Grant programs
Except where noted, these grant opportunities are available only to Professional Company Members of OPERA America.
Since the inception of its granting program, OPERA America has awarded more than $19 million to the opera field to support the work of opera creators, companies and administrators. Currently, OPERA America awards more than $2 million each year through a range of grant initiatives. In addition, OPERA America provides travel grants that allow members to participate in network forums and attend performances of new North American works.
Innovation Grants
Generously funded by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
OPERA America’s Innovation Grants support vibrant Professional Company Members in implementing innovative projects in opera’s most important areas of practice, including artistic vitality, audience experience, organizational effectiveness and community connections. The program enables companies to increase their investment in experimentation and innovation, and contribute to field-wide learning. Grants will support projects that are (a) efforts new to the field; (b) adaptations or applications of strategies that have been implemented elsewhere, but are new to the applicant company or its community; and (c) refinements or enhancements to proven organizational strategies that merit continued development. OPERA America will assist with evaluation and documentation, and disseminate resources to share lessons learned from the projects.

For more information on Innovation projects, click here.

The 2019 Innovation Grant application cycle is now closed. 2020 application materials will become available this summer.

Intent to apply deadline: October 30, 2019
Application deadline: January 23, 2020
Adjudication and notification: March 2020
Grant start date: July 1, 2020

Guidelines:2019 Innovation Grant Guidelines (PDF)

2019 Worksheets:Intent to apply questions (PDF), application questions (PDF), budget template (XLSX),
Apply: All applications must be submitted online at operaamerica.org/GrantsDashboard.
IDEA Opera Grants (NEW)
Supported by the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation
IDEA Opera Grants are available to creators identifying as African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and/or Native American (ALAANA) who are able to demonstrate their ability to compose theatrical works for the voice and instrumental ensemble. Previous experience writing for the operatic medium is not required. Applicants may request up to $12,500 in direct support to advance their work through activities that include the production of a workshop, reading or other performance-based event. In addition, OPERA America will contract and provide a videography team to create a high-quality, multi-camera promotional video of the work, valued at $12,500 per team. Read the press release here.

Application available online: May 2019
Intent to apply deadline: July 29, 2019
Application deadline: September 9, 2019
Adjudication and notification: October 2019
Grant period: December 1, 2019 – June 30, 2021

Guidelines:IDEA Opera Grants Guidelines (PDF)

2020 Worksheets: Intent to apply questions (PDF), application questions (PDF), budget template (XLSX)
Apply: All applications must be submitted online at operaamerica.org/GrantsDashboard.
The Opera Fund: Civic Practice Grants
Civic Practice Grants build on learning from the Audience Development program. This new grant program is intended to support Professional Company Members’ efforts to learn more about civic priorities within their communities, to develop relationships with leading arts and non-arts organizations, and to discover and deliver services that strengthen both the community and the opera company.

For more information on civic practice in opera, click here.

The 2018–2019 application cycle is now closed. For a list of grant recipients, click here. The next application cycle will open in fall 2020.

Guidelines:2019 Civic Practice Guidelines (PDF)
2019 Worksheets:Intent to apply questions (PDF), application questions (PDF), budget template (XLSX),
Apply: All applications must be submitted online at operaamerica.org/GrantsDashboard.
The Opera Fund: Repertoire Development
Repertoire Development Grants assist OPERA America Professional Company Members and their partners in meeting the special costs incurred by developing and producing new North American opera and music-theater works. A PCM may apply as a sole applicant or as part of a consortium. Grant range:
  • Up to $65,000 for consortium support
  • Up to $35,000 for sole applicant support
Application available online: May 15, 2019
Intent to Apply deadline: August 1, 2019
Application deadline: September 16, 2019

Guidelines:Repertoire Development guidelines (PDF)
2019-2020 Worksheets:Intent to apply questions (PDF), application questions (PDF), budget template (XLSX),
Apply: All applications must be submitted online at operaamerica.org/GrantsDashboard.
Opera Grants for Female Composers
Supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation
Opera Grants for Female Composers provide support for the development of new operas by women, both directly to individual composers and to OPERA America Professional Company Members, advancing the important objective of increasing diversity across the field.
  • DISCOVERY GRANTS
    OPERA America invites proposals for grants of up to $15,000 from female composers able to document their ability to compose theatrical works for the trained voice and instrumental ensemble. In addition, grant recipients will have the opportunity to meet leaders in the field and participate in forum meetings and annual conferences.

    The 2019 cycle is now closed. For a list of the 2019 recipients, click here.
    For a list of all recipients to date, please click here.

    2020 application available online: Summer 2019
    Intent to apply deadline: November 20, 2019
    Application deadline: January 8, 2020
    Applications adjudicated: February 2020
    Grantees notified: February 2020

    Guidelines:2019 Discovery Grant Guidelines (PDF)
    2019 Worksheets:Intent to apply questions (PDF), application questions (PDF), budget template (XLSX)
    Apply: All applications must be submitted online at operaamerica.org/GrantsDashboard.

  • COMMISSIONING GRANTS
    This program helps OPERA America Professional Company Members to commission works by talented women who compose for the opera stage. Grants cover up to 50 percent of a female composer’s fee for a full production of a commissioned work, with awards of up to $50,000.

    The Commissioning Grants are only open to OPERA America Professional Company Members based in the United States.

