact on the ongoing creation and presentation of new opera and music-theater works through a number of grant programs. Since its inception, OPERA America has made grants of nearly $13 million to assist companies with the expenses associated with the creation and development of new works, as well as related audience development initiatives. Together with Building Opera Audiences grants, supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, OPERA America implements a comprehensive strategy to expand, diversify and deepen opera audiences and the audience experience.
The Opera Fund was launched by the National Endowment for the Arts, and it 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 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation.