Award Guidelines

Application for 2021 is now closed.

Please review all of the eligibility requirements carefully before submitting an application.



The $10,000 prize is awarded annually to one organization chosen by the Board of Advisors.  The board reserves the right to award additional funds to organizations that it feels are worthy.


  • 7/20/2020 – Initial application period opens
  • 9/30/2020 – Initial application period closes
  • Late 2020: Finalists determined
  • Early 2021: Winner announced


  • This is a one-time award for 501(c)(3) organizations or organizations with a domestic fiscal sponsor.
  • Organizations active in domestic and international locations are considered.
  • Organizations may be nominated by third parties.
  • Organizations that are less than three years old will not be considered.
  • Grant-making organizations that distribute funds at their own discretion will not be considered.

Award Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed and scored using the following criteria:

  • Is consistent with guidelines and stated mission.
  • Stresses the uniqueness of music as a method of communication that fosters connectivity where other types may have failed.
  • Demonstrates high level resilience, courage, and determination to further the cause and overcome adversity and discrimination.
  • Demonstrates the ability to embrace diversity.
  • Demonstrates effective and holistic collaboration within the community served.
  • Articulates an evaluation plan that is appropriate and includes meaningful metrics.

 Areas of Focus

The Adolf Busch Award celebrates outstanding achievements that creatively and courageously promote a more civil and just society through music.  Though the majority of submissions will be broadly related to education, performance and other activities are also appropriate.  Organizations that have surmounted significant obstacles to implementation, or who have demonstrated courage in the face of the challenges posed are the ideal candidates.

Areas Not Funded

  • Music therapy unrelated to a broader social mission
  • Funding for individual compositions or a specific performance
  • Programs that are exclusively state funded
  • Religious activities or projects that serve, or appear to serve, the doctrine of a specific religious group or denomination
  • Political lobbying, political campaigns or legislative activities
  • National, state or local fundraising activities
  • Endowment campaigns

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