Passim Awards 2022 Iguana Music Fund Grants

22 grants totaling $39,850 awarded to New England based musicians and music organizations to enhance their careers and support community outreach projects

(Cambridge, MA) Passim has awarded $38,850 to 22 musicians through its Iguana Music Fund. The Iguana Music Fund provides these grants annually to musicians for career building projects and for projects that provide community service through music. Established in 2008 after an anonymous donor approached Passim with the idea to start a program to support local artists’ career growth, the fund provides grants from $500 to $2,000 for musicians with a strong New England connection. Several of the recipients will perform at Club Passim during the Iguana Music Fund Showcase on April 10, 2023 at 7:00 PM. 

Grants are allocated in the areas of recording or manufacturing assistance, publicity and marketing support, equipment and instruments, songwriting retreats, tour support, special projects and other specific activities that promote artists work and/or professional growth. Over the past decade, Passim has awarded more than $553,000 in grants, funding more than 325 projects. This year, Passim received more than 170 applications from across New England.

“We have been overwhelmed by the interest this year for Iguana Music Fund grants. 63% of the applicants had never applied before, and we had a very young turnout with 36% of all applicants under 30,” said Abby Altman, Club Manager at Passim. “We have a lot of our usual folk & singer-songwriter recipients, but we also funded projects for opera, salsa, and hip-hop. This year’s recipients are a great representation of the eclectic music scene across New England.”

Through the grants, the Iguana Music Fund will help more than a dozen artists further their careers. Cliff Notez, Anju, Culomba, Matthew Lau, Kim Moberg, Zayra Pola, Maura Shawn Scanlin, Maurizio Fiore Salas, and Carmen Marsico & Zafarán will all use the grant money to release new music while Kara McKee is set to put out her first solo EP. Pamela Means, Matt Heaton, Sophie Wellington, and Zakiyyah will all purchase new equipment for their performances.

Several of this year’s Iguana Music Fund recipients will put on unique live music performances in their communities. The Opening Doors Project, founded by Alastair Moock and Stacey Babb, will hold a series of live performances dedicated to amplifying voices of color and advancing conversations about race. Angela Yam is putting on a fully-staged choral opera with Emily Dickinson’s poetry set to music by 5 singer-composers and performed by Nightingale Vocal Ensemble. Finally, Ash & Eric are looking to hold a series of free concerts in Worcester. 

Carolyn Kendrick and Isa Burke are hoping to hold a four-day workshop for five female and non-binary musician/producers in Maine to learn audio production skills from fellow participants, mentors, and peers in their field. The purpose is to tackle the persistent problem of gender equity in the recording industry while providing a tangible educational experience to implement in their own professional lives. Lisa Bastoni will hold a three-day songwriting retreat for women and non-binary people, with preference for mothers and caregivers.

The After School Arts Program, which provides high quality education and a career pathway in the creative industries for impacted youth who live in under-resourced Boston communities, will use the grant to hire a producer to help the students complete their first recording. 

Passim’s Iguana Music Fund continues to support multi-year “Baby Iguana” grants for  the Miles of Music Camp and the Sub Rosa Songwriting Retreat.

Several of the Iguana Music Fund recipients will be on hand on April 10, 2023 at 7:00 PM at Club Passim for the Iguana Music Fund Showcase. The event is free and open to the public with donations going to the Iguana Music Fund.

About Passim

The mission of Passim is to provide truly exceptional and interactive live musical experiences for both performers and audiences, to nurture artists at all stages of their career, and to build a vibrant music community. We do so through our legendary listening venue, music school, artist grants and outreach programs. As a nonprofit since 1994, Passim carries on the heritage of our predecessors-the historic Club 47 (1958—1968) and for-profit Passim (1969—1994). We cultivate a diverse mix of musical traditions, where the emphasis is on the relationship between performers and audience and teachers and students. Located in Harvard Square, Passim serves Cambridge and the broader region by featuring local, national and international artists. Our ultimate goal is to help the performance arts flourish and thereby enrich the lives of members of our community.

For a complete schedule, visit