OPERA America Announces Recipients of 2017 Innovation Grants
Generously Funded by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
A Total of $1.4 Million Awarded to 27 Companies to Foster Innovation and Field-Wide Learning
OPERA America, the national service organization for opera and the nation’s leading champion of American opera, is pleased to announce the first-ever recipients of Innovation Grants, generously funded by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.
Launched last fall, Innovation Grants support exceptional projects that have the capacity to strengthen the field’s most important areas of practice, including artistic vitality, audience experience, organizational effectiveness and community connections. These grants invest up to $1.5 million annually in OPERA America’s Professional Company Members, enabling organizations of all sizes to increase their commitment to experimentation and innovation, as well as contribute to field-wide learning.
Twenty-seven companies — representing nearly 20 percent of all Professional Company Members — received awards totaling $1.411 million in the program’s first granting cycle. The recipients are:
- American Lyric Theater (New York, NY)
- American Opera Projects (New York, NY)
- Anchorage Opera
- Arizona Opera (Phoenix, AZ)
- The Atlanta Opera
- Austin Opera
- Beth Morrison Projects (New York, NY)
- Central City Opera (Central City, CO)
- The Dallas Opera
- Fargo-Moorhead Opera (Fargo, ND)
- Florentine Opera Company (Milwaukee, WI)
- The Glimmerglass Festival (Cooperstown, NY)
- HERE (New York, NY)
- Houston Grand Opera
- Michigan Opera Theatre (Detroit, MI)
- Minnesota Opera (Minneapolis, MN)
- Opera Maine (Portland, ME)
- Opera Memphis
- Opera Omaha
- Opera Philadelphia
- Opera Saratoga
- Pacific Opera Victoria (Victoria, BC)
- San Diego Opera
- San Francisco Opera
- The Santa Fe Opera
- Seattle Opera
- Tulsa Opera
Grants will fund a wide range of initiatives, including programs to support opera creators and incubate new works; productions of new or novel repertoire and related audience-engagement activities; the presentation of works in unusual venues or in innovative season formats; partnerships among performing arts organizations, and with social service providers; and added institutional capacity to address areas such as the overall audience experience and program evaluation. (See below for details about all the funded initiatives.)
The Innovation Grants program also includes an infrastructure to capture and assess outcomes of funded projects. OPERA America will provide administrative and technical support to document successes, challenges and even failures. Outcomes will be shared with the entire field at future OPERA America meetings and conferences, as well as through publications.
“Thanks to the tremendous generosity of the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, our member companies receive support to pursue new thinking and experimentation — to expand the boundaries of their current practices and adapt to an ever-changing field,” stated Marc A. Scorca, president and CEO of OPERA America. “These grants benefit not only the recipients but the entire art form: Through the lessons gleaned from the funded initiatives, companies throughout North American will be able to borrow and adapt good ideas, spreading the learning field-wide.”
Submitted by 55 companies in the U.S. and Canada, grant applications were adjudicated by an independent panel consisting of Barbara Schaffer Bacon, co-director, Animating Democracy; Michelle Hensley, artistic director, Ten Thousand Things; Anne Manson, conductor; Ann Owens, field consultant, and former executive director, Houston Grand Opera; Kate E. Prescott, president, Prescott & Associates; Kyle Sircus, director of marketing, Playwright Horizons; and James Wright, field consultant, and former general director, Vancouver Opera.
Applications for the next cycle of Innovation Grants will open this fall. Visit operaamerica.org/Grants to learn more about Innovation Grants, as well as OPERA America’s complete grant offerings.