New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) recently announced that it will distribute $500,000 worth of grants to aspiring female musicians and music industry employees who live in New York City.
The funds will be issued with cash from the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music, and Theatre, which previously provided funding only for media and theatre.
The grants are unique in that they will be provided to women who’re involved in the music industry—not solely musicians and artists. The grants also cover sound technicians, producers, and other music-related careers.
To apply to receive a grant, one must be a female resident of NYC who is active in the music world. On the musician side, the artist must have performed multiple live shows — and secured new fans because of these performances. Verifying the latter could prove difficult, which probably explains why there’s such a long wait before the funds’ recipients are chosen. Though grant applications are currently being accepted, the winners won’t be announced until March 2020.
Moreover, at least 75 percent of issued funds must be spent in New York City; recipients cannot use the grants to set up shop in Los Angeles, for example.
Some activists have voiced their support for the initiative. Others have stated their frustration with the initiative’s numerous requirements.
Applicants must include a mountain of information — “a detailed history of the full project,” member biographies, evidence of fans, plans for the use of the funds, a “complete budget template,” and marketing and distribution strategies, three sample songs, and more — with their forms.
That’s a serious pile of paperwork, though the flip side is that the lengthy requirements will naturally thin the applicant pool. There’s also a pretty serious review process: though the rewards are considerable, it’s clear that MOME doesn’t plan to give grants to just anyone.