There are a number of grant and funding resources for school music programs. For school choirs, these resources can help with general expenses, provide funds for regional competitions and pay for better equipment. Some of the grants are specifically targeted to choirs, and other sources can be used for general categories.
National Endowment for the Arts
One funding source available to school choirs is grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. In particular, the Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth grant encourages music and artistic expression in schools across the United States. The grants are meant for programs that benefit students between kindergarten and 12th grade, but they are not awarded to specific schools. Instead, school districts can apply for the grants, and the money can be divided among several schools' music programs, choirs and other artistic opportunities. Grants through this program can range from $5,000 to $150,000. To be considered for these grants, schools and organizations must apply online at Grants.gov.
Coming Up Taller Grant
Another option available to school choirs is a Coming Up Taller grant from the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. These grants are designed to spotlight arts and creative programs throughout the United States that have had a particularly beneficial impact on community children and students. Recipients of the award are given a $10,000 grant in addition to a plaque and invitation to the annual Coming Up Taller Leadership Enhancement Conference. To apply, organizations and groups must submit an application package, which includes up to a six-page narrative on the group (its mission and goals), resumes from staff leaders, photos of the group in action and a letter of recommendation.
Fender Music Foundation Grants
Another grant option for school choirs is the Fender Music Foundation grants. Designated for use in after-school, in-school or music-therapy programs, the grants range from $500 to $5,000 and can be used for a variety of expenses. These expenses can include uniforms, sheet music, music instruments or equipment and a variety of other expenditures that directly benefit the program. To be considered, the organization must submit the Grant Candidate Form located on the Fender Music Foundation's website. If the organization is selected, another grant application must be completed to be considered.
- music image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com