Passim Announces 2015 Iguana Music Fund Grantees

25 grants totaling over $40,000 awarded to musicians to enhance careers and support community outreach projects

Cambridge, MA, December 22, 2015  - Passim announced today the recipients of the 2015 Iguana Music Grants awarded annually to musicians in an effort to enhance their careers or aid their community outreach efforts. Marking the Cambridge organization’s 8th year of grant making, over $40,000 has been awarded to help fund 25 different musicians and their projects.
The Iguana Music Fund was launched in 2008 after an anonymous donor approached Passim with the idea to start a program to help local artists and annually provides grants from $500 to $2,000 to musicians with a New England connection. Grants are made in the areas of recording or manufacturing assistance; publicity & marketing support; equipment & instruments; songwriting retreats; tour support; special projects and other specific activities promoting artistic and/or professional growth. 
“We had a very strong pool of submissions for the Iguana Music Fund grants this year,” said Jon Dorn, Outreach Coordinator at Passim.  “With a large number of first time applicants and new recipients this year, we are funding a number of exciting and different types of projects.”
The 2015 Iguana Music Fund grant recipients are:
Many of the grants are being used by the recipients for career development.  Honeysuckle, Laurence Scudder, Scottish Fish, Katie McNally, Dietrich Straus, Laney Jones and the Spirits, Lindsay Straw, Mike Block, Scottish Fish, The Stash Wyslouch String Band and Yang Yu Chen will use the grant to fund new recordings. Gretchen and the Pickpockets will be producing a video for one of their songs. Allison de Groot will use her grant to buy a new banjo. Hayley Thompson-King will use her grant to support a tour while Chandler Travis will use his grant to work on a new musical.
Several grants will be used for community programs including Changing Keys, an organization based in Providence that connected unused pianos with kids in at-risk communities. Charan Devereaux will present a series of concerts by Union Square arts and bands as part of the “Union Square at Work” exhibit at the Somerville Museum.  The Busted Jug Band will use their grant to fund a series of weekly performances at area nursing facilities.  Laura Brereton will use her grant to fund The Kid’s Open Mic, providing young performers the opportunity to play at a real music venue for the first time.
Hanneke Cassel will provide scholarships to the “Pure Dead Brilliant” Scottish Fiddle Weekend camp/retreat. Flynn Cohen will be joining with other top professional acoustic guitarists to create “Deadstring Trad Guitar Immersion,” an all-day music retreat in Brattleboro, VT, Fabio Pirozzolo will create instructional videos about Southern Italian tambourines. 
Anna Roberts-Gevalt will use her grant to visit New England archives to learn ballads and trace their origins, and then create new recordings. Jeffrey Gaskell will use his grant for his roots based compilation “Shaker Music – The Gift of the Song,” which will feature New England Shaker music by popular artists.
In addition to the 23 grants, Passim’s Iguana Music Fund will support two multi-year “Baby Iguana” grants that have previously been awarded to support the Sub Rosa Retreat, a program that brings together a group of artists for a week each summer to write and collaborate in a secluded setting on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire and Miles of Music Camp, a week-long retreat exploring traditional folk music, modern songwriting and how they work together. 
“Passim has always had a unique relationship with not only the audiences in our community but the musicians in our community,” said Jim Wooster, Executive Director of Passim. “The Iguana Music Fund grants allow us to help musicians complete important career-developing projects and community programs. “  
A concert featuring recipients of the 2015 Iguana Music Fund grants will take place at Club Passim on March 14th at 7:00pm.