A cornerstone of Opera Volunteers International’s mission is to encourage volunteers in the all aspects of opera support. The purpose of Opera Volunteer International’s Matching Grants program is to encourage the expansion and development of programs that recruit, develop, and train volunteers for service in their communities and for participation in all phases of opera company support. Application guidelines follow the listing of recent recipients.

2019 Grant Recipients

The ARIZONA OPERA GUILD of TUCSON received a matching grant from Opera Volunteers International in support of its project, Bravo Vino.  The project invited the general public to a day of celebrating opera while enjoying wine from Arizona vineyards, ordering food from food trucks and listening to live music with performances by AZ Opera singers. About 20 League members and seniors from the Gregory School and AZ staff volunteered to sell “Bravo Vino” T-shirts and manned information booths to provide information to the public about AZ Opera productions.

The CINCINNATI OPERA GUILD has received a matching grant from Opera Volunteers International in support of its project, the Cincinnati Guild Opera Ambassadors.  The Ambassador program is a training program for volunteers to establish a baseline of knowledge and expertise related to the programming, history and functioning of our company. The program will begin in spring of 2019 and will include, in addition to the training of volunteers, the development of a volunteer handbook and the writing of a history of the guild and the opera company.

The MUSKOKA OPERA FESTIVAL has received a matching grant from Opera Volunteers International in support of the Opera Muskoka Festival Tenth Anniversary Bursary Project.  In celebration of their 10thanniversary, the Muskoka Opera Festival is starting a new tradition by awarding $500 to a young singer at its Our Stars of Tomorrow concert. To guide the festival committee in the selection of the recipient of the award they will engage an expert from the Royal Conservatory in Toronto to share his/her expertise.

OPERA MAINE has received a matching grant from Opera Volunteers International in support of the Opera Maine 25thAnniversary Exhibition in the Lewis Gallery of the Portland Public Library. The exhibit will be designed and installed by an Opera Maine volunteer with assistance from other volunteers.  The exhibition will celebrate Opera Maine’s 25-year history of professional opera by displaying photographs, posters, and other materials relating to all of its productions, and presenting highlights from performances on video and audio.  One section will encourage visitors to discover “what is opera?”  The visitor will learn what is involved in creating an opera, including musical preparation, set design and development and the work of costume and lighting designers.  The exhibit will discuss the relevance of opera in our community today.

PEACH STATE OPERA has received a matching grant from Opera Volunteers International in support of its project Peach State Opera turns 10.  In its 10thanniversary year, Peach State Opera will undertake the redesign and printing of their brochures, restructuring and updating their website, creating an updated performance trailer video and organizing targeted email lists.  Volunteers will be recruited from Atlanta college campuses to work with experienced volunteers. Peach State will also seek the guidance and expertise of two design consultants.

TWIN CITIES OPERA GUILD has received a matching grant from Opera Volunteers International in support of their project Creating an Enhanced New Member Drive.  The project will create a new marketing brochure, enhance the website and better utilize social media and improve communication tools to attract more members.  The Guild plans to create a new committee of volunteers  to help with this new member drive, create a strategy for evaluating and expanding membership, establish procedures that will attract new opera fans, create a new brochure that will help make outreach better, promote membership through our newsletter, use social media to better tell our story.

CENTRAL CITY OPERA has received a matching grant from Opera Volunteers International for their project, Audience Development for New and Underserved Communities.The goal of the project is to identify and develop ways to market opera to young and underserved audiences in Colorado. They created three very successful innovative events and plan on building on this success by hiring an Associate Director of Audience Development to lead these projects. A team of eight volunteer young professionals will help identify ways to market opera to young audiences and make participation easier for them.  A college intern from a community underrepresented in the arts will work with this team.  Volunteers participating in this work will provide an important, unique perspective on audience development, as they themselves are potential opera audience members. This project will begin in the spring of 2019 and continue for six months.

Application Guidelines

Awards up to $2,000 are available only to Group Members of OVI. Recipients must match each grant award with funds which may be held currently in the organization’s treasury or raised as new money.

Grant requests up to $2,000 may be made for more than one project. Recipients of awards may not receive subsequent awards for similar projects. Matching Grants will be made only to Opera Volunteers International members.

The wide range of programs that have been awarded OVI grants have used many different techniques to train docents and volunteers for promotion, education, public relations, audience development, production, fundraising, and training.  Special consideration is given to programs directed toward and involving disadvantaged or under-served groups, multi-cultural communities, and/or those who have not been traditionally associated with opera.

Supporting Documents (must accompany application)


  • Include explanation of matching funds
  • Include projected costs for all aspects of the project
  • Do not include refreshment or transportation costs

Contact Persons

  • Group officers’ names, addresses, telephone numbers,  and e-mail addresses

Financial Statements

  • Copy of applicant’s most recent audited financial statement or IRS Form 990


  • February 1

APPLICATION MATERIALS:  Click here to download the 2020 Matching Grant Application form

For more information:

Mary Earl, OVI Grants Director
591 Ohio Avenue
Signal Mtn TN 37377

E-Mail: grants@operavolunteers.org
Phone: (423) 902-7447

—Matching Grant Recipient Archive—











2008 & Earlier