More funding opportunities for Northern Ireland musical artists

Derry band The Wood Burning Savages have previously received help from the organisation
Derry band The Wood Burning Savages have previously received help from the organisation

Help Musicians is set to increase its investment in musicians’ careers as the charity launches its new Help Musicians Develop funds with a focus on Northern Ireland.

The Fusion Fund, commencing in NI, and the UK-wide Transmission Fund will offer NI-based musicians the opportunity to gain funding and assistance in career development, across disciplinary, collaborative, and research and development projects.

The Help Musicians Develop funds will see a £270,000 investment over the next 18 months across the UK and will allow artists to take stock professionally and creatively through two distinct strands: the Fusion Fund, £2,000 – £5,000 to support UK-based cross disciplinary, collaborative and research and development projects; and the Transmission Fund, £500 – £1,500, to support formal and time-limited training and mentoring in both the UK and internationally.

The Fusion Fund is designed to give musicians the chance to develop and test new work, ideas or potential career directions through inspiring periods of collaboration. With music at the centre, projects will work across sectors, art forms and disciplines. Each round of the Fusion Fund will have a regional focus, the inaugural round opened in Northern Ireland on August 1, 2017 and closes on September 11.

The Transmission Fund, similar to the charity’s previous Career Development Bursary scheme, will continue to fund high-quality development opportunities at crucial points. There will be seven rounds open to professional musicians across the UK over the next 12 months. The first round closes on September 1.

Both funds are open to professional and emerging professional musicians aged over the age of 21. The previous upper age limit of 35 has been removed—acknowledging that development continues throughout a musician’s life time.

Help Musicians Northern Ireland was launched in November 2016 to support musicians across the country. Since opening its Belfast office, HMNI has launched schemes to support, sustain and grow the music infrastructure in Northern Ireland. One programme run by the organisation, 3:3 Three Bands in Three Years, has already supported a selection of key emerging talent in Northern Ireland, including ROE, The Wood Burning Savages, and Sam Wicks.

Keith Millar, Northern Ireland development manager said: “Help Musicians once again affirms its commitment to the Northern Ireland music sector, with the launch of the Help Musicians Develop fund.

“To those musicians eager to apply, the funding offers tremendous opportunity for continued artistic and career development both through training and mentoring, and crucially through partnership and collaboration with Northern Irish artists and art forms outside of the musical sphere.”

Claire Gevaux, creative programme director added: “It is vitally important that we support and empower musicians to have long lasting careers in the industry.

“Through both of these funding streams we hope to see many more success stories for musicians in all genres.”

More information is available at www.helpmusicians.org.uk/.