Rhode Island Foundation Offers $25,000 Music Grants to Local Composers

Rhode Island songwriters have until Sept. 5 to apply for one of the fellowships designed to offer musicians more time to work on composing.


Rhode Island songwriters who dream of more time to work on composing have until Sept. 5 to apply for one of the $25,000 fellowships offered from the Rhode Island Foundation. Whether you compose for a club band, video or string quartets, there is no restriction on genre, so apply today.

The Rhode Island Foundation will award grants to as many as three composers through its Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowship Fund. The awards are intended to free up the winning composers to concentrate more time on the creative process, focus on their personal or professional development, expand their body of work and explore new directions.

“These grants will enable local composers to spend more time thinking about their music instead of trying to make ends meet. That reflects the importance that our donors placed on presence of practicing artists in the community,” says Daniel Kertzner, the Rhode Island Foundation’s senior philanthropic advisor for funding partnerships. The grants awarded are considered to be among the largest no-strings-attached awards available to composers in the United States.

Applicants will be judged on the quality of their work samples, their artistic development and their creative contribution to music composition and in addition, their potential of advancing the fellowship into a career of emerging-to-mid-career artists. The recipients will be selected by a panel of four out-of-state jurors who are recognized practicing artists and arts professionals.

Some of the previous recipients of the music fellowships include Bevin Kelley, who used her fellowship grant to compose and perform several new works and Daniel Schleifer, a founder of The What Cheer? Brigade, an award-winning twenty-piece ensemble that has performed internationally. “The funding allowed me to take on more ambitious projects like performances of new works for my theatrical music-based electro-acoustic chamber ensemble, the Traveling Bubble Ensemble and collaborations with dancer and choreographer Shura Baryshnikov, installation artist Nora Rabins and writer Brian Evenson,” says Kelly.

Although the Fellowships are unrestricted, recipients are expected to devote concentrated time to their art during the term of the fellowship and to engage in activities that further their artistic growth. In order to apply, applicants must have been legal residents of Rhode Island for at least twelve months prior to the Sept. 5 deadline. High school students, college and graduate students who are enrolled in a degree-granting program and artists who have advanced levels of career achievement are not eligible to apply.


Feel like you fit this description? Apply online for a MacColl Johnson Fellowship by visiting rifoundation.org.