Committed to Opera

MET Orchestra Musicians, Inc. Phase 2 Emergency Grant

This document is designed to provide information about eligibility criteria and grant disbursement for Phase 2 Emergency Grants which covers the period of December 3, 2020 through March 15, 2021. Before applying for this grant, you must read this FAQ in order to determine your eligibility. 

Applications may be submitted between March 15 and April 1, 2021. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I qualify for a grant?
A: You must be experiencing​ serious financial need​ due to due to the COVID-19 health crisis, as well as fall into one of the following categories:

  • Regular Orchestra Member/ Full-time Librarian who was employed by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra during the 2019-2020 season AND who anticipates continuing employment with the Metropolitan Opera when it reopens.
  • Pool Associate Musician (except Pool Stage Band) who was employed by the Metropolitan Opera during the 2019-2020 season AND who anticipates continuing employment with the Metropolitan Opera when it reopens.
  • Associate Musician who has performed in 60+ shows in 2 out of the following 3 seasons – 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19 – AND who anticipates continuing employment with the Metropolitan Opera when it reopens.*
  • Regular Music Staff Member employed in either the 2019/20 or 2020/21 season†
  • Weekly Music Staff Members contracted by the Metropolitan Opera (inclusive of Staff Coaches of the Lindemann program) for 15 weeks or more in at least two of the following three seasons – 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20 – AND were contracted for the 2020/21 season on the Metropolitan Opera Music Staff for any number of weeks.†

* Associate Musicians cannot use 2019/20 show totals because they are incomplete due to the Met’s closure on March 12, 2020.

†According to the original Letters of Agreement

Q: What is the current main purpose of the Fund?
A: The MET Orchestra Musicians Fund is a charitable organization and raises donations to benefit members in need. At this time, due to the unfortunate financial situation many of our members face, money shall be disbursed from the Fund to musicians in financial distress.

Q: Does the Fund serve any additional purposes?
A:  Yes. The second part of our Fund’s mission allows for the Orchestra to “convey the beauty of music to as broad an audience as possible through performance and education programs in New York City and beyond.” That means we are allowed to present concerts and other programming. However, due to the extraordinarily difficult financial situation many of our members are facing, this activity is currently on a volunteer basis.

Q: Can members get paid directly for their service to the Fund?
A: Not at this time. All members’ service to the Fund, whether musical or administrative, is completely volunteer. Additionally, soliciting donors for any private financial gain is not permitted because that is not the purpose of our nonprofit and the Internal Revenue Service does not allow this. Anyone who volunteers in any capacity for the Fund may not ask a donor for any funds to be paid to an individual musician.

Q: Is this a merit-based award?
A: No. This is a ​needs-based​ emergency grant. If you meet the above criteria, your eligibility will be based on objective criteria which the independent Board of Directors will use to determine need. The Board cannot legally consider service to the Fund or donations made in honor of an individual in their decision-making process. 

Q: Who approves grants?
A: The Fund is overseen by the independent Board of Directors who screen applications for eligibility and make individual grant determinations.

Q: Will the names of the recipients be made public?
A: No. The independent Board will never make names of grant recipients public, and no member will be involved in decisions about who qualifies. 

Q: What information will I need to provide on my application?
A: You will be asked to provide information about your income from any and all sources between December 3, 2020 (the beginning of Phase 2) and March 15, 2021, the value of certain assets and your monthly expenses (please divide any expenses paid on a yearly basis by 12).

Q: Will I be required to submit any documentation?
A: No, but you will be required to provide the financial information mentioned above and attest that is a true and accurate representation of your situation.

Q: I still have a part-time/full-time job that provides me some income. But I still lost money due to the Met’s closure. May I apply?
A: Yes, you may apply. However, this fund is for those whose economic situation has been seriously compromised by the Met’s cancellations, and we want the resources to be available to those who need them the most at this time.

Q: I received a Phase 1 grant. May I apply?
A: Yes, you may apply. However, be sure to list the amount of the grant you received on your application.

Q: Are there any obligations that come with receiving a grant?
A: ​You are expected but not required to support the efforts of the Fund. There are many ways to do so including donor outreach, social media sharing, performing, or volunteering in other ways. Disclosing your status as a beneficiary is not mandatory, but is allowed.

Q: I’m not an American citizen. Can I apply? What if I am waiting for a Green-card, O-1 visa, B-1 visa, etc.?
A: Yes. As long as you fulfill the eligibility requirements you can apply regardless of nationality or immigration status.

Q: If my spouse/domestic partner is also eligible to apply, will our applications be considered separately and equally?
A: Yes. Both individuals are eligible to apply and will be considered separately and equally.

Q: Can I apply more than once?
A: During Phase 2, you may only apply for one grant. Grant approval in future phases will be determined at a later date and dependent upon availability of funds.

Q: When will grants be disbursed?
A: The grant approval and disbursement process is estimated to take approximately four weeks.

Q: How do I contact you if I have any additional questions or concerns?
A: For questions about the application process, to further clarify any information on your application or to appeal the Board’s decision, please email the Board at MetOrchestraBoard@gmail.com​.