Engagement Awards

Early Music America offers awards of up to $1,500 annually to support engagement projects for children and/or adults by organizations, ensembles, and individual artists. The awards are intended to promote awareness and appreciation of early music and historical performance with the goal of drawing new audiences and participants.

Seed Grants: If an organization has a new engagement program and has no prior engagement experience, the judges may choose to award a $500 “seed grant” rather than an Engagement Award. If, during the year covered by the seed grant, the organization implements its program successfully, application for a full or partial engagement ‘implementation’ award may be made the following year. However, depending on the strength of other applications that year, there is no guarantee that such an award will be given.

Engagement includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Early-music activities that focus on children, in or out of school.
  • Early-music activities in public and private schools.
  • Lifelong learning courses on early music.
  • Web, video, podcast, or other creative activities that advance public awareness and enjoyment of early music.
  • Early-music activities that reach underserved audiences and populations and historically underfunded racial or ethnic identity groups, especially African-American, Asian-American, Latinx, and Indigenous communities.

Eligibility, Required Materials, and Application Instructions available below.
The application period is April-May each year.
Funded projects may take place beginning July of the award year through June of the following year.

2023 Recipients

Early Music Associates, Inc., Bloomington, IN

Bloomington Early Music Immersion (BEMI) will provide a first experience in early-music performance for middle-school children from the wider Bloomington community. With focus on music of the 17th and 18th centuries, this weeklong day-camp-style program offers rehearsals, coaching, and workshops in a fun, supportive, and creative environment.

KC Baroque Consortium, Kansas City, MO

Expanding on past educational outreach projects, KC Baroque is designing a workshop intensive for high school string students that will provide a hands-on experience working on instruments with gut strings and baroque bows. The workshop will provide an opportunity for students to explore historical performance practice through the preparation of a baroque work for performance in a side-by-side concert with members of KC Baroque.

Les Délices, Cleveland, OH

This project centers on a new live-performance version of SalonEra, Les Délices award-winning early music-focused web series variety show designed as a salon experience for the 21st century. Two SalonEra Sessions will be presented in our 2023-24 season, featuring a 50:50 mix of performance and conversation performed before a live audience. The sessions will be recorded for later release as part of our free SalonEra season of six episodes available in both video and podcast formats, and four bonus audio-only episodes.

Musicians of the Old Post Road, Boston, MA

”Developing Audiences with Music from Spain and New Spain,” is a collaboration between Musicians of the Old Post Road and guest artists from the Mexican period instrument group Ensemble La Fontegara, with the aim to develop awareness and appreciation of Baroque music of North, Central, and South American composers to audiences across Massachusetts and in Mexico.

Seattle Historical Arts for Kids, Seattle, WA

This project is the trial-and-feedback phase in the development of a new Renaissance and Baroque recorder method by Miyo Aoki, tentatively titled Recorder from the Ground Up, to later be published by Seattle Historical Arts for Kids (SHAK). This unique teaching method combines kid-optimized by-ear learning tools of the Suzuki method with time-tested musical early-music hits.

  • The 2024 application deadline is Monday, May 27, 2024
  • All applicants will be notified in June whether or not they receive an Engagement Award
  • Proposed projects may take place anytime between July 2024 and June 2025.
  • Awardees are required to submit a final report, including high resolution video or photos, following the completion of their Engagement Award-funded project. Final reports should be submitted within one month of the completion of the project and no later than June 30 the year after they receive the Engagement Award. (2024 recipients’ reports will be due June 30, 2025.)

We highly encourage you to submit your application several days prior to the deadline, so we can resolve any issues in a timely manner. We will not be able to accept any applications after the deadline has passed.

Questions about this application may be sent to [email protected].

