Grant Application & Guidelines

The application window for 2024 Alfred Nash Patterson grants will be January 1 - February 28, 2024. Grant decisions should be announced in April or May 2024.

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 applications for well-considered projects conducted more than one year in the future, to allow time for planning. Criteria for funding are described below.

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.

Community choirs, professional choirs, church choirs and school or college choruses are eligible. In addition, 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. If you are applying under fiscal sponsorship (for example, an ensemble existing under an umbrella organization with 501(c)3 status), we require a written sponsorship agreement between the choral organization and the fiscal sponsor, testifying to the sponsor's awareness of the grant application.

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). Before future applications can be considered, past recipients must have submitted their project report (see further below).

The Application Process

Please use the online form to compose and submit your grant application. Following are the required materials:

  1. The application form itself
  2. Financial information about your organization (990, 990-EZ, or simple summary budget [expenses/revenue] - not 990-N)
  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, concert programs, reviews, or other materials. If video or sound recordings featuring your ensemble are submitted as part of your "evidence of past successes," please limit total duration to 15 minutes or less, whether they are submitted as links to streaming files, or files uploaded directly to the application.
  5. If you wish, you may include additional supporting materials, which could tell us more about the importance and potential benefit of the proposed project.

Application Deadline

Applications MUST BE RECEIVED NOT LATER THAN FEBRUARY 28, 2024, or they cannot be considered. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

After completing the application form, you will be able to view an auto-generated summary of your responses, and you will receive a confirmation email within 7-10 days. If there are any issues, feel free to send a query to

Criteria for Funding

Applications are considered based on

  • Creativity and impact, including collaborative elements
  • Programming and Service: activities that contribute to the artistic development and well-being of the general public; are a creative response to current events; benefit choral singing into the future; contribute to greater inclusion, equity, and diversity in the choral arts; and/or benefit 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 (with fair and competitive compensation for the composers); rental or purchase of music; and costs associated with a performance, festival or other special project not specifically mentioned here. Grant amounts have typically ranged from $1000 to $2,500.

Generally, grants are meant to encourage special events and activities that might not be 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. Especially attractive proposals are inspiring; show broad community involvement, including other sources of support besides Choral Arts New England; are particularly innovative; and have a synergistic aspect, such as community involvement or education. In addition, specificity about all aspects of the project (including repertoire) is helpful. For example, if a project centers women composers, name them; or if a project focuses on a commission, name the composer.

Dates of Funded Projects: The project must take place after July 1, 2024, but 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 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 (this cycle, in October or November 2024), and at least one representative of the grant-receiving organization is expected to attend the ceremony and give a brief presentation / update on the project.

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. You must submit your final report in a timely fashion after completion of your funded project, or you will be ineligible for any future funding from Choral Arts New England.