Do you need to submit evaluations for your completed project? See below for Application, Guidelines, and Grantee Forms.
Community Partners
  • Introduction and Purpose [+]
    Community Partners grants support composer residencies with a wide range of community, cultural and educational organizations. The residencies challenge composers to create and perform new works that respond to the heritage, culture, and interests of the community, while engaging communities in the creative process of composition. The “community partner” in the project could range from a neighborhood organization/club to public or private school to a community center or religious congregation to an arts and culture organization. Applicants are strongly encouraged to reach “underserved” or “non-traditional” audiences for new music.

    All projects should involve the creation and public performance of a new work and all projects should include some form of community engagement (educational workshops, lectures, etc.). There is no "typical" Community Partners project; each is tailored to the needs, interests and resources of the participating composer, the partner organizations, and their respective constituencies. They may include collaborations with artists in other art forms, such as film and architecture.

    Special Note for Film Projects
    For composer-applicants looking to produce a film score for a new film that highlights Philadelphia communities, cultures, or history, please make sure that the film fits within the criteria listed below:

    • Films highlighting, depicting or otherwise involving Philadelphia communities or individuals within those communities
    • Films of specific interest to Philadelphia communities, but not necessarily directly about the community
    • Films that highlight some aspect of Philadelphia's history or cultural heritage: for example, a documentary on cultural or political issues that affect Philadelphians, or historical events or landmarks in Philadelphia
    • Films that highlight an influential or overlooked individual or community group whose work has impacted Philadelphia communities
    • Films that are fictional, depicting an individual, community, or political or cultural issue, if it relates directly to Philadelphia and its communities.
    The film must premiere in Philadelphia and in the featured community, if possible. Composers are strongly encouraged to contact James Falconi, Program Manager, to discuss their project prior to submitting a proposal.
  • Eligibility [+]
    Individual composers in the Philadelphia region are eligible to apply. Applicants need not be members of the American Composers Forum to apply; however, composers whose projects are funded must become ACF members and remain ACF members for the duration of the project. To join ACF online, visit

    Composers are encouraged to work closely with their community and other artist partners in the project planning and application process. However, the composer must submit the application and if awarded, the composer, not the community partner, will receive the grant award.

    In order to encourage greater access to and broader distribution of the resources available, ACF Philadelphia will fund only one Community Partners project per year for the same applicant. Composers who receive a Community Partners grant must sit out one round before applying again. Grants will be made for projects occurring in the following six counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia Counties in PA and Camden County in NJ.
  • Project Funding [+]
    The maximum grant award per project is $10,000. Applications that include financial support (cash and/or in-kind contributions) from the community partner, participating artists or ensembles, and/or other supporters, are strongly encouraged.
  • Criteria [+]
    An independent panel of local composers, accomplished instrumentalists, music educators, and/or other music industry-professionals will review and judge all eligible proposals on:
    • Artistic merit
    • Quality and depth of community engagement
    • Degree to which underserved or nontraditional audiences for new music is included
    • Demonstrated ability of the artist and partner organization(s) to carry out the project
    • Ability to leverage other support, including new support for the composition of new music
    • Degree to which the project is well planned and feasible
    • Significance of the project to the applicant's career
    • The clarity and persuasiveness of the application in supporting the criteria listed above
  • Work Samples [+]
    Applicants must submit audio samples of their work. Please include a detailed track listing and cues, if appropriate, for the selections you wish the panel to hear, keeping in mind that the panel may listen to as little as 5 minutes worth of material. If an artistic collaborator is a significant part of the project (i.e. film or architecture), please include work samples for the collaborator(s) as well.

