The Village Fund

The Village Fund is a grant program for folk artists and independent music industry professionals experiencing financial hardship, administered by Folk Alliance International.


The Village Fund’s name is inspired by the rural origins of various folk music traditions, the urban villages that expanded the folk audience, and the recognition that folk music forms one global village of fans, artists, and industry professionals alike.


Initial fundraising for the fund has begun, with all proceeds from the public performance tickets to the Folk Unlocked Virtual Conference Showcases going directly to the fund. FAI has committed $25,000 from its reserve and hopes to raise an additional $75,000 in public support for the fund in order to initially distribute 200 grants of $500.


The Village Fund will open applications in May for FAI members and those who have participated in FAI events over the past three years. A simple “financial need” verification process will place all applicants into an eligible pool, and recipients will then be drawn by lottery.

Contribute to the Village Fund

Interesting in supporting The Village Fund? You can either purchase public showcase access to Folk Unlocked, or simply make a tax-deductible donation directly to The Village Fund.

Apply for the Village Fund

The Village Fund is designed to provide support for musicians and independent music industry professionals in need. The minimum requirements include:


    • Proof of past association with Folk Alliance International (membership, FAI conference attendance, or regional conference attendance)
    • Proof of work in the music industry
    • Statements of financial burden or loss of income
    • Evidence of need (2019 or 2020 income tax return AND a current bank statement)

If these requirements are met, $500 grants will be awarded through a lottery system, adjusting for diversity, inclusion, equity, and access priorities.

Applications will be reviewed for eligibility starting June 1, 2021, and FAI will provide the first round of grants thereafter. With limited funds available, not all eligible applications will be provided grants. Further grants will be issued dependent on continued fundraising efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

Complete the form here and submit all of the required information. In case there are technical glitches, consider saving your answers in a Word document before transferring them over to the application. If you need any assistance, please contact

Who is eligible to apply?

To be eligible for a grant you are required to provide the following as part of the application.

  • Proof of past association with Folk Alliance International (membership, FAI conference attendance, or regional conference attendance)]
  • Proof of work in the music industry
  • Statements of financial burden or loss of income
  • Evidence of need (2019 or 2002 income tax return AND a current bank statement)
Do I need to live in United States to be eligible?

No, anyone can apply regardless of what country they live in.

How do you select grant recipients?

Grants are distributed by lottery with each application assigned a number. Once the recipients are selected, an FAI staff member will thoroughly review the application to ensure that the person meets the need requirements.

When are applications due?

Applications must be submitted by Monday, June 7, 2021, at 5 pm CT to be considered for a grant this cycle.

Am I guaranteed to receive a grant?

Unfortunately, there are limited funds and it’s expected that FAI will receive more applications than funds available.

Can I apply more than once?

No, you can only submit one application.

When will you notify receipients if they receive a grant?

Recipients of the first round of grants will be notified before the end of June. If there is more funding, FAI will do a second round of grants before the end of the summer.

Why are you collecting demographic data from applicants? Who has access to this data?

FAI values diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. In order to address these strategic priorities and ensure representation in all we do, we securely track demographic data through every application process so that we can accurately monitor and report on results rather than make assumptions.


To meet these goals for grant allocations, we have processes in place to ensure equitable distribution. In order to do so, we request the following demographic information. You are free to choose “I prefer not to answer”; however, FAI will factor in all of the other responses in any instance where strategic priority is being considered.


This information is strictly confidential, is not shared, and is not sharable. FAI is committed to accountable reporting of demographic allocations for all programs, including grant results. Reported demographic information is always aggregate, and is never linked to an individual, applicant, or recipient.

If I’m awarded a grant, will my name be made public?

FAI will keep all of the names anonymous unless a recipient indicates that they are willing to share their story.

What can I use the funding for?

There are no restrictions for how the grant can be used.