PRS Foundation announces that the third round of the Sustaining Creativity Fund will focus on supporting Black music creators affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Set up from Spotify’s COVID-19 Music Relief Fund and generous donations from music fans and the music industry, the Sustaining Creativity Fund is designed for music creators experiencing hardship from loss of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, helping exciting talent to do what they do best and using a new model to support music making, however that looks. This targeted round of funding recognises the Black music community is disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, that the economic impact of the pandemic will hit minorities hardest, and the concern that outstanding Black talent has been less able to access hardship funding over recent months.
UK-based Black music creators working in any genre and at any career level whose music careers have been impacted by COVID-19 can apply to our open call. For this deadline, PRS Foundation is partnering with six Black-led music organisations:
• GIRLS I RATE
• Jazz re:freshed
• MOBO Trust
• No Signal
• Saffron Records
• Tomorrow’s Warriors
These organisations are on the frontline of talent development in the UK and a number of grants will be ringfenced for music creators who have been through their programmes (or in the case of No Signal found out about the fund through their platforms). Their expertise and extensive networks will ensure this support can reach Black music creators who will benefit from this vital support at this unprecedented time.
Grants of £750 are available to each grantee to enable the creation of exceptional new music by spending time writing, recording, collaborating, innovating or making creative plans. Additionally, a £250 top-up amount is available for applicants with access needs.
Black music creators can apply from 16th July 2020 via PRS Foundation’s website, where there is further guidance on applying. The deadline for applications to be submitted by is 10th August 2020 at 6pm.
The Sustaining Creativity Fund sits between the immediate hardship funding available from numerous organisations including PRS for Music, and open and accessible programmes offered by PRS Foundation.
Conversations following the Black Lives Matter movement and the industry’s show of solidarity on Black Out Tuesday highlight the many barriers to career progression – including structural and systemic racism in music, everyday prejudice and injustice, underrepresentation, marginalisation and financial inequity.
This new focus on Black music creators for the third round of the Sustaining Creativity Fund is one of the many immediate and sustained actions the organisation is taking. Read about PRS Foundation’s commitments and why we’re running this targeted action here.
Joe Frankland, CEO of PRS Foundation says “We’re excited to bring this urgently needed focus to our Sustaining Creativity Fund. At PRS Foundation we have a strong track-record for inclusivity and diversity and are well placed to push for positive change in collaboration with the wider industry. We’re delighted that in this open call process we will be ringfencing grant support to those working with our six incredible partners.
PRS Foundation has spent time with the team, Trustees and partners and colleagues in the Black music community to recognise where improvements have to be made in the organisation and what tangible actions we can take in the short, medium and long term to revamp structural operations and decisions to support and stand in solidarity with Black music creators and to practice and champion anti-racism. The focus on the Sustaining Creativity Fund is one of many actions we’ll be taking and rolling out.”
Carla Marie Williams, Founder of GIRLS I RATE said, “GIRLS I RATE has been supported by PRS Foundation since 2017 and we are truly delighted they are supporting our new initiative #GIRBLK, and giving this opportunity to partner on this grant. These young women will benefit so much from this and am looking forward to what we will do together in the future.”
Yvette Griffith, Executive Director of Jazz re:freshed said, “Partnering with PRS Foundation for this round of the Sustaining Creativity fund in order to reach a wider Black demographic and disburse funds more representationally, is a small but very positive step in redressing the funding imbalance to Black artists.”
Kanya King, CEO and Founder of MOBO said, “We are pleased to work with PRS foundation to provide some support to black music talent who have been less able to access funding over recent months. It is important for us to use our extensive networks to ensure support can reach black music creators who will benefit from this vital support in these challenging times.”
Laura Lewis-Paul, Creative Director and Founder of Saffron Records said, “It is really important for Saffron to see the work being put in to support Black and Brown companies and artists and are happy to stand beside PRS Foundation to support their targeted round of Sustaining Creativity Fund.”
Janine Irons, Co-Founder and CEO, Tomorrow’s Warriors said, “Tomorrow’s Warriors are very pleased to partner with PRS Foundation on its new Sustaining Creativity Fund and contribute our nearly 30 years of expertise in reaching and supporting the creative careers of young black musicians and continue to redress the imbalance among underserved and underrepresented communities of talent.”
The Sustaining Creativity Fund was set up in March as part of Spotify’s COVID-19 Music Relief Project. Every pound raised by PRS Foundation will be matched by Spotify until they have given out $10million worldwide to selected organisations supporting music creators affected by the pandemic.
In addition, PRS Foundation is calling for more music industry professionals from the Black music community that would like to be part of PRS Foundation’s Advisor Network to get in touch.