Make a Nomination
Grant Program Description
The NEA Opera Honors were established by Congressional action in 2008. This award recognizes individuals for their lifelong contributions to the arts and is the first to be instituted by the National Endowment for the Arts in more than 25 years. This award honors visionaries who, by making extraordinary contributions to opera in the United States, have become cultural icons of this great nation. This honor represents the highest recognition that our nation bestows in opera.
Opera -- a musical, dramatic, and visual arts experience -- has the power to communicate to a wide audience through a combination of forces and imagery: singers, orchestras, choruses, and dancers; colorful costumes; and innovative or elaborate set designs combine to bring this art form to life. Opera has evolved through time and, in the United States, has been influenced by our national traditions; however, universal themes are at its core. Whether opera is produced on a grand scale or for an intimate chamber setting, the creators and interpreters bring to life, through music, stories that provide context for our human experiences.
The NEA Opera Honors recognize those visionary creators, extraordinary performers, and other interpreters who have made a lasting impact on our national cultural landscape. This impact may be based on a lifetime of artistic achievements or a single, uniquely valuable accomplishment.
Recipients of the NEA Opera Honors are selected on the basis of nominations from the public. Nominees may include composers, librettists, singers, conductors, designers, directors, or, in special circumstances, collaborative artistic teams.
In addition, nominations are sought for an award to a composer, librettist, or collaborative artistic team to celebrate an exemplary American opera that has generated excitement, attracted audiences, and demonstrated potential for expanding the canon of American opera repertoire.
The NEA Opera Honors also honor individuals whose mastery has advanced the knowledge and/or appreciation of opera for the general public.
Nominations may be for individuals or for a group of individuals (e.g., a collaborative artistic team). Nominees must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Posthumous nominations will not be considered.
Awards will be $25,000 each and may be received once in a lifetime. A very limited number will be made. No payment will be made to the estate or heirs of a deceased recipient.
How to Submit a Nomination
For FY 2011
Nominations must be submitted online by August 2, 2010. Honorees will be announced in the spring of 2011.
For FY 2012
Nominations must be submitted online by August 1, 2011. Honorees will be announced in the spring of 2012.
If you are unable to submit your nomination electronically, contact Georgianna Paul, Opera Specialist, at 202/682-5600.
An individual may submit one nomination per year. No one may nominate him/herself.
Review of Nominations
The selection criteria for the NEA Opera Honors are the artistic excellence and significance of a nominee’s contributions to opera and the lasting impact on our national cultural landscape.
Nominations are reviewed by an advisory panel of opera experts and at least one knowledgeable layperson. Panel recommendations are forwarded to the National Council on the Arts, which then makes recommendations to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Chairman reviews the Council's recommendations and makes the final decision on a limited number of award recipients.
If not selected for a NEA Opera Honors award, nominees will be placed on the following year’s nominations list and will remain there for up to four years.
If you have questions, please contact:
202/682-5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20506