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Home > PRS Foundation celebrates International Women’s Day

PRS Foundation celebrates International Women’s Day

Last week at Abbey Road, we celebrated Women Make Music’s impact and called for industry support to address gender inequity. The report outlines the impact the ground-breaking initiative has had for women and gender expansive music creators, as well as its changemaking impacts for the wider music industry. This International Women’s Day, as well as celebrating the incredible Music Creators we support, we are shining the spotlight on the amazing women in our team.

From Keychange to Women Make Music, from the London Symphony Orchestra to Creative Europe, from artist management to radio and podcast production and so much MORE – our team is full of outstanding women who are passionate about music and talent development. And we want to celebrate them!

Each week we will be spotlighting a member of the team, starting this week with our Grants and Programmes Manager – responsible for curating the incredible event at Abbey Road last week – Elizabeth Sills.

Elizabeth Sills

“New Music fan here working directly in music since 2011. I started at PRS Foundation as a Grants Coordinator in 2016 after being the Talent Programme Assistant for Help Musicians, at Help Musicians I got to run auditions for advanced postgraduate performance and opera training. I was able to go behind the scenes at prestigious venues like Wigmore hall, the Royal Opera House, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral where I was part of musicians careers from the early stages, many of who I have seen come through PRS Foundation as well… Abel Selaocoe and Emma-Jean Thackray to name a couple!

At PRS Foundation I very quickly realised exactly how much the organisation was part of the industry. In my first month I started working on Musician in Residence Kings Cross, with Evelyn Glennie’s team, I was then at the ICA for the launch of Anna Meredith’s album Varmints, at City hall where we launched the Composers’ Fund and later at UK Parliament where the organisation spoke about the importance of music export. It’s always busy but exciting at PRS Foundation. Beyond Kings Cross I worked on Musician in Residence Programmes with British Council interviewing Musicians who went to China, Brazil and Russia and saw exciting collaborations develop. I was lucky enough to work on Women Make Music and The Open Fund which gave me the opportunity to be part of music creators careers from across all stages and also meant I celebrated 5 years of Women Make Music at Imogen Heaps House and later 10 years at Abbey Road studios!

At PRS Foundation I have loved speaking on panels, which has taken me to BBC amplified, the Roundhouse and Brussels for Creative Europe. I was promoted to Grants and Programmes Manager in 2019 where I now manage the more classically focused schemes, Composer Fund, Beyond Borders, Resonate and New Music Biennial and I take the lead on Women Make Music. When I got the role I was super excited to be leading on the fifth edition of NMB in Coventry and the Southbank centre. Bringing a programme together from an open application process right through to the delivery of the event, with the interruption of a pandemic in-between, was amazing and a career highlight! Seeing the venues full of people there to see new music was incredible, including Coventry Cathedral packed out to see Gazelle Twin with BBC Concert Orchestra as well as Paul Purgas presenting his explorations in Tape Music. We also delivered a 10 year evaluation with the audience agency which shows the impact that this programme has had on audiences in new music, highlighting this programme as a key player, so watch this space for 2025…

I have loved the talent development that has been part of all my roles . It has been amazing to work with music creators who have progressed through different funding schemes and I have loved developing the work that we do, like strategically making changes to the Composers’ Fund so it clearly sits as a next level fund. Most recently I took the lead on the delivery of the launch of our latest impact report for Women Make Music, overseeing the report process was so insightful to see directly the effect that the fund has had on music careers, and curating an event in Studio 2 at Abbey Road studios was so special. I am so excited to see how all of these programmes and my role develop in the future.”