Applications for 2020 are now closed. 

2020 Proposal Guidelines

Advancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in American Orchestras

Made possible with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional support from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation

The Catalyst Fund is a three-year pilot program of the League of American Orchestras that awards member orchestras annual grants for capacity building by encouraging effective practices to advance their understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Member orchestras may apply for grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 to support their work with an EDI consultant to strengthen their knowledge of the issues pertaining to EDI and to create strategies that are relevant to their communities. Grantees will be given access to a learning community, a dedicated online forum, and will participate in remote and in-person convenings.

The Catalyst Fund was created in response to field-wide feedback from the League’s most recent EDI planning process. Members expressed a strong desire to serve people of all races, abilities, and genders with a range of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. In doing so, members recognized this requires a re-examination of their orchestras’ values and ways of working.

The Catalyst Fund supports activities such as:

  • Helping board and staff clarify their thinking on EDI issues
  • Conducting an institutional audit and/or developing an EDI strategy
  • Professional development opportunities such as coaching, mentorship, or training for staff, board, and musicians
  • Developing a plan to identify progress markers and for measuring goals and outcomes around EDI
  • Creating peer or group-based learning networks; whether collaborating with another member orchestra to share learning and experiences, creating learning networks across functions within your own orchestra, or documenting and codifying learning processes

All League member orchestras meeting the eligibility requirements may apply. Applications are open between September 25 and December 6, 2019, with awards announced in spring 2020.

Applications from a group of member orchestras are welcome.

Before You Apply

When You Apply

  • Tell Us About Your Orchestra
  • Tell Us About Your Community
  • Tell Us About Your Project**

How to Apply 

  • Develop Preliminary Project Budget
  • Provide a Commitment Letter, signed by the CEO, Music Director, and Musicians’ Representative***
  • Submit your Most Recent Audited Financial Statement
  • Apply Here!

* All potential applicants must attend one webinar session that explains the Fund’s priorities and the application process.
** The League welcomes proposals from a group of member orchestras. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss your consortium proposal before you apply.
*** The Musicians’ Representative may be represented by: 

      • The signature of the orchestra’s elected players’ representative
      • The signatures of a quorum of musicians
      • The signature of the orchestra’s personnel manager

Please to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information.

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The Catalyst Fund is made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional support from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.