As a musician, making music is what you live for and all you want to do is perform and promote what you have been working so hard on. You need some funding to actually get your music out there and how do you source that money for that all important studio hire? What resources are out there so you can develop as musicians? Music funding is essential and in this article we will show you how to find the best associations to get your music heard by as many people as possible.
Music really does have the power to change people and that is all you want as a musician. So let us show you where you can find the support to build on and elevate your career. Below is a list of funding bodies that you can reach out in both the UK and the US. I will also include those that champion funding for young musicians.
What Is A Funding Body?
They are associations that will provide financial support to artists, whether that be for you to study music at university, help your band to create music and then promote & market it on the international music stage. They are such worthwhile platforms that are available to any creatives who need that extra assistance to further progress in their career. You have to apply for a grant and then once it is paid to you, the artist, you are in control of what you can spend it on. For example, touring, recording music, music videos, marketing. But the main reason these funding bodies exist is to help generate activity in the industry they are choosing to support.
Funding Bodies Available In UK
There are a number of government grants for musicians that you can apply for here in the UK and these are fairly well known and have secured a good reputation amongst artists.
Arts Council England (ACE)
So in terms of arts council funding for musicians, you can get in touch with the ACE to apply for a grant to help you make music. They are known to award grants to people who will enrich the lives of others, and you as musicians definitely count! The important thing to remember about grants is that they do not need to be paid back, unlike loans.
There are lottery funded opportunities for those who are part of the arts industry and they also offer development for those who are emerging artists in terms of cultivating new links between artists and those within the industry. They are an invaluable source of support for musicians such as yourselves.
The Musician’s Union also offers guidance to those applying for grants, taking you every step of the way. They will essentially look over your application before you submit to ensure everything is in order.
The PRS Foundation is one of the leading UK funders for musicians and talent. It champions funding for artists in the UK and it helps new talent be seen. Since 2000, when it was established it has funded more than £14 million in grants and gone on to fund artists such as Arlo Parks, Wolf Alice, Years & Years and Sa, Fender to name just a few. It is important to add that 8 out of the 12 Mercury Prize 2021 nominees received grants from the PRS Foundation and many of the artists which they have helped have gone on to be BRITS, RPS, AIM and Ivors Award-winners. They truly are champions when it comes to grants for musicians in the UK.
They offer open grants schemes that are available 4 times a year to all musicians and organizations. These include; Open Funding, Momentum Funding, International Showcase Fund, Women Make Music, Bliss Trust Composer Bursaries. These all range from aiding emerging talent, giving grants of £5-15k to those who need to make the next step in their career, talent performing to a larger audience across the UK, giving women the opportunity to create music and also partnering with the Bliss Trust to enable new composers to be seen and heard around the UK.
The PPL Momentum Fund is open now for applications, so make sure that you apply before the 26th of October!! With grants between £5-15k for UK based artists, why wouldn’t you apply?!
London Music Fund
Established in 2011, and with the Lord Mayor as its patron, this funding body has made waves in the music industry as one of the leading youth music funding associations in the UK. It received the ‘Outstanding Musical Initiative’ at the 2021 Music & Drama Education Awards, since its mission is to give opportunities to children who may not have usually had access to high-quality music education. This initiative has been a roaring success as it provides children who have a real talent with music engagements that can change their lives forever. Their potential is really tapped into if you will and since 2011, they have invested over £3.5 million in music education. So if you are a young artist searching for support, then this association will be the one for you. In terms of funding for musicians in the UK, certainly when it comes to young musicians, they have a significant track record.
Youth Music Network
A further example of youth music funding is the Youth Music Network who have different types of funds to enable young people working in the music industry to take the next steps in their career. For example, they offer the following funds; Incubator Fund, the NextGen Fun, and the new Trailblazer Fund and Catalyser Fund and they give advice on which is the best one for you to apply for. You can even apply for an Access Fund if you are disbaled and need more support, which covers any additional cost you would have to make when applying for a young person’s grant on the Youth Music’s website.
The Incubator Fund offers grants of £5,000 to £30,000 for businesses, collectives, and not-for-profits working in the music industries.
The Trailblazer Fund offers grants of between £2,000 to £30,000 for organizations that support children and young people facing barriers to make, learn and earn in music.
The Catalyser Fund offers grants of between £30,001 and £300,000 for established organizations that support children and young people to make, learn and earn in music.
The Youth Music NextGen Fund offers young creatives (aged 18 – 25, or 18 – 30 if they identify as Disabled) grants of up to £2,500.
All in all, this funding body does a lot for the music industry, so it would be a good idea to check out the individual grants in more detail if this is what you are looking for.
Funding Bodies Available In US
There are plenty of foundations that you can approach in terms of funding for artists in the US. Here are just a few to get you started.
New Music USA
Their goal is to help develop individual artists and organizations within the music industry, and essentially make funding for musicians in the US a much easier process. It is hard enough to be a creative, so what is better than having someone there in your corner? Some of the projects that they are involved in are the ‘Next Jazz Legacy’ which supports women and non-binary jazz artists with the help of an apprenticeship program. Underrepresented artists are given the opportunity to create something really special under this program.
The Alice M. Ditson Fund
The mission for this particular fund gives a voice to those contemporary American classical concert musicians who are underrepresented, especially those who are younger composers. Ever since the foundation was established in 1940, it has awarded over 2,000 grants for musicians in the US for recording projects.
New York Foundation for the Arts
This foundation empowers and enables artists to create music whatever the level of their talent. There are unlimited $7,000 scholarships that are given to artists so they can evolve in their chosen industry and hone their craft. They are awarded in fifteen different disciplines over a three-year period and it is free to apply. It is supposed to fund the artists’ vision.
Tennessee Arts Commission
The scope of the opportunities in the Tennessee area are wide-ranging within this organization. It provides funding for not just creative individuals, but also other projects and education, and much more. There is a grant called the Individual Artist Fellowship and it awards $5,000 to professional artists from all backgrounds and musicians, including composers. The only criteria they ask for is that you are making a living from your music already before applying for this fellowship.
How to Create A Funding Application
Now you know the associations you can approach both in the UK and in the US, you need to understand how to send an application to secure your funding.
- Be able to provide financial evidence
- Give yourself enough time to apply
- Proofread the application before sending it off
- Only send information that is asked of you
- Be honey in terms of future budget and forecasts
So even if the process may be long, it is possible to secure funding as a musician. Make sure you approach the associations that I have mentioned above and this will put you in good stead for taking the next step in your career as an artist. Support is and will always be there and these funding organizations want you to succeed and see you thrive as a musician in this industry. Remember that.
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