    Please submit all audio samples on one CD, and include one copy of each score, if applicable. You may also submit one DVD containing video samples. MP3 will not be accepted. Please protect CDs and DVDs during shipment. If you would like your work sample returned to you, please provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope. ACF Philadelphia is not responsible for insufficient postage or packing materials. Work samples will not be kept on file.
  • Evaluation [+]
    Grantees must submit a Final Report within six weeks of the project’s conclusion, to include: a narrative report documenting the experience, assessing whether goals were reached as intended, etc.; financial reports; and documentation of the project. ACF Philadelphia requires a Final Report from both the artist and the community partner in order for the artist to receive the final payment of funds awarded for the project. Composers with overdue Final Reports will not be eligible for additional grants until the Final Report is submitted.
  • Funding Credit [+]
    All publicity materials, programs and/or scores funded by this grant must credit the American Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter.
  • Deadline (n/a) [+]
    Unfortunately, Community Partners as a granting program has been suspended indefinitely. Read this announcement for full details. Community Partners will continue as a Chapter-administrated program with the same goals as in the past. Details on the new model of Community Partners will be released in the coming months.
  • Questions? Contact [+]
    James Falconi, Program Manager,
  • Supporters [+]
    Community Partners is made possible with generous support from the William Penn Foundation.
  • Application, Guidelines and Grantee Forms [+]
    • Application and Guidelines [+]
      Guidelines and Application for Community Partners (Revised 12/2012) - Download
    • Proposal Writing Tips [+]
      Useful tips on writing your grant proposal - Download
    • Grantee Forms [+]
      Artist Evaluation
      Composer Evaluation (for completed CP projects) - Download

      Community Evaluation
      Community Evaluations (for completed CP projects) - Download

      Event Demographic Survey
      CP Event Demographic Survey (for all events public and private) - Download
Project Examples
  • Chris Coyle "Outside Sound" with community partners Oasis Art Center and the Center for Creative Works. [+]
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    Inspired by the artwork created by the mentally disabled, Chris Coyle decided to work closely with specific communities in Philadelphia where he could both positively affect their lives and create music that would "capture the feelings" he had about their artwork. From June 2012 through May 2013, Chris Coyle engaged two communities of mentally disabled individuals in center city Philadelphia (Oasis) and Wynnewood, Pennsylvania (Center for Creative Works). Chris conducted workshops and interviews with artists from these communities over a period of three months. He also recorded the ambient sounds and the voices of community members and used the total sum of his encounters to create a series of compositions "drawing from the art, the people, and the rich experiences [he] was being exposed to."

    Music, videos, and a book of artwork were created to document the project and its impact.
  • Tom Lawton "Seven Vignettes from Broad and Lombard" with community partner Philadelphia Senior Center [+]
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    In 2009 Tom Lawton engaged the residents of the Philadelphia Senior Center (PSC) in a series of interviews and concerts that coincided with the 60th anniversary of the Philadelphia Senior Center. Before interviewing the residents, Tom Lawton gave an informal concert at the PSC to begin the process of familiarization - so they could listen to and understand his music before inquiring about their own musical interests . Following this introductory session, Tom selected several of the PSC residents for interviews, which he recorded. After revisiting these conversations containing reflections on the life and musical interests, he incorporated them into the piece titled "Seven Vignettes from Broad and Lombard." This piece was performed at the PSC as well as an Anniversary Gala and a local club. Residents of the PSC received a CD of the composition Tom created to commemorate the event.
  • Ben Arnold "Inspiring Composers" project with community partner Intercultural Family Services [+]
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    In 2010, Ben Arnold teamed up with Intercultural Family Services (IFS) for an extensive Community Partners project that engaged young and aspiring composers in what was called The Inspiring Composers Project. IFS included students (ages 11-18) from low income and immigrant neighborhoods in North, West, and Southwest Philadelphia which had schools and communities with scant or no arts education. The Inspiring Composers Project gave these budding musicians a hands-on opportunity to learn composition through 28 weekly workshops on composition and songwriting, a weekend songwriting retreat at The Farmhouse, a weekend recording session at Turtle Studios, and a live performance of their music at World Cafe Live. All participants came away with CD recordings of their original music and a DVD of the live performance, as well as their very own song. The participants were directly involved in the recording session and playing/singing their own music on the concert. Besides the compositional experience they gained in the project, the participants came away with an understanding of recording studio operations and performance preparation.
Past Grantees
  • FY2009-11 [+]
    Community Partners Grantees for FY2009 - Download
    Community Partners Grantees for FY2010 - Download
    Community Partners Grantees for FY2011 - Download
    Community Partners Grantees for FY2012 - Download