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Application Help

The following prompts are meant to help applicants create and refine their submissions. Consider these approaches as a way to structure your thinking and further understand the elements that embody a winning application.

Application Criteria

Is the organization consistent with guidelines?

Does the organization state their mission?

Does the organization stress the uniqueness of music as a method of communication that fosters connectivity where other types may have failed?

Does the organization demonstrate high levels of resilience, courage and determination to further their cause, and overcome adversity and discrimination?

Does the organization demonstrate the ability to embrace diversity?

Does the organization demonstrate the effective and holisitc collaboration within their community?

Does the organization articulate an evaluation plan that is appropriate and includes meaningful metrics?

Alignment with the ABA mission

Does the applicant's mission target social injustice and inequality?


In what problem area does the organiation focus?

  • Enhancing or correcting socioeconomic opportunity

  • Addressing issues that challenge the status quo or address bias

  • Supporting education or mentorship efforts


What is the role of music in the organization's mission?

  • How is music used? To heal, translate, confront, create, connect, teach, communicate? To what end?

  • How are the organization's participants actively engaged with or in music?


Why is it important that the organization continue it's mission?

Program's Impact

Consider the depth of impact on individual participants and its potential impact on the larger community. What change occurs?

  • Are participants able to defy societal expectations as a result of the program?

  • Does the organization provide opportunities or training that enables participants to improve their circumstances or transcend societal constraints?

  • Does the impact appear to have long-lasting results?

  • Does the program have an impact beyond the participants directly served?

How do you know?

  • Is the narrative convincing? Consider the meat of arguments like, "Without us, this wouldn't happen," and what that truly means.

  • Does the organization have empirical data to support its impact and success?

  • Are the supplied metrics meaningful?

Obstacles Faced

What obstacles does the organization face? What is the role of courage? Consider the following questions:

  • What is the obstacle? How is it unique to the organization?

  • What is the merit of the obstacle? Ask, "How relevant is the identified obstacle to the organization's operations?"

  • How successfully and with what creativity has it addressed obstacles? How is that demonstrated?


What makes the environment challenging in which the organization operates?

  • Is the environment a current conflict zone? Post-conflict?

  • Is the organization confronting an invisible systemic issue?

  • Does the organization operate in geographic or cultural isolation?


Who is actually facing the obstacles? Is it the organization itself or its participants facing adversity?

  • Does the organization itself demonstrate courage? Does the organization provide courage?

  • What about the courage of the people served?

  • Do either the organization or the participants display courage in a manner that resonates with you? Why?

Organizational Impact

Is the award likely to be significant for the selected organization?

What kind of change would the award bring to the organization? Would it kickstart a project? Help the organization expand its efforts?

Would the organization gain status and other funding as a result of the award?

Other Considerations

Is there a clear demographic target?

What is the cost to participants?

How has the program grown and developed since inception or over the past several years?

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