Passim Announces 2016 Iguana Music Fund Grantees

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

Cambridge, MA, December 19, 2016 - Passim announced today that over $40,000 has been awarded to 25 different musicians by the Iguana Music Fund. The grants are awarded annually to musicians for projects that enhance their careers or aid their community outreach efforts. Marking the Cambridge organization’s 9th year of grant making, Passim has awarded over $300,000 in grants to date.


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.



The 2016 Iguana Music Fund grant recipients are:

A2Z Talent
Ariel Bernstein
Aurora Birch
Awaaz Do
Boston Scottish Fiddle Club
Celia Woodsmith
Emma June
GennaRose Nethercott
Greg Liszt
Hindie Rock Fest
John Faraone
Julia Mark
Lauren Parks
Lyle Brewer
Miriam Elhajli
Nat Seelen
Putnam Smith & Ashley Storrow
San Lorenzo
Seamus Galligan
Shannon Heaton
Sorcha Cribben-Merrill

Renewed multi-year 'Baby Iguana' grants for: Miles of Music Camp and the Sub Rosa Songwriting Retreat.


“Passim continues to provide live musical experiences for artists at all stages of their career,” 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.”

Many of the grants are being used by the recipients for career development. Aurora Birch, Awaaz Do, Celia Woodsmith, Emma June, GennaRose Nethercott, Greg Liszt, John Faraone, Julia Mark, Miriam Elhajli, San Lorenzo, Seamus Galligan, and Windborne will use the grant to fund new recordings. Lyle Brewer will be using his grant to purchase a new guitar and Shannon Heaton will be using her grant to purchase a new flute. A2Z Talent, Ariel Bernstein and Lauren Parks will be using their grants for new recording equipment.

Several grants will be used for community programs including Putnam Smith & Ashley Storrow who will use their grant to tour schools across the country to inspire youth to tell their own stories.

RISING, a nonprofit out of Rhode Island will use their grant to create an instrument scholarship for students who perform at nursing homes. Sorcha Cribben-Merrill will use her grant to perform in underfunded assisted living centers across the country.

Boston Scottish Fiddle Club plans to continue hosting Celtic workshops for young musicians. Nat Seelen will be creating an online and printed method book for Klezmer music. Hindie Rock Fest is a DIY, 100% volunteer run, organized and funded cultural festival and they will be putting their grant towards a venue.

In addition to the 23 grants, Passim’s Iguana Music Fund continues to support two multi-year “Baby Iguana” grants that have previously been awarded to the Sub Rosa Songwriting 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.

A free concert showcasing the work of the 2016 Iguana Music Fund grants recipients will take place at Club Passim on April 10 at 7:00pm. Club Passim is located in Harvard Square at 47 Palmer St., Cambridge, MA 02138. Free tickets to the Iguana Music Fund showcase at Club Passim are available online at, by phone at 617-492- 7679 (9:30am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday) or at the box office sixty minutes before the show begins.