The Legacy Project: Career Development Grant Opportunity

In 1995, the National Opera Association created The Legacy Project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first performance in a leading role by an African American with a major established United States opera company. Recognizing that there is still much to be done to achieve ethnic and racial diversity in opera, the National Opera Association is pleased to provide Career Development Grants to further this progress. The primary purpose of the grant is to support individuals whose work will contribute to the stated mission of achieving racial and ethnic diversity in professional opera.


The National Opera Association will consider career development grant applications from individuals, and from organizations acting on behalf of an individual, to support specific projects in any professional discipline related to operatic production, including, but not limited to, coaching, composition, conducting, singing, stage directing, stage management, and the fields of design and technical direction. Applications requesting support of general living expenses will not be considered. While no specific funding limits are established, grants will generally not exceed $5,000.00.


Applicants must demonstrate artistic excellence and professional career potential in the area of specialty for which they apply. Typically, applicants will be at a post-baccalaureate level and there is no age limit. Persons of African decent are especially encouraged to apply.

Application Deadlines

Applications will be received throughout the year. There will be two granting periods annually, closing on May 1 and November 1. Notification will occur approximately six weeks after the closing date for each granting period.

Application Procedure

Applicants must provide:

  1. A 100-word abstract of the proposed project or activity.
  2. A detailed project description.
  3. A budget, identifying cost, proposed funding sources and the specific amount requested from the Legacy Career Development Grant program.
  4. Two letters of reference from opera professionals who can address the applicant’s qualifications for the project or activity.
  5. An essay explaining how the applicant and the project or activity will contribute to the achievement of the mission of the Legacy Project.
  6. Applicants may provide optional supplemental materials such as recordings, photographs, reviews, scores, sketches and renderings, and so on. Applicants must make provisions for the return of such materials.

Evaluation Process

Each grant application will be evaluated by a panel of experts in the specific field of the grant application. The panel recommendations will be forwarded to the Trustees of the Legacy Fund, who will determine the grant winner(s), subject to final approval from the NOA Board of Directors.

SUBMISSIONS and inquiries may be addressed to Robert Hansen, Executive Director, PO Box 60869, 2501 4th Avenue, Canyon, TX 79016. Email .

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