Music Industry 'Payola' Settlement Leads to Music Funding Opportunities
By Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Jan 22, 2006, 17:35

$15 million earmarked for music education and appreciation programs in New York State; Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors accepting grant applications for The New York State Music Fund

New York, NY -- Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors today launched a new grant program by releasing a Request for Applications for the New York State Music Fund ("Music Fund"). This program is funded by settlements reached by the Office of the New York State Attorney General and will make contemporary music of all genres more accessible to diverse audiences and communities within New York State. Grants from the Music Fund, which currently holds $15 million, will be disbursed to nonprofit organizations associated with music education and appreciation efforts.

The Music Fund was created when the New York State Attorney General's Office resolved investigations against major record companies that had violated state and federal laws prohibiting "pay for play" (also called "payola"). The settlement agreement stipulated that funds paid by music businesses would support music education and appreciation for the benefit of New York State residents. The Attorney General's Office enlisted the services of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to develop and manage the grant program. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, a nonprofit organization, is one of the nation's largest and most experienced philanthropy services and has developed or facilitated more than $850 million in giving over the past decade.

"This is a creative vehicle through which grants to well-established nonprofits will enable people from all across New York State, from all walks of life, to experience the joy of music," said Melissa Berman, President and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. "We're excited about our role in helping people of all ages discover emerging artists, sample music genres new to them or perhaps learn to play an instrument."

Grant applications from nonprofit organizations are due by March 31st; awards and a second round of requests for applications will be announced in June, 2006. For the purposes of the Music Fund, "contemporary music" encompasses written composition and performance of all genres, including classical, jazz, music from around the world that is based in living classical or folk traditions, experimental music, and noncommercial forms of popular music including alternative rock, country, hip hop, and others. Proposed programs can include a range of activities from any or all of the following categories:

* Creation of diverse new works of music by emerging or established
composers, musicians, ensembles, or bands;
* Live Performance of diverse forms of music being created by today's
emerging to established composers, musicians, ensembles, or bands;
* Media -- recording/distribution/broadcast through traditional or new
media of diverse works created by today's composers and musicians
(Particular emphasis will be placed on use of noncommercial media
vehicles); and
* Music Education -- School and community-based music activities and
programs provided by cultural organizations that promote skill-building
in, and understanding and appreciation of, music of our time.

Special emphasis of the Music Fund will be on reaching underserved populations -- those whose opportunities to experience a variety of music have been limited by socioeconomic status, ethnicity, geography or disability -- and broadening awareness of underrepresented music -- artists, genres or styles with limited access to commercial broadcast or other mass distribution vehicles.

Funded activities must take place in New York State and benefit New York State residents. Generally, funded projects are to be completed within a one-year period, but a limited number of two-year grants will be awarded. Further, the Music Fund will also consider from nonprofit organizations a limited number of special initiative proposals that address the music field's ability to monitor and maintain an open and fair marketplace for the production and distribution of music in New York State. Grant proposals will be evaluated by an Advisory Review Panel knowledgeable about the range of music proposed and communities throughout New York State.

About Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors is an independent, nonprofit service that develops and manages effective giving programs. Headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco, it traces its antecedents to John D. Rockefeller, Sr., who in 1891 began to professionally manage philanthropy "as if it were a business." He set the style of family giving by specifying that grants would be used "for the well-being of people throughout the world." In the past decade, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors has advised on and managed more than $850 million in annual giving to more than 40 countries. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors also includes The Philanthropic Collaborative, a special donor-advised fund for international giving and special projects.

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