International Alliance for Women in Music

Women Who Innovate Grant Winner

This grant is to award a female-identifying artist who is creating new work, seeking collaborative opportunities, taking risks, and pushing the boundaries in their musical realm.

IAWM Women Who Innovate Grant Winner


IAWM is excited to announce the inaugural recipient of the Women Who Innovate grant! The International Alliance for Women in Music has awarded distinguished pianist Donna Weng Friedman $1000 to support her short film “Never Fade Away.”

Congratulations Donna!

We would like to thank our judges Dr. Hannah Leffler – UTA Arlington, Kristin Wolski – University of North Texas, and Jennifer Betzer, Urban Youth Harp Ensemble for providing insightful feedback to all participants.

The Artist

Award winning pianist Donna Weng Friedman enjoys a distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, curator, producer and app developer.

In collaboration with WQXR, Donna created and produced Heritage and Harmony, a virtual concert series in celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month.  She is the co-creator/co-host of HER/MUSIC;HER/STORY on WQXR, shining a light on the stories and music of women composers.

Her album Heritage and Harmony: Silver Linings, featuring exclusively AAPI/BIPOC artists, aims to promote understanding and tolerance among people of all backgrounds.

Donna was awarded a 2022 New York Women Composer’s grant.

Donna launched Heritage and Harmony: Her Art, Her Voice, an education program for the National Women’s History Museum featuring leading female BIPOC role models in the arts who share their stories of heritage, to inspire future generations of groundbreaking young women.

The Project

“Never Fade Away”

In March, 2020, when reports of the coronavirus were first circulating in the U.S., I was assaulted for being Asian. I was terrified- no physical scars, but I stayed home for the next 7 months, too afraid to walk outside.

As the number of hate crimes against Asian Americans continued to rise, I needed to do something in my own small way to support my community- and that’s when I created Heritage and Harmony- to promote understanding and tolerance between people of different ethnicities.

I am currently working on a short film called Never Fade Away. Told through music and dance, it is my parents’ immigrant story, about how a radio and a waltz changed their lives, and ultimately mine as well. My hope is to bring people of all backgrounds together by sharing stories of heritage through music and dance.