The 2021 MGP application cycle is closed. Stay tuned for 2022 MGP announcements in early 2022.
Applicants may propose projects for performers, composers, and/or presenters, from genres representing early music, classical music, new music and/or jazz. Projects must involve the participation of one or more small ensembles.
PLEASE NOTE: InterMusic SF defines a small ensemble as a group of two or more musical performers – instrumentalists or singers – interacting in real time – each playing one on a part, without a conductor.
A PERFORMER applicant can apply as:
A COMPOSER applicant can apply as:
A composer applicant MUST include at least one project partner
A PRESENTER applicant can apply as:
A presenter applicant MUST include at least one project partner
Please Note: Any presenter, ensemble or composer may appear on only ONE MGP application per cycle. Individual performing musicians may appear on more than one application as members of different ensembles as long as the ensembles have separate and distinct identities. The primary contact/applicant for a project may submit only one application per cycle.
A project partner is defined as an individual or ensemble that collaborates with the lead applicant for a project. The project partner must satisfy all MGP eligibility requirements.
All applicants must confirm their eligibility and the eligibility of any project partner(s) with InterMusic SF. Please visit MGP ELIGIBILITY SCREENING (eligibility screening is now closed), answer the questions and submit your answers. InterMusic SF will reply as soon as possible if further clarification about your project is needed. For questions, please contact: [email protected]
Applicants and project partners must:
Past MGP Awardees
Those who received an MGP award in 2021 are NOT ELIGIBLE TO APPLY in 2022, but will be eligible to apply for the MGP 2023 cycle if your project is completed and you have submitted your Final Report by January 31, 2022. Other past MGP awardees (from 2020 and earlier) must have submitted a Final Report for their completed project by January 31, 2022, to be eligible to apply in 2022. This restriction also applies to all project partners who were part of a previous project.
The MGP is a music project-based grant opportunity. Eligible expenses include:
Our goal is to make the Musical Grant Program application easy to navigate. Please review our tips on topics and terms you will encounter in the applications.
We highly recommend all applicants complete this application offline on a practice form first. Once you have completed the practice PDF, you can easily copy and paste your grant material into this online application.
A project partner is any additional artist or organization that will play an integral part in your proposed project. A project partner can be a composer, solo musician, ensemble, and/or a presenter.
If your project will require a project partner, it is important to already know exactly whom you plan to collaborate with and how before you apply for the MGP. This is true for ANY grant you apply for.
Examples of Project Partners:
– An ENSEMBLE looking to have a piece commissioned for them by a Bay Area composer. (The composer is the project partner).
– A PRESENTER looking to have a new concert series with Bay Area ensembles. (Each of the ensembles would be a project partner(s)).
– A COMPOSER applying to have a local Oboe Trio premiere a work on a PRESENTER’Sconcert series. ( The Oboe ensemble AND the presenter would both be the Project Partners).
Alternate Contact information
Your “Alternate Contact” can be your project partner, another ensemble/presenter member, or the next in command.
Brief Description of Project
Keep your “Brief Description” brief and very precise. In this section, you are limited to 100 words, so make every word count. Essentially this is your project narrative answering the: Who, What, Why, and When of your project. For examples of past project descriptions, see MGP past awards description.
Please make sure your “History of Applicant” is current. Panelists want to see your most up to date bio. This is your chance to show your artistic mission and excellence.
This is where the panelists want to see the passion for your project. Describe your project in full detail and explain how you will execute your project. Panelists want to know why you are proposing this specific project and what you envision will be the outcome for you, local musicians, and/or the community.
This is where we want you to give us an overview of your budget. Cover all of the key areas of your project. Below is an example:
Our budget for this project is $9,700; we are asking $3,000 from the Musical Grant Program. In addition, we have a proposal under review with the Zellerbach Family Foundation ($2,500), which has supported our projects in the past. We expect to cover the remainder through earned income from ticket sales and our private donor base. Our last concert at the Music Center generated $1,800 in ticket sales and donations for that event totaled $1,500.
Please complete the Project Budget so that all applicable boxes contain a number, even if it is a “zero”. Your total Income should equal your total Expenses and your surplus/deficit should be as close to zero as possible (and never a deficit).
Budget Notes serve to clarify the amounts you have entered for your Project Budget. They should reflect your thinking on how you have arrived at a particular number. Budgeting of your income and expenses for your project should be based on your past experiences and also on as much firm information that you have about what your actual costs will be for the project. (ie., you should know how much a composer’s commission will be or what venue rental will be, etc.) Please be as realistic as possible and also note that InterMusic SF expects applicants to include fair and reasonable fees for any and all artists, composers and recording engineers. Please use as much or as little space as needed.
