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2020_New Music USA 


Annual Report

  • Submitter: 
  • Year: 
  • Please describe your organization’s activities over the past year, including concerts, commissions, collaborations, publications: 

    The year 2020 was a particularly challenging year for everyone around the world and created unique challenges for people in the music sector. New Music USA has managed to "stay open" and we all have kept working although since March 16, 2020, everyone on staff has worked from home. In fact, we closed out the lease on our physical office at the end of July and since then have free shared office space thanks to the generosity of one of the US performing rights societies, although for now it is mainly being used for storage with a few staff members occasionally going there to collect mail, etc. We also have been using a P.O. Box that is in close proximity to the residences of several staff members to make the collection of mail a safer activity. New York City was particualrly hard hit by the pandemic in April 2020 and though things have gotten considerably better since then, things are far from back to normal. In the spring of 2020, we administered the New Music Solidary Fund to which any musician in the USA who lost income due to pandemic-related cancellations was eligible for a one-time grant of $500 US. Since donations to trhis fund, promarily from individuals (many of whom are members of the music community), we were able to disperse over $100,000.

    Aside from that one-time initiative, New Music USA has also initiated several new grant programs. In January 2020, with a generous contribution from the Sphinx Venture Fund and additional support from the Sorel Organization and industry partners ASCAP and Wise Music Trust, we launched Amplifying Voices to promote marginalized voices in orchestral music. Through a national call launched in January 2020, New Music USA asked orchestras to come forward with proposals for co-commissions and a commitment to promote existing repertoire that deserves further performances. Thus far, eight orchestras have selected composers who will be commissioned to write new works as well as serve as ambassadors to incentivize the programming of pre-existing underrepresented repertoire. For more ]information, please visit: In October 2020, New Music USA launched Reel Change: The Fund for Diversity in Film Scoring, with support from SESAC and composer Christophe Beck. Responding to the fact that the vast majority of films are scored by white men, Reel Change is a five-year grants and mentorship program for composers of diverse backgrounds who have been marginalized in film composition. This fund — which is now accepting applications from US-based composers — supports film projects currently in production, where additional funding and mentoring would help composers at a pivotal moment in their careers. Four to six grants averaging $20,000 will be allocated each year of the program.  For more information, please visit:

    In addition to these new initiatives, New Music USA also continues its core programs. In July 2020, New Music USA awarded grants totally $502,700 to 392 artists involved in 110 projects in 26 different US states. Full details are available in a PDF downlable from the New Music USA website. We also continue to maintain the web magazine NewMusicBox, which has been online since 1999, although article content in 2020 has been expressly targeted to shine light on how people in our sector are coping with the pandemic as well as providing valuable toolbox features to help composers and others navigate this new environment. Finally, our monthly extended conversations with composers--which since the beginning of quarantine have been recorded over Zoom instead of in person--are now being published as a complete podcast for people to listen to over SoundCloud and other podcast aggregators in addition to being published along with a full transcript and an introductory essay on NewMusicBox. Please visit New Music USA's SoundCloud page to listen:

    For even more details on our activities this past year, please refer to our 2019-2020 Impact Report, available at the following URL:

  • Please describe your organization's research activities over the past year: 


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