Music Fellowships - the scheme from a Trustee's perspective

Wednesday 1 August 2012, 11:47

Francesca Tortora Francesca Tortora

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August is now upon us (when did that happen?!) and in just under two weeks time our Music Fellowships scheme will be open for applications. Sally Stote (BBC PAF Trustee) is part of our Grant Giving Committee, which will be making the final decision as to which applications receive a grant once the scheme closes in October.

Sally Stote smiling


We asked her to tell us more about what's on offer:



Tell us about the Music Fellowships scheme
The Music Fellowships scheme is our opportunity to support talented individuals, or Fellows, in the early stages of their professional music careers. The Fellowship will help people to nurture and develop their creative skills through bespoke placements within existing organisations.

So what is PAF offering?
There are up to 20 grants of £10,000 available to organisations who are looking to take on a Fellow, to cover the costs of offering the opportunity. So whether it's to pay for training, the hiring of specific equipment or expenses, the grant is there to fund the Fellow's activities within the organisation.

And what types of organisations can apply?
A whole variety of organisations will be able to apply! Music charities, music festivals, venues, agencies, recording studios, record labels and professional performing groups like orchestras or choirs are all eligible. Music doesn't have to be the sole emphasis of the organisation, so long as the Fellowship's focus is music, they can still apply.

What is a Fellow?
A Fellow is an individual who is beginning to form a career within the music industry. They can be anything from musicians, composers or songwriters to producers, conductors or programmers and they can specialise in any form of music.

How should an organisation interested in the scheme find a suitable candidate?
There are two ways really. Firstly, an organisation may already have a few suitable candidates in mind, perhaps those whose work they have seen or heard elsewhere. However, a Fellow can't have had carried out any paid work with the organisation previously. Alternatively, an organisation can hold their own application process to find their Fellow. Either way, the process of finding that person should be transparent and fair. It's also worth keeping in mind that, unlike last year, organisations must have chosen their candidate at the point of applying.

Why can't Fellows apply independently of an organisation?
We have directly funded individuals in the past but with the Fellowship schemes, we wanted to support them in a different way. By awarding grants to organisations, the chosen Fellows will gain access to resources they wouldn't have otherwise. The experience will be tailored to them specifically and give them the benefit and support of all aspects of the organisation from mentoring, performance opportunities, training plus access to equipment, space and even audiences. However as an individual we would encourage you to approach suitable organisations, informing them of the scheme and presenting yourself as a potential candidate.

So the grant can't be used to cover tuition fees?
I'm afraid not. The grant is to cover the cost of the Fellowship placement only. However the Fellowship could involve individual training opportunities run by the the organisations' staff and/or visiting artists for instance.

How long is the Fellowship?
Every Fellowship will be different - that's the best thing about this scheme, it's flexible. A Fellow could work towards a specific event where an intensive four month placement would be ideal. However others may find a part time placement is more appropriate for the Fellow to develop their skills set over a longer period of time. As long as it takes place between 1st February 2013 and 31st January 2014, the length of the Fellowship should suit the activities being undertaken.

Tell us how the application process works.
First, have a read of the Terms & Conditions and FAQs to double check your organisation is eligible. Then you need to find your Fellow. Once you have done that, you will need to pass an online eligibility quiz and send some documentation to us as proof of your eligibility. You can then access the application form and submit it to us.

Remind us, when can applicants apply?
Applications will open at 10am on 13th August and will close either at 5pm on 15th October OR once we have received 100 applications. The deadline for sending us your proof of eligibility documentation is 21st September.

We will also have the application form available for you to download as soon as we can in advance of the opening date though so that you can begin drafting your responses.


Thank you Sally!

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The BBC Performing Arts Fund is a charity committed to developing new performing arts talent from across the UK. This blog provides the latest news on our grant-making, as well as tips and advice from experts in the business and updates on previous grant winners.

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