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The Florence Nelson Leadership in Music Grant

The Chicago Flute Club is proud to launch the Florence Nelson Leadership in Music grant in January 2025. This grant will honor Florence Nelson’s illustrious career as a performing artist in New York City and salute her for the inspirational work she dedicated to encouraging women in arts administration. From her early years as a professional flutist, she focused on increasing gender diversity within union governance.

Florence Nelson's leadership skills encouraged officers in the American Federation of Musicians to promote her to Director of Symphonic Services, responsible for all aspects of the symphony, opera, and ballet organizations in the US and Canada. During her time in AMF, Nelson developed mentoring programs to encourage women to take leadership positions in an industry historically resistant to female pioneers. Her groundbreaking role as the first woman elected to a national office in the American Federation of Musicians highlighted her trailblazing spirit.

Florence Nelson holds honorary officer titles in the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians and was named Secretary-Treasurer Emerita of the American Federation of Musicians upon her retirement. She looks forward to mentoring potential leaders who want to advance the music field by providing structure and wisdom necessary to inspire others to lead. 

Grant Award

The CFC will award $2,000 biennially to one flutist to support a project proposal of their choosing. 


The grant application will open on January 1st with a submission deadline of February 1st. The grant will be awarded for the first time in April 2025. Subsequently, it will be awarded biennially in April of odd-numbered years (2027, 2029, etc. )

Purpose and Criteria 

This biennial project-based grant provides financial assistance to flutists pursuing careers in music including performance, teaching, music business, and arts administration. Special consideration will be given to applicants interested in leadership positions, musician unions, and entrepreneurship. Preference will be given to proposals that demonstrate a record of success in at least two of these fundamental principles: Leadership, Performance, and Advocacy.

Fundamental Principles: 

Leadership: the recipient has a record of engaged leadership in the music field.  

Performance: the recipient has demonstrated performance experience at the national and international level. 

Advocacy: the recipient demonstrates tangible contributions to a cause related to the music field.


  • There is no age limit for this grant. 

  • Applicants must have CFC Membership at the time of application. 

  • Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree in music with flute as their major instrument. 

  • Applicants must live and work in the US. They may hold American citizenship or otherwise permanent residency.

Application Requirements

To apply for the Florence Nelson Grant please provide the following documents: 

  • Application form: basic information to identify the applicant and project.

  • A narrative statement (maximum of two (2) double-spaced pages) that includes the following:

    1. Objectives and significance of the proposed project.
    2. Description of how the project relates to the fundamental principles outlined for this grant (Leadership, Performance, and Advocacy).
    3. The short and long-term benefits of the project.
    4. A timetable of deliverables.
    5. A detailed budget and explanation of how the funds will be used.
  • A resume stating the applicant’s full legal name, date and place of birth, current residence address, email, education, and professional experience.

  • A video featuring the applicant’s personal explanation of the project and its significance. We recommend that the video length be between 3-5 minutes. The video must be an Unlisted YouTube link and titled with the last and first names of the candidate followed by FNGRANT. For instance, Underwood_Susan_FNGRANT.

Selection Criteria

  • Applicants must not have previously received this award.

Application opens on January 1st, 2025.

Questions regarding the Florence Nelson Leadership in Music Grant may be sent to Lizzy O'Brien at

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The Chicago Flute Club is  a 501(c)3

P.O. Box 31021

Chicago, IL  60631

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