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Accelerator Awards in Creative Youth Development

The Lewis Prize for Music

  • $100,000+


E, M, HS, HE


The Lewis Prize for Music is now accepting 2024 Accelerator Awards applications. Accelerator Awards are open to Creative Youth Development (CYD) music organizations seeking to influence youth-serving systems so all young people have access to learning, creating, and performing experiences that reflect their culture and identity.

Multi-year awards of $500,000 each will be awarded in January 2024. By applying for the Accelerator Awards, organizations are also eligible for funding ranging from $15,000 to $75,000.

Creative Youth Development (CYD) organizations that are working toward systemic change are eligible to apply. Additional requirements are:

The youth in the organization:

-Must primarily be in the age range of 6-21 years old.
-Must learn, create, and/or perform music for at least 50% of their overall program participation time.

The program/work:

- Has been underway and/or in operation beginning in or before 2018.
- Is an independent 501(c)(3) or has a partnership with a fiscal sponsor.
- Is in the United States or US territories, and the young people it serves reside in the US or US territories.
- Operates independently of schools/school music programs and operates outside of school hours.
- Provides consistent, ongoing participation opportunities for youth that sequentially build skills and relationships over time, ideally multi-year. (One time classes, short term workshops, and/or summer camps are not eligible.)
-At least 40% of the Board of Directors and/or management staff reside in or represent the community served.

Leaders* of the Organization:

Are the author(s) of this Round 1 application.
- Have been in their role of leader at the organization beginning in or before 2021.
- Reside in the local community where the work/program is located.