ART WORKS Guidelines: Opera

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to nurturing and advancing the highest levels of operatic artistry to enrich communities across the nation. Opera is a multifaceted art form that can involve singing, acting, orchestral playing, scenic artistry, costume design, lighting, and dance to convey a story or dramatic concept.

Organizations of all types and sizes are welcome to apply, including professional opera companies, opera festivals, presenting organizations, training programs, and other organizations that commission, develop, or produce fully-staged operatic works and/or concert opera.

The National Endowment for the Arts supports the commission, development, presentation, and professional recordings of new or existing operatic works; professional artist development programs and artist residencies; and projects by service organizations. Applications for collaborations and innovative projects that engage audiences in new and meaningful ways are encouraged.

Projects

Art Works applications will be accepted under two deadlines. All project types are accepted under both deadlines. Generally, an organization is limited to one application per year under the Art Works category.

Deadlines

First Art Works Deadline:

Step 1 - Submit SF-424 to Grants.gov February 18, 2016
Step 2 - Submit Materials to NEA-GO February 25, 2016 to March 3, 2016
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection November 2016
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance January 1, 2017

Second Art Works Deadline:

Step 1 - Submit SF-424 to Grants.gov July 14, 2016
Step 2 - Submit Materials to NEA-GO July 21, 2016 to July 28, 2016
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection April 2017
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance June 1, 2017

Performances, presentations, and commissions

  • Creation of new operatic works, especially those that are innovative or that cross genres (including commissions, residencies, and workshops with artists).
  • Premieres.
  • Repeat productions of newly-premiered works.
  • New productions of traditional and contemporary operas.
  • Remounting of existing productions.
  • Concert opera (performances that are not fully staged). Contact the Opera staff before preparing a concert opera application.
  • Domestic touring.
  • Opera festivals and other events (may include performances, lecture-demonstrations, audience talk-backs, master classes, and workshops).

Professional artistic development

  • Artist residencies.
  • Post-conservatory professional development programs for artists including coaching, conducting, acting, stage movement, diction, language, mentorship, and career development.

Engagement, education, recordings, and technology

  • Community engagement projects that involve diverse communities and/or reach new audiences.
  • Education and related activities for youth, adults, and intergenerational groups.
  • Audience engagement initiatives (including collaborations with other organizations).
  • Opera performances and activities in public spaces intended to foster community interaction and/or enhance the unique characteristics of a community.
  • Recordings of opera works (by international or American composers).
  • Technology projects (including simulcast performances and online resources that provide public access to opera).
  • Archival, documentation, and preservation projects.

Services to the opera field

  • Services to the opera field (for organizations, singers, composers, librettists, administrators, and/or volunteers).