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. 

The board strongly prefers applicants whose activities clearly align with the values of the award.

Alignment with the Adolf Busch Award's mission

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

In what problem area does the organization focus?

  • Enhancing or creating 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 its 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 flourish and develop themselves through participation in the program?
  • Does the organization provide opportunities or training that enables participants to transcend systemic injustices?
  • 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 merit of arguments like, “Without us, this wouldn’t happen,” and what that truly means. Answer the question, "So what?"
  • 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 and how is it unique to the organization?
  • What is the relevance of the identified obstacle to the organization’s operations?
  • In consideration of the obstacle, what does success look like for the organization?
  • 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 or post-conflict zone?
  • Is the organization confronting a tangible systemic issue? A collateral effect of routine injustice?
  • 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 financially or programmatically 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?
Adolf Busch Award Values
  • Focuses on nurturing the musical and leadership skills of young musicians through education and mentorship opportunities
  • Focuses on systemically disenfranchised segments of the population
  • Engages in grassroots initiatives that promote a pluralistic and equitable society
  • Demonstrates a unique and thoughtful approach to the issues they address
  • Demonstrates meaningful organizational maturation since inception
  • Shows, through their activities, a rejection of the status quo and a willingness to shape a response to systemic issues in a challenging environment
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?