ACFM: Performance Grant Program

Aaron Copland Fund for Music

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Next deadline: Jul 7, 2023 8:59pm PDT

Later deadlines: Jul 7, 2024 8:59pm PDT

Grant amount: US $1,000 - US $20,000

Fields of work: Music

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: General Operating Expense, Project / Program

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

990 Snapshot



Performance Program

Funds are available for General Operating Support for professional performing ensembles and presenting organizations with a history of substantial commitment to contemporary American music and with plans to continue that commitment. The program also provides Project Support for exceptionally important activities relating to contemporary American music proposed by professional performing ensembles and presenting organizations that do not normally feature such music in their programming.

  • An eligible project is a clearly defined endeavor that includes one or more performances of contemporary American music and, often, other activities related to the performance(s) that improve the public’s knowledge of such music.

The Performance Program also supports the electronic dissemination of live performances, including both live streams or broadcasts and delayed streams or broadcasts. Expenses such as recording and electronic distribution costs can be considered as eligible costs in a request for general operating or project support when related to live performance. Stand-alone recording projects (e.g., a studio album) and projects involving the acquisition of equipment (e.g., microphones, cameras, etc.) are not eligible for support in this program.

Special note for dance applicants

The Fund’s primary focus for dance applicants is on the quality of the music and the performance, which must be by live musicians, not the choreography. However, the choreography must enhance the performance of contemporary American music.

Special note for festival applicants and other applications with professional training activities

If the primary focus of the organization or project is public professional performance of music, the applicant should apply to the Performance Program. If the primary focus of the organization or project is educational activities, workshops, professional training, or career development, the applicant should apply to the Supplemental Program.

Funding Provisions

In general, grants range from $1,000 to $20,000. Grant amounts for larger organizations with a demonstrated extraordinary commitment to contemporary American music may exceed these amounts at the discretion of the panel. Please note that the awarding of a grant for general operating support in one year does not imply continuation of that support in subsequent years. Project support grants are for that project only, and no more than one grant will be awarded for a single project.

Please refer to FAQ for additional guidelines.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applicants must meet the following requirements:
    • 501(c)(3) non-profit, fiscal sponsorship, or foreign equivalent.
    • Performance history as an ensemble or presenter of at least two years at the time of application.
  • Eligible organizations:
    • Chamber-sized ensembles of any instrumentation
    • Chamber orchestras
    • Symphonic or other full-sized orchestras
    • Opera companies
    • Dance companies and/or ensembles (see note below)
    • Vocal ensembles and choruses
    • Presenters
    • Festivals (see note below)
    • Presenter/ensemble hybrids
  • Nonprofit organizations outside the US who have projects featuring contemporary American music are eligible to apply. 


  • Grants will not be made for the purpose of commissioning composers.
    • Organizations requesting support for the performance of a new work that is part of a commissioning consortium should contact the Grants Manager for further advice.
  • Projects featuring only one contemporary American work on a single concert program are not eligible for support unless authorized in advance by the Grants Manager.
  • An aggregated list of contemporary American music activities spread intermittently over the course of a season would not be eligible for Project Support, but could be considered for general operating support if a multi-year history of substantial commitment to contemporary American music is demonstrated as an integral part of the season.
  • Individuals and student ensembles are not eligible.
  • Volunteer, community, and amateur ensembles are generally not eligible except when authorized in advance to apply by the Grants Manager.
  • Special note regarding soloists: Soloists are not eligible to apply on their own, but presenters may apply to present a soloist.


This page was last reviewed May 05, 2023 and last updated April 30, 2023