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Residency Partnership Program

Grants to USA Music Presenters and Ensembles for
Classical, Jazz, and Chamber Music Residency Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Chamber Music America Residency Endowment Fund

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

10/18/19 9:00 PM ET


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Grants of up to $6,000 to USA and territories nonprofit presenting organizations and ensembles to build audiences for classical, contemporary, jazz, and world chamber music through residency projects. Funding is intended to support activities that take place in community settings and that are not part of a regular concert series.

Examples of eligible residency activities include lecture/demonstrations, workshops that involve the audience, pop-up concerts and other activities designed to inform or engage audiences. 

Residency partners are defined as follows:

  • Organizing Partner
    • May be a presenter or ensemble
    • Submits the application and is responsible for planning and directing the residency
  • Ensemble Partner
    •  Musicians that carry out the residency activities
    •  May also be the Organizing Partner
  • Community Partner
    • A local entity, such as a healthcare facility, community center, library, youth club, school,
    • Senior center, business, park, shopping center, etc.
    • Hosts project activities, provides audiences, and promotes the residency to its constituents

Projects must consist of a minimum of 3 activities taking place over at least 3 days within a one-month period. Each residency activity must be at least 45 minutes long and performed before a live audience by the full ensemble or majority of its members. The residency may include lecture/demonstrations, workshops that involve the audience participants, pop-up concerts and other activities designed for the audiences served by the Community Partner(s).

Each year, one project featuring a classical string quartet is funded by the Sewell Family Foundation and is designated as the Guarneri String Quartet Residency. The recipient is selected in the final round of the review process, based on the strength of the project. No separate application is required. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 152383

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant requests may not exceed $6,000.

Term of Contract:

The grant period is July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021. Residencies must take place within a one-month period

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Projects must take place in the United States or its territories. The residency must take place in a specific city, town or geographic area; if activities occur in multiple locations, they may not exceed a 30-mile radius.

Presenter applicants

To apply as an Organizing Partner, a presenter must:
- Be a 501(c)(3) organization or otherwise eligible for charitable contributions for federal income, estate and gift-tax purposes

Ensemble applicants

To apply as an Organizing Partner, or to take part as an Ensemble Partner, an ensemble must:
- Consist of 2–10 professional musicians, one musician per part
- If a classical or contemporary music ensemble, perform with “fixed” instrumentation and personnel; or be a subset of a collective or flexible roster that performs in configurations of up to 10 musicians; or—if a duo—perform as equal partners rather than soloist and accompanist, and consistently publicize itself as a duo
- If a jazz ensemble must include improvisation as an integral part of its composition and performance
- Have 501(c)(3) status, or the leader/primary member of the ensemble must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Both Organizing and Ensemble Partners must:
- Be based in the U.S. or its territories
- Be CMA organization-level members
- Have no overdue reports or financial obligations to CMA and no unfinished CMA-sponsored residency projects
- Not have received or participated in a CMA residency grant in the 2018-19 cycle
- Not be a current Residency Partnership grantee in the 2019-20 cycle

Note: when an Ensemble is awarded a grant—whether it is the Organizing or Ensemble Partner—it must provide a copy of one of the following: 501(c)(3) IRS tax-exempt determination letter OR a document demonstrating the leader/primary ensemble member’s U.S. citizenship or permanent residency—a valid U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate, a Report of Birth Abroad form (FS-240), USCIS certificate of citizenship or naturalization, or permanent resident/green card.

Community Partners
- Are not required to be CMA members
- Need not have experience in presenting music

The program does not support musical instruction, coachings or master classes for K-12 and college- or conservatory-level music students.

Not eligible for funding are the following: performance fees for an established concert series; expenses related to starting a new series; Q&A’s and other Mainstage concert-related events; coachings; masterclasses; amateur or composition workshops; mentoring or teaching entrepreneurship to musicians; jam sessions or joint performances with the Ensemble Partner; faculty or staff salaries at music camps or other tuition- or fee-based training programs; private or group music lessons; recording or commissioning projects; open or closed rehearsals; private or fundraising events; indirect or administrative costs; professional fees other than that of the Ensemble Partner; activities for K-12 music students and music majors at institutions of higher education; or solo, orchestral, choral, big-band, or opera activities.

Pre-proposal Conference:

CMA will offer three Residency Partnership Program application workshops by conference call. Residency Partnership applicants are encouraged to participate in a workshop for guidance on how to make a strong submission.

All of the workshops will take place by teleconference at 1:00 PM Eastern Time.

To register for Tuesday 9/10/2019:

To register for Wednesday 9/18/2019:

To register for Thursday 10/2/2019:

For more information contact Susan Dadian, Program Director, CMA Classical/Contemporary.

Pre-Application Information:

- Deadline October 18, 2019, 9:00 PM ET
- Notification December 2019

Late submissions will not be accepted. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications in advance of the deadline to avoid any last-minute complications.

CMA will not accept more than one application from a presenter or ensemble. If a presenter or ensemble is part of one application, it may not be part of any other application.

The program will fund up to 75 percent of the following expenses only: the Ensemble Partner’s residency fee and related travel, hotel, and per diem; the Organizing Partner’s residency-related promotion and production costs. The applicant must match the amount requested from CMA with a minimum of 25 percent of earned or contributed income. In-kind revenue cannot be used as part of the match.

Statement of Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For more information contact:
Susan Dadian, Program Director, CMA Classical/Contemporary
(212) 242-2022, ext. 102

For Membership Information, contact:
Geysa Castro, CMA membership manager
(212) 242-2022, ext. 114

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)