Fund Your Music With Artist Grants
Lack of finances can often leave artists frustrated and disappointed. Especially when they’re key for a future project - an EP release, a tour, or a recording session. However, it’s not all gloom and doom, while there are quite a few options to getting a project funded, one which is often overlooked can often be straight to the point - applying for funding directly via a charity or funding organisation.
Funds For Musicians
The main providers for project funding for musicians are the PRS for Music Foundation and the various United Kingdom arts councils - Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
The great thing about the UK’s arts councils is that they are open to a very broad range of projects from production, research & development, marketing training, touring and many more. They also have general funding schemes which are open to everyone, regardless of race, age, background or gender. If you have been looking at grants already you will have seen that it can be quite tricky to find generic & open funding for all projects.
Some of the key open-for-all Arts Council grants can be found below.
Arts Council England - Grants for the Arts
Arts Council Wales - Arts grants for creative individuals
Creative Scotland - Open Funding
The various Arts Councils for the UK are certainly worth checking out as they assist with a variety of projects, especially if your project is a niche one they could prove useful.
As for The PRS for Music Foundation, they are another solid option for musical artists. Similarly to the Arts Councils they offer a range of funds for music creators and organisations alike. Their Open Fund is a good option for general projects looking for funding, as is their Momentum Music Fund - set up to help artists break through to the next stage of their career offering £5,000-£15,000 to do this. This fund has been set up to help support commercially viable music (Lapsley being a previous recipient), covering recording costs, touring costs, costs of marketing and so on. More info on what the fund can help you with can be found here
The Momentum Fund is a great option for funding for artists who are looking for a much-needed injection of funds for their big push to creating new music.
Back Up Plans
If neither of these options suit your taste, or aren’t quite what you’re looking for - or potentially haven’t worked out for you the important thing is to remember to keep on searching and looking for a suitable grant. As they say, don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched, and don’t rest all your ambitions and hopes on a single grant.
A good artist should have different ideas for bringing in extra funding. And if all else fails, crowdfunding is a viable option if done properly.
On top of this it’s also helpful to look at a few other funding/grants including the following:
Help Musicians has a great search system on their website providing numerous different grants and funding options. It’s as simple as inputting your search parameters and seeing what existing funding is available to you. The search takes into consideration the kind of music you make and the type of creator you are. The Arts Council UK also has a similar webpage designed to help creatives connect with the right trusts & foundations and offers a great amount of useful websites with funding resources or lists for alternate funding organisations.
If applying for funding, it’s worth sifting through The Arts Council’s online database to get as much knowledge as you can before making an approach for any type of funding. You won’t want to waste your time by applying for the wrong thing so it’s useful to get the research in before making an application.
Before You Apply
Funding is often very competitive, with limited budgets allocated to specific projects. It’s always best to read the guidelines to make sure you match the eligibility of each project - the eligibility requirements are usually very strict and if you don’t match all the criteria your application will most likely be rejected regardless of anything else. Here are a few tips on funding applications. The most important piece of advice would be to be as thorough as you can, make sure you are genuinely interested in the whole process from start to finish and that you can account for every amount of money you budget for.
If someone is going to give you £1,000 or £100,000 make sure you give them a reason to do so, lay it out clearly for the board’s consideration and be concise with your wording, no amount of complex vocabulary will win you a grant, these guys look for substance and you're going to have to be upfront and honest about what your plans are if you hope to receive a grant.
It may seem like a scary process, but if tackled with the right mindset you can add what is often much-needed funding to your project and reap the benefits of having financial backing to grow yourself as a musician, songwriter or artist.
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