American Orchestras’ Futures Fund

Made possible by the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation

Congratulations to the 21 large- and medium-budget orchestras receiving grants!

Find the press announcement and descriptions of the award-winning initiatives here.

Smaller-budget orchestras (Groups 5-8) and youth orchestras, check back soon for an announcement on how you can apply.

Across the country, orchestras are vigorously engaged in groundbreaking work, embracing opportunities presented by the current environment. To support this innovative work, the League is thrilled to announce the American Orchestras' Futures Fund, made possible through the generous support of the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation and administered by the League.

This exciting $4.5 million grants program (with $3 million in grants in the first cycle) will support a select number of orchestras that are making significant investments in organizational learning and innovation. Two-year organizational grants will be available for new or ongoing work that demonstrates an impact on the organization, and on its audiences and communities. U.S.-based adult and youth orchestras that are members of the League are eligible to apply.

In October 2016, larger-budget League member orchestras (Groups 1-4) applied for organizational grants for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. In the summer of 2017, smaller-budget orchestras (Groups 5-8) and youth orchestras may apply for organizational grants for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons. 

Examples of the work that will be supported by the two-year organizational grants include but are not limited to one or more of the following:

  • Experimenting with multi-media and new technologies inside the concert hall or outside the concert hall in order to engage with audiences in virtual and digital realms;
  • Addressing new organizational models that explore alternatives to traditional operating models, offer new leadership structures, and redefine relationships among organizational stakeholders;
  • Crafting programs on or off the stage that are responsive to and reflective of their communities and the key issues they face;
  • Engaging neighborhoods and populations beyond the concert hall;
  • Increasing participation and engagement in music by racially, ethnically, and economically diverse individuals and communities;
  • Researching the reasons people attend, or don't attend, concerts and tailor offerings to support multiple and distinct audience segments;
  • Pursuing new strands of community service, such as health and wellness programming, lifelong learning activities, and cross-cultural creative partnerships;
  • Developing new ways to advance classical music as an art form such as new forms of performance, new concert experiences, and new artistic partnerships;
  • Pursuing other initiatives that result in organizational learning and innovation.

Judging and Eligibility
Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis reviewed by independent, arms-length panels. U.S.-based adult and youth orchestras that are members of the League are eligible to apply. (And orchestras can join now to become eligible.)

Background on Earlier Grants Programs
In May 2016, the League notified members of changes in the grantmaking process for funds for orchestras that have originated with the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation. These changes affect orchestras that received grants directly from the Foundation as well as those that received grants through the League's re-granting program, the Getty Education and Community Investment Grants Program.

The American Orchestras' Futures Fund replaces and builds on these earlier Getty-funded and League-sponsored grants. The Getty Foundation's generous support of the new Futures Fund allows the League to grant larger and longer-term grants than those previously available through the League's Getty Education and Community Investment program.

The Foundation independently made this decision to redirect most of its support to orchestras through the League, based on the success of our Getty Education and Community Investment Grants Program. The League worked with an advisory group of managers from member orchestras as well as experienced grantmakers to design this new program that is consistent with the Foundation's priorities. The League's Managers Advisory Committee also reviewed and supported a draft program design.

Calendar 2016 will be the last year that 1) Getty will make grants directly to orchestras and 2) that the League will administer the Getty Education and Community Investment Grants Program.

For More Information

For further information, please be in touch with Yoo-Jin Hong, Director, Programs, League of American Orchestras, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 646 822 4021.