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Women's Fund

Applications Open for NYC Women's Fund for Media, Music and Theatre

Groundbreaking fund has now earmarked additional $500,000
for music projects led by women creatives


NEW YORK — The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) today announced that applications are open for NYC Women's Fund for Media, Music and Theatre. The $5 million grant program launched last year and awarded a total of $1.5 million to 63 film, digital and theatre projects in the first round. This year, an additional $500,000 has been added to expand the fund to include music projects with a maximum grant of $20,000 each.

Originally launched as the "Made in NY" Women's Film, TV and Theatre Fund last year, the fund is a signature initiative by MOME to address the underrepresentation of all who identify as women in the entertainment industries. With the addition of music to the list of eligible categories, MOME is increasing its efforts to target gender inequity in stubbornly male-dominated industries. One recent report from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found that from 2013-2019, only 10% of Grammy nominees were women, and from 2012-2018 only 22% of artists, 12% of songwriters and 2% of producers of 700 popular songs from the Hot 100 year-end Billboard Charts were female.

"New York City is home to the strongest creative talent in the word," said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Anne del Castillo. "We are proud to expand the NYC Women's Fund to include female-identified songwriters, composers, engineers, and producers working in all genres of music. Supporting women creatives in media and entertainment diversifies our talent base and generates richer content."

"We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, and to administer a program that supports dozens of projects involving female-identifying creatives in film, music, television, and theatre," said Michael L. Royce, Executive Director, New York Foundation for the Arts. "We're especially excited that the program has expanded to include a music category, which will give additional artists the opportunity to realize creative works," he added.

Eligible projects for music grants will include new EPs, albums, and videos for yet-to-be released works from all genres. Projects must have a significant female writing credit, producer credit, engineering credit, and/or musical lead. NYC-based producers, composers, engineers, solo musicians, ensemble bands, and orchestras that are not currently signed to a major label can apply. Applicants must also show evidence of a growing fan base and have played multiple live shows.

In addition to music projects, film, theatre, and web productions are eligible for finishing funds in the following categories (amounts listed are the maximum potential grant):

  • Fiction Feature (running time of 60 minutes or more) – $50,000
  • Fiction Short (running time of 59 minutes or less) – $25,000
  • Fiction Webisode/Webseries (all forms) – $20,000
  • Documentary Feature (running time of 60 minutes or more) – $50,000
  • Documentary Webisodes/Webseries (all lengths and forms) – $25,000
  • Theatre Production – $50,000

Projects are eligible if they feature a strong female or female-identified perspective; and/or include a female or female-identified director; and/or include a meaningful female or female-identified producer credit; and/or include a meaningful female or female-identified writing credit; and/or include a female or female-identified protagonist(s).

"Access to funding for creative projects is a barrier to so many New York City women – as a result, their voices aren't heard and their careers never reach the heights they should," said Faye Penn, Executive Director of " is proud to support NYC Women's Fund, which extends opportunity to female artists and storytellers so they can finally achieve the visibility they deserve."

All recipients must be NYC residents. Anyone can apply and be awarded a grant regardless of actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity or gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, partnership status, marital status, disability, race, color, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, military status, or any other class protected by City, State, or Federal law.

Applications and eligibility requirements are available at To sign up for updates on the Fund, please visit MOME's website. You can use hashtag #NYCWomensFund to participate in the conversation. Applications close on October 1, 2019 and recipients will be announced in March 2020.