Grant Application & Guidelines

The deadline for 2021 Alfred Nash Patterson grants was February 28, 2021. Recipients will be announced in the spring of that year.

Grants may be used in a wide variety of ways to support choruses and choral singing, such as to help fund a performance, to commission new choral works, to enable outreach activities, and for seminars or other special activities that broadly benefit the choral community. We encourage ambitious and collaborative projects, and generally will happily consider applicatons for well-considered projects conducted more than one year in the future, to allow time for planning (but see below). Criteria for funding are described below.

Special Criteria in 2021

The health crisis of the past year has had a tremendous impact on choral organizations, and we are still not sure when it might be safe to return to in-person singing. Choral Arts New England hopes to use this year's Alfred Nash Patterson grants to encourage immediate artistic responses to this moment in history. Due to the urgency of the situation, we will support projects beginning sooner rather than later, with the following criteria:

  • Grants will be made in amounts up to $2,500.
  • Proposed projects must include plans (or have contingency plans) for remote or socially-distant experiences for any musicians and others who may be involved.
  • Preference will be given to projects that highlight aspects of our current moment in history, particularly those with the promise to benefit choral singing into the future—such as new ways to build choral skills, enhance collaboration, or develop and engage audiences.
  • Preference will be given to projects that engage in collaborations with other choirs, arts organizations, and/or the community at large.
  • Proposals are encouraged for projects that contribute to greater inclusion, equity, and diversity in the choral arts in New England, through musical partnerships, community engagement, choice of repertoire, or other means.
  • Funds may be used for commission fees, technological needs, or other needs as suit the project.
  • Preference will be given to projects taking place or starting prior to July 1, 2021, but we will consider longer-term projects as well.

Grant decisions will be made by mid-April 2021, and funds will be distributed shortly thereafter.

Eligibility: Who May Apply

Our grants support choral music in New England. Grants are thus awarded to: (1) New England choruses, both volunteer and professional; (2) parent organizations of New England choruses; and (3) New England organizations that provide support to choral music. Church choirs and school or college choruses are eligible. Grant recipients need not be performing organizations, and grant-funded projects need not be performances; for example, past grants have funded administrative development, education, and libraries.

All applicant organizations must be non-profit and certified by the IRS as tax-exempt. Groups or consortia planning a collaborative project can apply under the auspices of a designated fiscal agent (such as a local arts council, historical society, library, or museum) if appropriate.

Note that any group that is awarded an Alfred Nash Patterson Grant is ineligible to apply for a grant in the following year (that is, grant recipients must take a one year break before submitting a new application). As always, past recipients must have submitted their project report before future applications can be considered. However, please note that groups that received an Emergency Grant in fall 2020 are eligible to apply for the current Alfred Nash Patterson Grant cycle.

The Application Process

Please use the online form (made available a few months before the deadline) to compose and submit your grant application. Note that the application need not be completed all at once—you can save your work and retrieve it later. The online form can be also used to print a paper copy to keep for your records. Following are the required materials:

  1. The application form itself
  2. Financial information about your organization
  3. The IRS letter (not a state certificate) certifying your organization’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status
  4. Evidence of past successes, which may include recent recordings of choral music, links to audio or video recordings, or other materials
  5. If you wish, you may include additional supporting materials, which could include program books, press clippings, or other material that would tell us more about the importance and potential benefit of the proposed project.

Application Deadline

Applications MUST BE RECEIVED NOT LATER THAN FEBRUARY 28, 2021, or they cannot be considered. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

Completed applications will remain accessible to the applicant after submission, and may be printed at any time. We will make an effort to acknowledge receipt of applications by sending an email to the contact person who is listed on the application. These acknowledgments may not be sent immediately, but if you have not received word from us within 7–10 days after sending your application, feel free to call us or send a query to admin@choralarts-newengland.org.

Criteria for Funding

See also the special criteria for 2021, above. Applications are considered based on

  • Creativity and impact
  • Programming and Service: activities that contribute to the artistic development and well-being of the general public; creative response to current events; benefit to underserved populations.
  • Organizational capacity: demonstrated ability to carry out projects of similar scope in the past

Choral Arts New England tries to distribute its grants throughout the New England area. Organizations in rural, inner-city, or otherwise musically underserved areas are particularly encouraged to apply. Choral Arts New England is especially interested in (1) the programming of new works and of important neglected music of the past; (2) educational programs; (3) technical assistance projects; and (4) organizational development projects that show potential for moving grantees toward greater strength and self-sufficiency in such areas as audience development, fund raising, board development, and business planning.

Grants are awarded for, among other things: salaries for artistic personnel (including orchestral musicians); consultant fees and/or other costs involved in organizational development projects; composer commissions; rental or purchase of music; and costs associated with a performance, festival or other special project not specifically mentioned here. Typical grants have ranged from $500 to $2,500.

Generally, grants are meant to encourage special events and activities that might not feasible without outside support. Grants are not usually given for operating expenses or regular-season concerts (such as an annual holiday performance).

Helpful Hints: In evaluating applications, Choral Arts New England appreciates a clear statement of the benefits of the project and how the grant funds will be used. Proposals are attractive that are inspiring; that show broad community involvement, including other sources of support besides Choral Arts New England; that clearly contribute to choral excellence by stretching singers, challenging audiences, or enriching the repertoire; that are particularly innovative; and that have a synergistic aspect, such as community involvement or education, which might not be directly related to "choral excellence."

Dates of Funded Projects: There are no limits on the project completion date or duration; note, however, that the time period of the project must be specified on the application and must be adhered to in practice. Multiple-year funding for a single project will be considered, if requested on the initial application (although such funding is unusual).

The Grant Awards Process

Choral Arts New England’s Grants Committee, which consists of several members of the Board of Directors, reviews all grant applications. The Committee evaluates each eligible application in light of the funding criteria and artistic standards of Choral Arts New England and then makes recommendations to the full Board, which has the ultimate authority to approve the awards.

If You Are Awarded a Grant

All organizations awarded a grant will be invited to an Awards Ceremony in the fall of the year for which the grant is awarded, and we encourage you to send one or two representatives to the event. Grant checks will be delivered to recipient organizations at the Awards Ceremony (or mailed to those who are unable to be represented there).

Acknowledgement of Choral Arts New England

All published materials and announcements regarding your project must give credit to CHORAL ARTS NEW ENGLAND with references such as the following: “This project is supported in part by an Alfred Nash Patterson Grant from Choral Arts New England.” For example, if your project consists of a concert or other performance, this or a similar statement should appear prominently in your concert program book and advertising. Full acknowledgment guidelines will be sent with the notification of grant approval, and are also available on the web site. Please see the full guidelines for grant acknowledgment.

If Your Project Should Change

Applications are approved based on the information provided therein. Any substantial changes in a funded project from its description in the grant application must be approved in writing by Choral Arts New England, or grant funding may be rescinded in whole or in part. If a project cannot be completed during the period for which it was funded, normally the grant would be returned and the applicant encouraged to re-apply (without prejudice) in the following year. Please notify us promptly should changes be necessary so we can work with you.

Project Report

When your project is completed you must submit a final report of your experience with the project, plus an itemized financial statement of the project’s actual income and expenses and certain addenda described on the report form. These forms will be provided to grant recipients when they are notified of their grants. Final report forms are available online or as either a fillable PDF form or Microsoft Word document. You must submit your final report or you will be ineligible for any future funding from Choral Arts New England.

GOOD LUCK!