OPERA America Awards $180,000 in Civic Practice Grants to Eight Professional Company Members
Supported by OPERA America’s Opera Fund
OPERA America has awarded $180,000 in Civic Practice Grants, supported by OPERA America’s Opera Fund. Civic Practice Grants assist Professional Company Members in learning more about civic priorities in their communities, developing robust, reciprocal relationships with other arts and non-arts organizations, and delivering services through authentic, mutually beneficial partnerships.
The recipients of this cycle of Civic Practice Grants are:
- Anchorage Opera (Anchorage, AK)
- Baltimore Concert Opera (Baltimore, MD)
- Cincinnati Opera (Cincinnati, OH)
- Los Angeles Opera (Los Angeles, CA)
- Opera Cultura (San Jose, CA)
- Opera Parallèle (San Francisco, CA)
- Opera Saratoga (Saratoga Springs, NY)
- White Snake Projects (Brookline, MA)
See below for a description of each project.
Civic practice is predicated on an ongoing process of learning, partnership, and leading change. It invites opera leaders to think flexibly about the art form’s strengths and requires a nuanced understanding of and deep respect for a locale’s many histories and identities. This work requires an examination of what it means for opera companies to be engaged cultural citizens in their communities as the basis for building long-term trust and appreciation for companies and the art form.
Recipients of the Civic Practice Grants were selected from among 38 applications by a panel of industry leaders consisting of Benjamin Bongers, tenor, professor, and gerontologist; Dr. Antonio Cuyler, director of the MA program and associate professor of arts administration, Florida State University; Sue Elliott, director of the Tanglewood Learning Institute; Cayenne Harris, vice president, education and community engagement, University Musical Society; and Keryl McCord, CEO, Equity Quotient.
“OPERA America believes opera companies must extend beyond transactional strategies to demonstrate their commitment to strengthening the communities they serve,” stated Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “Civic Practice Grants help companies draw on their creative assets and organizational resources to address public priorities.”
Civic Practice Grants are made possible through OPERA America’s Opera Fund, an endowment dedicated to supporting the creation and production of new operas and related audience development strategies. Civic Practice Grants, launched in 2018, grew from OPERA America’s Civic Action Group and regional workshops that were funded by two Our Town Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. They reflect OPERA America’s commitment to sustaining long-term investment in making opera and opera companies more responsive to pressing community needs and replaced the Audience Development grants program that had focused more narrowly on increasing public interest in new operas.
The Opera Fund was launched with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from Helen F. Whitaker Fund, Lee Day Gillespie, Lloyd and Mary Ann Gerlach, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Since the inception of its granting programs, OPERA America has awarded over $20 million to the opera field to support the work of opera creators, companies, and administrators. Learn more about OPERA America’s grant programs.