Chamber Music America offers a wide range of funding opportunities for small ensembles and presenters. Below are general eligibility requirements for our grant programs. Please note that each program has specific eligibility requirements; applicants are strongly encouraged to read the full Guidelines and FAQs closely before applying. 

General Eligibility Guidelines

  • CMA supports the small ensemble music field by providing funding to professional ensembles, presenters, composers, and artist-mentors based in the U.S., its territories, and Indian country 
  • Ensembles must consist of 2-10 musicians, including guest artists 
  • Musicians must perform as equal partners, rather than as soloist and accompanist(s)  
  • Student groups are not eligible 
  • Presenter applicants must have 501(c)(3) designation or otherwise be eligible for charitable contributions for federal income, estate, and gift-tax purposes 
  • Ensembles funded through CMA’s jazz programs (New Jazz Works, Performance Plus, Presenter Consortium for Jazz) must feature improvisation as an integral part of their performances
  • Bandleaders, composers, coaches, and artist-mentors must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents  
  • Applicants must have no overdue reports or outstanding financial obligations to CMA 
  • Most programs (with the current exception of Artistic Projects) require current organization-level CMA membership to apply 

Program Details and Additional Requirements

Artistic Projects 

Enables small ensembles and presenters to bring their creative ideas to fruition, regardless of musical genre or style. Projects may include performances, recordings, new compositions, and residencies, among other artist-generated ideas. Interdisciplinary projects must feature small ensemble music as the centerpiece of the work, not as an accompaniment to another discipline. 

  • Applicants must be based within the five boroughs of New York City  
  • Applicants must have an annual operating budget under $250,000

Classical Commissioning 

Supports ensembles and presenters whose programming includes Western European and/or non-Western classical and contemporary music for the commissioning and performance of new works by American composers. 

Ensemble Forward 

Supports emerging ensembles performing Western European classical and contemporary chamber music at a crucial time in their career development and helps them navigate an increasingly competitive cultural landscape.  

  • Applicants must be based within the five boroughs of New York City

New Jazz Works 

Supports the creation, performance, and recording of new jazz works. The new composition may be composed by the ensemble leader or a member of the ensemble/collective.  

Performance Plus  

Provides grants to gender minority and women-led jazz ensembles to engage an experienced jazz artist-educator for six evaluative listening sessions with the goal of enhancing the ensemble’s performance. The listening sessions culminate in a recording session, resulting in a high-quality demo for use by the grantee ensemble.  

  • Applicants may not have previously received major awards, commissions, prizes, or other forms of institutional recognition
  • Artist-educator must be an accomplished jazz bandleader with demonstrated experience in performance, composing, arranging, instruction, and recording.  

Presenter Consortium for Jazz 

Supports consortiums of three presenters that collectively engage up to three professional U.S. jazz ensembles to present streamed, in-person, or hybrid performances at each presenter’s venue. Incentives are available to each consortium presenter that invites a CMA New Jazz Works grantee ensemble to perform its entire CMA commission.  

  • Each presenter in a consortium must be located at least 50 miles from each of its Consortium partners (or 25 miles apart if the consortium is based in Puerto Rico).