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Government Grants For Musical Instruments

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Music instruments can cost tens of thousands of dollars, so buying or renting one can be expensive. Whether to educate the next generation, earn college scholarships, or start your band, the powerful draw of music makes a choice a soul-stirring requirement. 

Many people will not be able to afford the original purchase and maintenance costs, especially if they have to pay a majority of this upfront. Fortunately, there are music instrument grants for individuals designed specifically to allow budding and established musicians alike to finance their musical instruments without draining their bank accounts.

Many different music instrument grants for individuals are available from various funding organizations. You should decide which type of grant you want to apply for based on the use of the funds and who you want the funding for. It is advisable to conduct research either online or at a library to determine what music grants are available.

Many different funding organizations offer grants for music. Councils for the arts, businesses, and community development organizations provide funding for arts programs. A variety of music projects may also be funded by creative development agencies and the federal government. Some grants may be restricted to a particular region.

Music Instrument Grants For Individuals

The following are a few music instrument grants for individuals that aspiring musicians can use to purchase equipment and instruments.

New Music USA Grants

Innovative organizations and individuals can find funding and development opportunities at New Music USA. The organization supports and promotes all types of creative music in the United States. The organization provides funding for music projects, supports small ensembles and DIY venues, and even provides composer-in-residence positions in orchestras.

Across the length and breadth of our country, New Music USA provides a vital resource for a broad range of talented musicians. New Music USA has fostered imaginative and transformative work in music for ten years by offering support and opportunities.

Foundation For Contemporary Arts

Founded in 1963, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts encourages, sponsors, and promotes innovative work in the arts, whether it comes from individuals, groups, or organizations. Through the generosity of artists, FCA's programs are made possible. Over 1,000 artists have contributed to the FCA and helped fund grant programs that directly support individual artists who work in dance, music/sound, performance art/theater, poetry, and visual art.

In addition to supporting and encouraging artists who constantly redefine experimentality, FCA challenges us to think deeply about the world. Artists in urgent need of funding can apply for emergency grants ranging from $500 to $2,500, which the foundation offers to nominated artists.

The Alice M. Ditson Fund

Alice M. Ditson, the widow of the noted Boston music publisher Oliver Ditson, established the Ditson Fund at Columbia University in 1940 with an endowment of $400,000. According to Mrs. Ditson's will, the bequest proceeds will support non-academic fellowships, public concerts, and publications supporting music. 

More than 2,000 grants have been awarded to contemporary American classical concert music by the Alice M. Ditson Fund since 1940. Ditson had appointed an Advisory Committee whose mission was to advise her on contemporary music. This direction has been maintained by the Ditson Fund, which emphasizes the funding of performances and recordings of emerging American composers.

New York Foundation for the Arts

The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship program provides NY-based artists with unrestricted grants of $7,000. The program launched in 1985 and has provided over $30 million to artists across 15 disciplines at precarious stages of their careers. The application period for the 2022-23 award cycle will open in the Fall of 2022. 

With a history dating back 32 years, the New York Foundation for the Arts has supported artists during all stages of their careers. Unrestricted fellowships, which do not fund specific projects, "are intended to support the development of an artist's vision or voice, regardless of their level of artistic development." 

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation

Since its inception, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation has supported programs in other parts of the country, including initiatives in various states. Artists who apply for the grants are encouraged to create, tour, build an audience, and advance their careers. 

Organizations that receive grant funding from Mid Atlantic Arts can better reach audiences, offer high-quality artistic experiences, and better understand and appreciate the arts.

Tennessee Arts Commission

Tennessee Arts Commission provides a variety of grants for artists, projects, arts education, and more, with a mission to "cultivate the arts for all Tennesseans and their communities."

All types of professional artists, including composers, are eligible for the Individual Artist Fellowship. To qualify for a fellowship, you must already make a living from music. There are no specific requirements for how you use the money. 

COLA Individual Artist Fellowship

It is designed specifically for accomplished artists who have lived in LA for at least three years or have regularly shown their work there. The Department of Cultural Affairs awards creative new works $10,000 per artist. 

Regardless of whether you receive funding, applying for it is still an important step in the creative process. Your applications will become stronger as you refine your craft and express your unique artist voice. 

Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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