The Salt Lick Incubator is a nonprofit organization that supports emerging musicians on their path to sustainable careers. Our project grants range from $5,000 to $15,000 and are awarded to musicians performing in songful, contemporary genres to use for projects such as producing a song or album, producing a music video, developing social media assets, pressing vinyl records, or developing branding and marketing strategies. All grants are accompanied by a plan developed with each recipient to ensure the artist’s activities are both strategic and successful.


To be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a U.S. citizen, eligible to work in the United States, or hold a student visa not expiring within six months 
  • Be individuals or small groups (i.e., duos, trios, bands)
  • Be an emerging artist actively involved in contemporary music-making
  • Must not be considered an established artist, as indicated by having signed a major label or publishing deal, or having achieved a reasonable level of artistic and commercial success
  • Must not have received a grant from the Salt Lick Incubator within the past 12 months

Evaluation Criteria

Applications are reviewed by The Salt Lick Incubator’s employees, members of its Board of Directors, members of its Artist Advisory Board, and other industry professionals when deemed appropriate. Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Strength and quality of the applicant’s artistic output and vision
  • Alignment with the Salt Lick Incubator’s vision and mission
  • Financial or other demonstrated need
  • Feasibility of the proposed project and budget
  • Salt Lick Incubator’s ability to guide and support the proposed project
  • Accuracy and completeness of the application
  • Willingness to participate in program supports and engage with other Salt Lick-supported artists

Successful Applicants

A successful applicant is an emerging artist pursuing a career in music who performs at a high level, has a distinct artistic voice and vision, is respected by their peers, and who has submitted a feasible project proposal that aligns with Salt Lick’s vision, mission, and strengths. A willingness to engage and collaborate with the broader musical community is encouraged.


The application deadline for the current grant cycle is November 30, 2022 (midnight, ET). Awards will be announced by January 10, 2023.

In 2023, rounds are as follows:

  • Applications open February 1, 2023 and close April 14, 2023. Awards announced mid-May, 2023 
  • Applications open June 1, 2023 and close August 16, 2023. Awards announced mid-September. 2023
  • Applications open October 1, 2023 and close November 23, 2023. Awards announced by mid-January, 2024

What if I’m not Awarded a Grant?

With an award rate at or below 2%, a number of qualified candidates will not receive awards in a given cycle. Applicants who meet eligibility requirements are encouraged to reapply as often as desired.


No person on the basis of race, color, national origin or ancestry, native language, disability, age, religion (creed), gender or gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic status, or military status shall be excluded from participation in, or be denied benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination of services, programs and employment provided by the Salt Lick Incubator.


Salt Lick Incubator