Friday, July 12, 2024

Noble Dust at Club Passim on April 11, 2017. (Photo: Club Passim via Facebook)

Noble Dust, a Boston-based band, has received the inaugural Gecko Fund grant from the Cambridge music nonprofit Passim, joining the news of the $41,350 granted this year to 23 artists through its Iguana Music Fund.

The Gecko Fund, a $5,000 grant to one artist annually, aims to support musicians early in their careers, according to Passim.

The band took to Instagram to announce the news of the grant and said they were “honored and excited.”

“This grant supports narrative works in the New England music community, and we’re so floored and grateful that our project to release our latest album ‘A Picture for a Frame’ on vinyl was chosen,” the Instagram post said.

Gecko is funded by Steven and Cindy Chao in honor of Steven Chao’s late sister, Caroline Chao. “Caroline was passionate about musical theater, worked extensively as a lighting designer on Broadway and at the Santa Fe Opera, and passed away in 2019 from an aggressive cancer,” according to a Monday press release.

Passim, which has a mission to support the performing arts, said the year’s roughly two dozen Iguana Music Fund winners were selected out of 140 applications – and that it has granted more than $594,000 since the fund launched. 

“Over the last 16 years of the Iguana Music Fund, Passim has been fostering local artist development and giving musicians a leg up in their careers,” said Abby Altman, club manager at Passim. “This year we continue to broaden our support of the community by introducing the Gecko Fund. We continue to reach new facets of the New England music scene, funding projects this year from Americana and bluegrass to hip-hop and R&B.”

Iguana grant recipients Abby Lokelani, Adeline Um, Almira Ara, Chrysalis, Elias Cardoso, Hannah O’Brien & Grant Flick, Lila Wilde, Maddie Lam, Model Peril, Naomi Westwater, Nicolás Emden, Paul Willis, Spirit 47 and Terry Borderline will use the funds for recording projects. The Rough & Tumble, Simon Robert French and Ryan Curless are putting the grant toward new equipment.

Live performances are also being supported by the Iguana grants.

In one, “Circus 617, a collective dedicated to highlighting Boston-based professional circus artists, will partner with Opera on Tap to make a production that brings together opera singers and contemporary circus artists,” the press release said. Five opera singers and five circus artists will work in pairs to create circus choreography and musical arrangements for selected works.

Somerville’s Mint Green is using the grant to underwrite a tour called “All Girls Go to Heaven” that celebrates the release of a debut album. “With their incredible support, so many of us Boston-area creatives will be able to continue making art and investing in future projects. we’re so thankful that programs like this exist,” the band said in an Instagram post.

The Medford Trad Jazz Festival will hold its second event, two days of jazz blues bands from New England at the city’s Condon Shell.

The Opening Doors Project, founded by Alastair Moock and Stacey Babb, will continue its concert and conversation series by putting on a free public concert and community conversation around diversity, equity and inclusion.

Passim is hosting a showcase for the two grant programs at 7 p.m. May 13 at Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square, Cambridge.