New Music USA’s New Grantmaking Strategy

nma.jpgNew Music USA‘s New Grantmaking Strategy Drives Online Curation :: New program funds projects and promotes them through an online showcase, giving artists tools to connect with the world ::

In fall 2013, New Music USA will open a new chapter in public advocacy for new music. The organization will reconfigure five current grantmaking programs into a unified channel of support for a wide range of new music projects. Awarded applications will be promoted on and offer a new way for the public to connect with artists.

Ed Harsh, president of New Music USA, explains: “We believe that the best advocates for new music are artists and their work. By reimagining our support for artists as an act of curation, New Music USA will create a powerful engine for advancing the public role of new music.”

Curation for the Public:

As new music reaches into new spaces, styles, and media, New Music USA has a vital role to play as a uniquely positioned public curator and advocate.

Each project awarded funding through the new program will be featured on a dedicated, media-rich page on, allowing site visitors to experience the development of creative work firsthand. Throughout the term of the funded projects, artists will be able to add media and updates to their project’s pages, which will be immediately emailed to their followers. Exploring, listening to, and connecting with compelling music makers—and sharing those discoveries with friends—will be easier than ever.

Benefit for Artists:

This new approach to grantmaking is driven by two core convictions. First, that the best way to serve new music is to ask practitioners what they need rather than tell them what they should want. Second, that the process for requesting financial support should be simple and should help artists connect with audiences, not just funders.

Applicants will be asked to present their projects using the same language and media they would use to build public support for their work. The goal is to make grantmaking less about grant writing, and focus instead on how artists present their work to the public. Lowering the barriers to application is a key feature of this program and will invite applications from an expanded range of creative musicians. New Music USA is making it easier than ever for artists to apply for funding and secure the support they need to realize their visions.

New Music USA will be able to offer a meaningful adjunct benefit to the grants themselves: access to New Music USA’s public network. By promoting awarded projects through social media, email, and its deep connections within the field, New Music USA will build a community around its projects, while supporting awarded artists as they develop their work.

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May 7, 2013
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