Musical boost from Arts fund

PAF Music shot

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The BBC Performing Arts Fund is focussing on music this year with grants to two brand new schemes - Community Music and Music Fellowships.

The PAF uses money raised by voting lines to BBC talent search programmes to help develop new performing arts talent across the UK. This year phone voting for new BBC One Saturday night talent show The Voice will be part of the fund raising. Chief operating officer Caroline Thomson pronounced herself delighted, saying: 'The Voice will be supporting exciting new music talent as the Fund has been doing for many years.'

Up to £450,000 will be made available during the year, starting in May when the Community Music scheme launches offering grants of up to £5,000 to grassroots music groups. The money will help them train performers, attract new audiences, encourage new members and raise their community profile. Groups wishing to commission new music can apply for awards of up to £10,000.

The Music Fellowships scheme will open for applications in August and is designed to support individuals through the early stages of their music careers; helping them to establish themselves in the professional world through bespoke placements within existing music organisations.

Dorothy Wilson, chair of the BBC Performing Arts Fund said: 'Music has been part of the BBC Performing Arts Fund since it was formed out of Fame Academy. This year we will continue that support by investing in community groups such as choirs, bands and orchestras as well as nurturing new talent across the UK.'

The PAF was set up in 2003, initially called the Fame Academy Bursary Trust. In the ensuing years it has allocated nearly £3.8m to both individuals and community groups involved in the performing arts, as well as offering mentoring and advice to help them achieve their goals.

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