Arts Funders

Dallas Opera receives $500,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its Women’s Advancement Program

The Dallas Opera has announced it received, for a second consecutive time, a $500,000 matching grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of the company’s Hart Institute program.

According to the organization’s website, “The Linda and Mich Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera is designed to support the career aspirations and advancement of women conductors and administrators in the field of opera, while addressing the thorny problems resulting from ingrained gender inequality at the top of the profession.”

The next institute, named for Dallas philanthropists Linda and Mitch Hart, is scheduled to take place from October 28th through November 10, 2018, with participants (six institute fellows, plus four additional American observers) selected from a field of qualified applicants from countries around the world. The Dallas Opera states that there is no comparable in-depth program today for addressing the needs of talented young female conductors and administrators seeking to make their mark on the world’s top opera organizations.

“We are exceedingly proud of our involvement with the Institute for Women Conductors,” wrote Susan Feder, Program Officer, Arts and Cultural Heritage, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, “and I hope that the renewal of this grant will leverage other support to TDO’s twenty-year commitment.”

“The renewal of this generous grant is an extraordinary honor and a tremendous vote of confidence,” noted Incoming General Director and CEO Ian Derrer. “We are particularly proud of the Hart Institute for Women Conductors’ remarkable success stories in its initial years, as well as the program’s increasing impact for promoting these highly talented women.”

This three-year grant starts on July 1, 2018. The Dallas Opera will need to raise $500,000 to take advantage of the total matching funds available.

*Photo of the 2015 Inaugural Class of the Hart Institute. Courtesy of The Dallas Opera.


Founded in 1957, The Dallas Opera is an internationally-recognized innovator dedicated to the overall advancement of the operatic art form and the support of established and emerging artists, as well as the education and development of new opera audiences in North Texas—and beyond. These goals are achieved by commissioning and producing world-class opera; through ground-breaking institutes, national competitions and topical programs; and by presenting opera in both traditional and non-traditional formats and venues in order to attract patrons of every age, background, educational level, and ethnicity—while engaging with more than 87,000 people in the North Texas community each year. Find out more on the organization’s website. publishes every week.
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