OPERA America Announces Recipients of the Opera Fund: Audience Development Grants
Ten Opera Companies Receive a Total of $160,000 to Engage Audiences in New American Opera
OPERA America, the national service organization for opera and the nation's leading champion for American opera, is pleased to announce it has awarded grants to 10 opera companies through The 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 a Professional Company Member of OPERA America.
A total of $160,000 has been awarded to the following 10 opera companies: Ardea Arts (New York, NY), Des Moines Metro Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Long Beach Opera, North Carolina Opera (Raleigh, NC), Opera Omaha, Opera Roanoke, Pensacola Opera, Pittsburgh Festival Opera (formerly Opera Theater of Pittsburgh) and Pittsburgh Opera.
“OPERA America is committed to expanding and diversifying audiences for American operas and to developing authentic connections between opera companies and the people they serve,” stated OPERA America President/CEO Marc A. Scorca. “The most recent grant awardees demonstrate the many ways companies are developing innovative strategies to not only attract audiences, but to increase the civic impact of new works — by engaging generative artists with local communities, developing partnerships with organizations outside the arts, and facilitating dialogue to connect storytelling with contemporary issues.”
Applications for The Opera Fund’s Audience Development grants were reviewed by an independent panel consisting of Douglas J. Cuomo, composer; Ann Gregg, director, social impact programs, Weill Music Institute, Carnegie Hall; Kristen Jackson, connectivity director, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; Jonathan Moscone, chief of civic engagement, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; and Julia Rhoads, artistic director, Lucky Plush Productions.
OPERA America’s long tradition of encouraging the creation and production of new works led to the formation of The Opera Fund endowment. Since the inception of the Fund, OPERA America has made grants of more than $13 million to assist companies with the expenses associated with the commissioning and development of new works, as well as related audience development initiatives.
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.