The following are examples of information to include in the budget notes:
**Budget notes can be written either by giving a detailed narrative description of the finances of your project or by explaining each line item in the project budget.
A narrative description example is below:
The current estimated breakdown of costs: $3,200 Performer fees ($800 flat fee rate for the 4 musicians for two performances and a projected 6 rehearsals); $250 for a recording engineer; $1,000 for an administrative/PR staff member; $500 to Music Center for venue rental, staffing fees, & event insurance; $2,000 for production costs, including audio and video documentation; $2,500 for PR/ marketing (poster and postcard printing, direct mailing to Music Center mailing list, and print media ads); and $250 for equipment rental.
Alternatively, here is an example of how to write budget notes by line item:
Line 1. Foundation Grants – Zellerbach Family Foundation $2,500 (pending)
Line 3. Individuals – this figure is based on a total of $1500 donations received for our last event,
Line 6. Admissions – $25 ticket x 75 tickets = $1,875 is what we received from our last event. So we have budgeted $1800 for the proposed project.
Line 16. Performer Fees – $800 fee x 4 musicians for 2 performances and 6 rehearsals
Line 18. Technical Personnel – $250 fee for recording engineer
Please list all in-kind donations and explain them in the information box. In-kind donations are any non-cash goods or services you or your ensemble receives over the course of the project. Some examples are below:
In-kind donations should be listed separately from the Project Budget and they should not factor into the total budget of your project. Listing these donations is useful in demonstrating to the panel your full understanding of the time and work required for a successful project.
The Cypress Award doesn’t have many stipulations for a reason. The Cypress Quartet designed this additional grant to allow for creative interpretation, so be creative but make sure you thoroughly describe your proposal.
We ask that all applicants try to upload recent high-quality samples that showcase artistic excellence and best correlate to your application.
Below is a section of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Musical Grant Program. If you don’t see the answer for your questions regarding the MGP please check the “Application Tips” page, or send an email to [email protected]
by January 31, 2022, in order to be eligible to apply for – or be a partner in – a new project in 2022. If you received an award for the 2021 cycle, you may not apply until 2023.
Examples of how to write both line item budget notes and narrative budget notes are included in the Application Information and Instructions.
Made possible through a generous donation from the retired Cypress String Quartet, the Cypress Award will provide up to $5,000 to a deserving musical project that strives to make an educational impact in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Artists applying for funding through the Musical Grant Program can choose to be considered for the Cypress Award, with winners being selected by a panel that will include a former member of the Cypress Quartet. The Cypress Award will be in addition to the gift provided by the Musical Grant Program.
The Cypress Award seeks to celebrate artistic excellence and educational innovation across musical genres. In their proposal, applicants must display both artistic excellence and a creative approach to education. Applicants are encouraged to be innovative, thoughtful and bold. Winners of the Cypress Award will be announced along with the full roster of Musical Grant Program recipients in the spring of 2021.
REVIEW PROCESS AND SELECTION CRITERIA
An independent panel of four to five experts from the San Francisco Bay Area, representing the diversity of our music community, will review the applications. Their identities will remain anonymous. The decisions of the panel are final. Below are some of the criteria the panelists will use to judge your application.
History & Mission/Artistic Vision of the Applicant
Does the performer or composer applicant demonstrate a compelling history of significant musical activity by listing performances, repertoire or compositions, major collaborators, career highlights (awards, festival appearances, commissions & premieres, etc), and other pertinent biographical information? Does the presenter applicant demonstrate a significant history of successful concert presentation, citing past and/or upcoming programming and providing an organization mission statement?
Is there a clear purpose or intention for the project, with a compelling artistic vision that is supported by good planning?
Artistic Excellence and Potential
Is there a high level of musical ability and potential from a performer or composer, and evidence of ability to present high quality concert experiences if applying as a presenter?
Does the applicant address the impact that the project will have on the artists involved and, if applicable, the local community? Does the presenter applicant address how the project will advance the visibility of the ensemble and/or series in the greater San Francisco Bay Area?
Is there a well-defined plan for publicity and/or promotion of the project?
Is the timeline for the project clearly defined and does it support the successful execution of the project?
Is the project budget well thought-out and does it demonstrate that the applicant has the potential resources and capacity to undertake and complete the project?
Panelists will be aware of prior MGP awardees and their projects. If you have received an award in the past, be sure to make a strong case for why you need to undertake your new proposed project, and why it’s important to do so for this grant cycle.
To see the questions and prepare your answers beforehand, please use this PDF for reference.
Please email [email protected] if you have any questions regarding your final report.
Let us know if you have a question.
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San Francisco, CA 94102