Our Events

Inviting Performance Proposals

The New York Society Library invites applications from women playwrights, composers, and musical performers, or writers who focus on theater, ballet, art music, and opera, for grants toward a one-session performance of new or recent work.

The Library seeks to support current projects by emerging female creative artists, especially those working with literary or historical topics or in traditional idioms. This is an ideal opportunity for an artist whose musical or theatrical work is in a late-draft or newly finished stage, in which it would benefit from a thoughtful and knowledgeable audience.

The presentation might take the form of

  • A semi-staged reading from scripts of a small-cast play 
  • A one- or two-person sung recital 
  • An instrumental music performance by a chamber ensemble 
  • An educational presentation about theater or music with played, sung, or read examples of the works discussed 
  • A discussion or interview with one or more notable women in the fields of theater, music, or dance

Here is an example of a related past event.

The full presentation should last no more than two hours including any intermission or conversation/talkback aspect.

The Library would provide

  • Funding up to approximately $3,000 inclusive of payments to performers and all related costs
  • A performance space seating approximately 70 audience members and accommodating a cast of up to about 8, with flexible setup and furniture
  • A moderate number of free seats for the presenters’ invitees
  • A moderate amount of administrative assistance (e.g. photocopying of scripts)
  • Arrangements for equipment rental or other major logistical elements (with costs included in the funding total)
  • Seating and music stands for the presenters as needed
  • Publicity and box office for the event

The presenter would be expected to provide or arrange

  • Casting
  • Rehearsals outside the Library (the Library cannot provide rehearsal space)
  • Costumes, sets and prop items, musical instruments  

The successful proposal should include

  • The work’s title, author(s)/composer(s), and length
  • The style or genre of the presentation (sung music, play reading...)
  • The number of performers or presenters involved
  • A list of setup or logistical needs (e.g. a platform, special lighting)
  • A brief synopsis of the work
  • A brief explanation of why the work is appropriate for support
  • Full contact information for one or more people making the proposal

Please direct proposals or questions by e-mail to
Sara Elliott Holliday
Head of Events
The New York Society Library

PDF or MS Word attachments are ideal.