Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Lewis Prize for Music?
The Lewis Prize for Music is an annual award established by philanthropist and social impact investor Daniel R. Lewis to resource champions and leaders of music programs and projects to create more fair and vibrant communities.
What are the sizes of the Prizes?
In 2020, three $500,000 awards will be given. The funding will be distributed over multiple years.
How many years of funding doES the Prize Awards provide?
The Prizes are multi-year grant awards that span across 2-5 years, depending on the individual characteristics and needs of each leader and their program goals.
How do I know if I qualify for The Lewis Prize?
Please see the Eligibility Requirements listed above. When filling out the application form on Acceptd, you will be asked several questions prior to the LOI to confirm that you meet the requirements. If you cannot answer “Yes” to all of the requirements, do not fill out the LOI; it will not be reviewed.
Do I apply as an individual or as an organization?
The LOI must be written and completed by the leader who is applying. Leaders submit the LOI in tandem with the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization they lead or as the leader of a project that operates as a fiscally sponsored but independent project of a nonprofit organization.
How do I apply?
Access the application link at Acceptd to fill out an LOI. Applications will be open from August 13, 2019 to September 16, 2019.
What is the deadline for submitting a Letter of Interest?
September 16, 2019 by 11:59pm EST
What is the process after I submit an application?
10 LOI applicants will be invited to submit a full Request for Proposal (RFP) application in early October. All LOI applicants will be informed of their status and next steps by email.
Who will be reviewing my Prize application?
LOI’s will be read and scored by leaders in the fields of music, education, youth development, community organizing, and philanthropy. Their rankings and recommendations will be reviewed by the Board of Directors, who will make the final selection of applicants moving into the next round.
What will reviewers be looking for in the LOI?
We want to learn about you, your leadership, the ideas and thinking behind your vision for making music available to all young people, the progress you are making, and how you empower youth leaders. The Lewis Prizes will be awarded to people doing the best work, not those who submit the most well written LOI.
My video or audio recordings are not professional quality. Will this hurt my chances of moving forward?
No. We understand that not every program or leader has the means to provide a professional recording. Though audio or video evidence is necessary, we are equally interested in the leadership and vision of each program and their leader.
How will I be notified of a decision?
Applicants will receive an email confirmation of receipt of their LOI. All further status changes will be visible upon logging into your applicant’s account on our LOI platform Acceptd.
Can I send supplemental items for my LOI application?
The only applications that will be reviewed are those submitted through the Acceptd platform. Do not mail or email any materials.
Does The Lewis Prize for Music make site visits?
The Lewis Prize for Music views site visits as an integral part of the final selection process. Applicants invited to submit a full RFP application will also be asked to host a site visit for one or more Board members, the CEO and program staff. The site visits will take place between October 14-November 15, 2019.
If I have been declined for a Prize, when can I reapply?
The Lewis Prize will open its 2021 award opportunities in 2020. We will notify anyone who started a 2020 LOI application when we open the 2021 LOI.
I have only been working at my current organization for 2.75 years. Am I still eligible to apply?
The 2020 LOI requires eligible leaders to have been serving a minimum of 3 years in their position. You may sign up to receive notification of future opportunities and ongoing updates from The Lewis Prize via our website Contact Form.
The online application is asking if the leader of the organization is filling out the application. Our organization has a grant writer. May they fill in this application?
The Lewis Prize values the voice of the leader. It is required that LOIs be filled out directly by the leader. Grant writers may be involved if applicants move to the RFP round.
The Lewis Prize Criteria mentions “Creative Youth Development.” I’m not familiar with this term. What does it mean?
Creative Youth Development (CYD) describes programs that blend excellence in artistic instruction with principles of positive youth development. More information about CYD and its growth as a field can be found at the Creative Youth Development National Partnership.
If you have additional questions not answered above, submit them via our Contact Form