The National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts supports a wide range of music, from classical to contemporary, and from America’s indigenous jazz to world music.
It supports performing ensembles focused on chamber music, choral music, early music programs, jazz, and symphony orchestras, as well as music festivals and presenters.
The National Endowment for the Arts funding supports training programs for musicians at all levels of expertise.
- The NEA supports training institutes that prepare young musicians for a professional career such as Miami’s New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra.
- NEA support extends to learning experiences at summer festivals, workshops, and residencies. Among these are the Juneau Jazz & Classics and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
The National Endowment for the Arts makes a significant investment in the creation of new music.
- A large portion of the NEA’s funding supports commissions, many of which go on to win major music prizes. These include composer Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields with the Bang On a Can All- Stars which won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music.
- Over the last 10 years, the NEA has awarded more than $3 million toward projects that created new work.
- Collaborations across music genres spark creativity in developing and performing music, such as New York City’s Ecstatic Music Festival.
The National Endowment for the Arts’s support of recordings captures compositions and performances for generations of listeners.
- The NEA’s first recording program began in 1980 and continues today with awards totaling $1.2 million for recording projects over the last 10 years.
- NEA-funded recordings often receive Grammy nominations and win Grammy Awards. The Kansas City Chorale’s 2012 Best Choral Performance Grammy for a recording of the works of René Clausen was NEA-supported.
CONNECTING AND CELEBRATING
The National Endowment for the Arts has supported countless performances by symphony orchestras, choral ensembles, chamber music ensembles, and solo artists.
- Over the last 10 years, the NEA has made more than 1,750 awards to support concerts, festivals, and tours, totaling more than $38 million.
- NEA support of music performances has broad geographic reach, extending from small communities like Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, and Moscow, Idaho, to large cities including Seattle and Honolulu.
The National Endowment for the Arts funds artistically significant and innovative programming.
- NEA-supported programs takes music out of the concert hall and into community spaces. We support the Da Camera of Houston’s wide-ranging chamber music performances in parks, community centers, the downtown tunnel system, and area homeless shelters.
Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships, the nation’s highest honor for jazz artists.
- Among the roster of 145 NEA Jazz Masters are Art Blakey, Carla Bley, Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman, Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Hancock, Nat Hentoff, Eddie Palmieri, Sonny Rollins, Sarah Vaughan, and the Marsalis Family.
- Webcasts of the awards ceremony and concert have resulted in tens of thousands of views per year.
- The NEA maintains a collection of 335 Jazz Moments, license-free audio clips of interviews and music featuring NEA Jazz Masters.
The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to bringing music to as many people as possible.
- Music programs broadcast on radio have the greatest reach of any medium, and the NEA has consistently supported these programs, including New York Philharmonic national broadcasts.
- The NEA supports simulcasts, connecting audiences with excellent productions using digital technology. The Cliburn in Fort Worth and Cantus in Minneapolis have both participated in the program.
BUILDING THE FIELD
National Endowment for the Arts funding has had a significant impact on the infrastructure of the music field.
- In 1977, the NEA helped establish Chorus America, a service organization for choral music that now has more than 4,500 members.
- The Meet the Composer Orchestra Residencies program was a partnership between the NEA, ExxonMobil, and the Rockefeller Foundation that produced 500 commissions and 25 recordings over a 10-year period.
The National Endowment for the Arts is one of the earliest and largest funders of jazz in the country.
- Since 2005, the NEA has awarded more than $33.5 million in jazz-related grants and additional support to the field.
- Along with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Nonprofit Finance Fund, the NEA helped establish endowments for select nonprofit jazz-presenting organizations through the JazzNet program.