OPERA America Awards $1.4 Million In Innovation Grants

OPERA America Awards $1.4 Million In Innovation Grants

OPERA America, the national service organization for opera and the nation's leading champion of American opera, is pleased to announce the recipients of the third cycle of Innovation Grants, generously funded by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

Launched in fall 2016, Innovation Grants support exceptional projects that have the capacity to strengthen the field's most important areas of practice, including artistic vitality, audience experience, organizational effectiveness and community connections. These grants enable organizations of all sizes to increase their commitment to experimentation and innovation, as well as contribute to field-wide learning.

Eighteen companies received awards in this granting cycle:

  • Arizona Opera (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Austin Opera
  • Cincinnati Opera
  • Experiments in Opera (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Guerilla Opera (Boston, MA)
  • Los Angeles Opera
  • Manitoba Opera (Winnipeg, MB)
  • Nautilus Music-Theater (St. Paul, MN)
  • On Site Opera (New York, NY)
  • Opera Cultura (Oakland, CA)
  • Opera Lafayette (Washington, D.C.)
  • Opera Modesto (Modesto, CA)
  • Opera on Tap (New York, NY)
  • San Francisco Opera
  • The Santa Fe Opera
  • Seattle Opera
  • Tapestry Opera (Toronto, ON)
  • Wolf Trap Opera (Vienna, VA)

These grants will fund a wide range of initiatives, including community-based projects designed to make opera inclusive and accessible; novel business strategies; performances that incorporate immersive technology; professional development programs for future leaders; and new models for creating and commissioning operas. (See below for details about all the funded initiatives.)

In addition to providing direct financial support to these companies, the Innovation Grants program includes infrastructure to capture and assess outcomes of funded projects. OPERA America provides administrative and technical support that helps companies to document successes and learn from one another. Outcomes are shared at OPERA America meetings and conferences, as well as through publications and other learning tools.

"Thanks to the profound generosity of the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, our member companies have received support to explore new strategies and experiments - to expand the boundaries of their current practices and nimbly adapt to an ever-changing field," stated Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. "These grants benefit more than just the recipients; through the lessons learned from the funded initiatives, companies throughout North America will be able to adapt good ideas, and ultimately contribute to a stronger field."

The awardees were selected from a pool of 45 applications, which were adjudicated by an independent panel consisting of Barbara Schaffer Bacon, co-director of Animating Democracy; Sarah Lutman, principal at 8 Bridges Workshop; Ann Owens, consultant and former executive director of Houston Grand Opera; Kyle Sircus, director of marketing at Playwrights Horizons; Bradley Vernatter, consultant; James Wright, consultant and retired general director of Vancouver Opera; and Joseph Yoshitomi, vice-president and general manager of Dallas Summer Musicals.

Applications for the next cycle of Innovation Grants will open this fall. Visit operaamerica.org/Grants to learn more about Innovation Grants, as well as OPERA America's complete grant offerings.

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