NEA announces fair/unfair annual grants for music and opera

NEA announces fair/unfair annual grants for music and opera


norman lebrecht

December 13, 2013

Full lists here and here. The biggest grants seem to go to Big Five orchestras. All are in the five-figure bracket. The big guys would not die without this cash, but bureaucracy must have its way. Check the lists. See what you think.

orchestral garments


  • jenny bilfield says:

    Excellent work needs to be acknowledged and sustained — whether the institution employs 100 orchestral musicians, an entire opera cohort, or a modest ensemble of freelance musicians. If they do good work, they deserve to be considered among peers, and to compete for available funds when they meet the criteria. The NEA grants are meaningful and symbolic — and when given to an orchestra or opera company, the grants underscore that the organizations passed through a very rigorous screening process and competed at a national level for these funds. We want our orchestras to thrive, to demonstrate that they are recognized locally and nationally and worthy of the broad support that is necessary to sustain them. It costs more to run them. Introducing financial need into the equation would merit a different level of scrutiny and perhaps a separate designated fund and review process.

  • David Boxwell says:

    And the Department of Defense is awarded $88 billion for 2014 to support that disastrous tragicomedy “The Eternal American Occupation of Afghanistan.”

  • $4.5 million Federal Reserve Notes (Opera + Music) works out to about 2 minutes (or 1x ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’) of Federal Reserve Quantitative easing (at $85 bn per month). Why don’t orchestras and opera companies just issue bonds? It’s a seller’s market!

  • Doug says:

    The “Big Five” used to get grants in six figures during earlier administrations.

    Isn’t Hope’nChange¬© wonderful?

    Let the spitballs fly!

  • William ford says:

    Big grants went to San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and others. Doesn’t really seemed weighted toward the five. Time to get over that grouping.

  • Baron Z says:

    Did you not notice that the largest grants went to professional associations that have nothing to do with performing? That is scandalous. ASOL and Choral America should not be eligible for NEA funding, period.