The 2021 Jonathan Larson Grants application is now open! Apply now.
The Jonathan Larson Grant is an unconditional annual investment in individual talent. The grant is awarded to musical theatre composers, lyricists, and librettists, or writing teams, early in their career, to support artistic endeavors and safeguard long-term music writing careers.
Jonathan Larson was a man who called the East Village home, relishing the bohemian life of downtown New York in the late eighties and early nineties. A life-long musical theatre lover, Larson worked tirelessly to develop his own musical vision for the stage. After nearly a decade of writing and composing, Larson’s rock musical “Rent,” a gritty urban update to Puccini’s “La Bohème,” premiered to enormous critical and popular success. The show reflected Larson’s personal story as a struggling artist living in Alphabet City, getting by with the support of his contemporaries.
Tragically, Larson passed away suddenly the night before previews for the show began. The inspiring nature and brave subject matter of “Rent,” however, gave the show a life of its own and established Larson as the voice of a new generation on stage. The show, and its creator posthumously, won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and four Tony Awards. “Rent” remains a celebrated musical and cultural touchstone today.
The few grants Larson received inspirited him with the professional confidence to continue pursuing musical theatre and, ultimately, to finish “Rent.” Today, Jonathan Larson Grants are awarded to musical writers with the potential to create work that shapes contemporary culture. We give writers free reign to put the grant’s resources towards what they see as the best use for furthering their creative endeavors with the hope that the grant will provide the support necessary for artists to see their work from concept to cultural success.
Thanks to the resources of the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation and the generosity of the Larson Family, the program will be sustained in a permanent home at the American Theatre Wing.
Applications will close on Thursday, September 24th 2020 at 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).