TimelineAugust 14: Application form available.October 25: Completed application must be submittedNovember 29: Applicants receive notification of their status.Checks are mailed to successful applicants within two weeks.Grants awarded in the Fall 2019 Grant Cycle are for programming that will take place in the calendar years of 2020 or 2021.
History — and future!WPA was founded in 2008, to carry on the legacy of The Women’s Philharmonic (1981-2004); and in particular to encourage orchestras to include more music composed by women in their programming. The first Performance Grants were offered in 2012. The Grants have been offered annually since 2014.
EligibilityALL U.S. orchestras, including previous winners of the WPA Performance Grants, are welcome to apply (notes for returning grant winners are below*). Student and youth ensembles are particularly encouraged to apply. We are defining “orchestra” as an ensemble of 10 or more featuring bowed string instruments of the violin family 🙂 .
Criteria for SelectionWe are looking for a commitment to creative orchestral programming, expanding the canon and exploring new horizons, and offering educational components along with the concerts. It is suggested (but not required) to program two works by women. Also, we prefer that one of the two works be by a historic woman. Past and future commitment to programing of works by women is a plus, as is an understanding of the historic factors that were obstacles to the inclusion of works by women in the repertoire.
We encourage orchestras to consider creative and interactive ways to provide information about the music and the unique features of women’s lives to their audiences. In the case of living composers, a visit by the composer herself with the audience and musicians is a valuable experience. Particularly for youth and student groups, information and educational events should be available to the musicians as well as to audiences.
We require a link to an audio clip/recording. This is both to demonstrate the artistic ability of your ensemble and also to demonstrate your technical ability (your ability to put an audio file up on the web), which we hope will be used to publicize the work that your orchestra is doing in performing music by women.
We hope you will make information about the work by women that you perform available on your ensemble’s web site (with a audio as well), and leave it up beyond the performance season. This is a great way to generate “buzz” about your creative programming, and your ongoing commitment to recognizing women!
We reserve the right not to award all the available funds in the current grant cycle.
Performance RequirementsWe ask orchestras receiving our grants to acknowledge us (including our logo and URL) in their program material and on their website. If possible, we would like to review a draft of the program notes on the relevant piece(s) in advance, since we can sometimes offer additional information. Also we hope grant recipients will continue to program works by women in the future! Ensembles who fail to meet Performance Requirements will be ineligible for future funding. We understand that occasionally programming changes must occur. If that were to happen, please contact us to inform us of the program change, whether the change is in date of performance or chosen work.
*Ensembles who have received grants in the past are welcome to apply.