    Application available online: November 29, 2018
    Intent to apply deadline: March 27, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EDT
    Application deadline: April 24, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EDT
    Applications adjudicated: May 2019
    Grantees notified: June 2019

    Guidelines:2019 Commissioning Grant Guidelines (PDF)
    2019 Worksheets:Intent to apply questions (PDF), application questions (PDF)
    Apply: All applications must be submitted online at operaamerica.org/GrantsDashboard.

The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase
Supported by the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund
This program is intended to bring new talent to the forefront and connect promising directors and designers with those who are in a position to advance their careers. OPERA America will consider applications from director- or designer-driven teams of artists. Each team must create a production proposal for an opera chosen from a curated list. Finalists will be funded to further develop their production designs for presentation at the annual Opera Conference. For a list of the 2018–2019 finalists, click here.

The 2018–2019 application cycle is now closed. The next application cycle will open in fall 2020. This program is open to emerging opera and theater artists, regardless of membership status with OPERA America.

New Works Exploration Grants
Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

New Works Exploration Grants provide travel and lodging support for representatives of OPERA America Professional Company Members in the U.S. to attend performances or workshops of new American works. During the trip, the recipient must meet with the creative artists and administrators responsible for the piece’s creation. The goals of the program are to broaden awareness of new American opera and music-theater works across the field and to create relationships among opera companies interested in pursuing the creation and production of new works. Grants cover the cost of transportation and lodging. There is no limit to the number of grants a company may apply for during fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019); however, the total amount granted to a single company cannot exceed $2,000 during the year. To ensure the distribution of funding throughout the year, the total available funds will be split equally into two sixth-month periods, for travel occurring between July and December, and between January and June.

Application deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all funds are exhausted for the fiscal year.
Guidelines: 2018–2019 New Works Exploration Grant Guidelines (PDF)
Upcoming North American Works: To view the list, please click here
Worksheets: Application questions (PDF), reporting form (PDF)
Apply: All applications must be submitted online.

New Work Featured Presentations at the New Works Forum 2020
Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
OPERA America invites applications for production support of new work performances, readings and workshops concurrent with the programming of the 2020 New Works Forum from January 16–19, 2020, at the National Opera Center in New York City. Featured presentations may be excerpts of complete new works that have premiered since January 2017, excerpts of complete works that are scheduled to premiere over the next two seasons, or selections from works being developed.

Application available online: April 23, 2019
Application deadline: June 25, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EDT
Grantees notified: July 2019

Guidelines: New Work Featured Presentations Guidelines (PDF)
Worksheets: Application questions (PDF), venue listing (PDF)
Apply: All applications must be submitted online.

OPERA America Loans

OPERA America's Co-Production Loan Fund
Generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

OPERA America’s Co-Production Loan Fund offers no-interest, no-fee loans to Professional Company Members operating in the United States to ease their participation in co-production partnerships with other companies. Loans will be available to companies only in relation to co-productions of new and existing American operas.

A total loan fund of $1 million is made possible through a deeply appreciated five-year program related investment from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Each company may request a loan of up to $100,000, but no more than $250,000 will be committed by OPERA America to the various partners of any single project.

LOAN REQUEST RESOURCES
Co-Production Loan Guidelines (PDF)
Application checklist (PDF)
Application questions (PDF)

Apply: All applications must be submitted online at operaamerica.org/GrantsDashboard.

Loan requests are accepted on a quarterly basis.

Application deadlines are: November 30, February 28, May 31 and August 3.

Questions regarding the Co-Production Loan Fund may be directed to Laura Lee Everett, chief programs officer, at LEverett@operaamerica.org or 212.796.8625.
Index of Grants

Upcoming Deadlines
JUN
25
New Work Featured Presentations
Application deadline
JUL
29
IDEA Opera Grants
Letter of Intent deadline
AUG
1
Repertoire Development Grants
Letter of Intent deadline
SEP
9
IDEA Opera Grants
Application deadline
SEP
16
Repertoire Development Grants
Application deadline
OCT
30
Innovation Grants
Letter of intent deadline
NOV
20
Discovery Grants
Letter of intent deadline
JAN
8
Discovery Grants
Application deadline
JAN
23
Innovation Grants
Application deadline

Grant Support
OPERA America’s grant opportunities are made possible through the generosity of The Opera Fund donors and 40th Anniversary Annual Fund donors, The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation and The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

The Opera Fund, launched by The National Endowment for the Arts, 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 James S. and John L. Knight Foundation

THE ORGANIZATION RESOURCES
THE NATIONAL OPERA CENTER EVENTS FACILITIES AND SERVICES
BECOME A MEMBER MEMBER OPPORTUNITIES
SUPPORT OPERA AMERICA
RESOURCES
To have your company’s photos included in the header rotation, send photos that are at least 1200px wide and 550px tall to Webmaster@operaamerica.org. Please note that submission of photos does not guarantee inclusion.
All OPERA America facilities are handicapped accessible. The National Opera Center features ground-level entry with elevators to the venue. All spaces are wheelchair accessible, and modular seating can be arranged to accommodate wheelchair users for all programs and performances. Handicapped accessible restrooms are available on all floors.
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621
Info@operaamerica.org

Privacy PolicyReturns Policy
2015 Form 990FY16 Audited Financial Statement
© Copyright 1995-2017 OPERA America Inc.

Technical issue with the website? Let us know.