1) Early Music America membership is required of all applicants and must be current as of the application deadline date:

  • Institutions must be an EMA Organization Member to apply for any project to be carried out by that institution.
    • Example: Our Town Viol Consort would like to receive funding for a series of educational events. Our Town Viol Consort must be an Organization Member at the time of application. The Executive Director, Jane Smith, an EMA Personal Member, may not apply on behalf of Our Town Viol Consort via her membership.
  • Students may redeem a one-year complimentary student membership once during their course of study.
  • If you are unsure of your membership status or have other questions regarding the membership requirement, please email [email protected].

2) Each applicant may submit no more than one proposal per year.

3) Award recipients are ineligible to apply until the third year following their award. If you receive an Engagement Award in 2024, you may apply again in 2027.

4) Current EMA board members and staff are not eligible to apply.

5) Proposed projects must take place between July 1, 2024-June 30, 2025.

6) Projects must take place in North, Central, or South America.

  • Name of Applicant (Individual, Ensemble, or Organization)
  • Applicant email, phone, and address
  • Primary Contact name
  • Project Description: provide a description of the project for which the award will be used. (500 words)
  • Project Impact: provide an estimated impact of the project (i.e. number of students served, hours of contact time, etc). (500 words)
  • Project Dates
  • Educational/Engagement Activities: provide a description and any web links that would demonstrate previous educational/engagement activities. (500 words)
  • Project Budget (PDF only) showing projected revenues and expenses. Please also include any in-kind revenues and expenses as well as income you hope to receive from the award.
  • Biographical Information: summarize your institution’s history in one paragraph, with a link to your website (if applicable) and include a short bio of key individuals involved in the project. (500 words)
  • Supporting Documents: while not required, you may upload any brochures, programs, or curriculum materials for proposed project or past activities to support your application. (Multiple files and file types are accepted.)


-Impact of project: does it reach groups/communities with limited opportunities to engage with early music?

-Creativity: Is the project innovative and engaging?

-Artistic excellence: does the individual or group have a reputation for performing early music at a high level?

-Capacity: has the individual or group shown prior success in engagement activities?

-Impact of award: will funds from EMA make a difference in the ability of this project to take place?

Past Engagement Award Recipients (2011-present)


Kasia Bielak-Hoops
Jonathon Hampton
Vikram Joshi
Sarasa Chamber Music Ensemble
Sonido Barroco San Antonio


No Awards Given


The Brandenburg Project
Burning River Baroque
Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble
Arkansas Baroque Music, Inc.


Les Délices
Forgotten Clefs
Savannah Baroque
S’Cool Sounds


Ars Musica Chicago
Bach Around the Clock
Early Music Associates
Seattle Historical Arts for Kids
Singen und Sagen


Blue Hill Bach
Carol Lewis
Catacoustic Consort
Special Music School


Early Music in Motion
Julie Elhard
Les Canards Chantants
Pegasus Rising


Filigree Baroque
Lycoming Baroque Choir and Orchestra (formerly Billtown Baroque)
Salish Sea Players
Three Notch’d Road
World of Harpsichord


The Connecticut Early Music Society
Jouyssance Early Music Ensemble


Ars Lyrica Houston
Echoing Air
Jessica Powell and the Capitol Consort of Viols
MYSO (Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra) Baroque Players
The Rose Ensemble


Catacoustic Consort
Jessica Powell and the Capitol Consort of Viols
Lisa Terry
Seattle Historical Arts for Kids

College-Level Development Grant (2011-2017)

From 2011 to 2017 Early Music America offered grants annually to college or university Early Music Ensembles to support a specific project or event that will enrich or broaden the educational experience of the students, and/or help to elevate the profile of such ensembles on campus, in their community or nationally.


Reed College Collegium Musicum


Case-Western Reserve University Baroque Chamber and Dance Ensembles
Texas Tech University Early Music Ensemble


University of Oregon Collegium Musicum


CWRU Baroque Music and Dance Ensembles
Cornell Baroque Orchestra


Rutgers Mason Gross School for the Arts
Western Michigan University Collegium Musicum


Metropolitan State College of Denver Early Music Ensemble
St. Olaf Early Music Singers and Collegium Musicum


The University of Texas at Austin Early Music Ensemble

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