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Sustaining Creativity Fund

PRS Foundation’s Sustaining Creativity Fund
helping you to get back on track

Thanks to the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief Fund and generous donations from members of the public, PRS Foundation is able to support artists, songwriters and composers to create and develop when they need it most.

With their support we have launched the Sustaining Creativity Fund:

  • Designed for music creators experiencing hardship from loss of work due to the Covid-19 pandemic
  • This fund helps UK music creators to do what they do best, using a new model to support music making, however that looks
  • We will offer timely grant support of £750 to make a difference and will support outstanding talent in flexible ways
  • The grant can be spent on anything that enables music creators to continue to create exceptional new music
  • This includes using support to adapt and sustain careers by covering lost income, supporting your costs or cash-flow
  • It allows creators to spend time writing, recording, collaborating, innovating and making creative plans
  • Funding will be available to those making music in any genre

This is a new type of support which responds to the changing needs of creators. For those experiencing significant impact on their work, income and ability to complete planned musical activities, we want to enable creativity and to help grantees to be in a good position to fulfil creative and career potential, breaking down the huge barriers presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

We see this new Fund as sitting between the immediate hardship funding available from our friends and partners, and our other open and accessible programmes.

Although our decision-making and payment process will be fast to respond to needs as best as we can, this is not an emergency hardship fund designed to immediately meet pressing and dire financial needs. Songwriters and composer members of PRS for Music requiring emergency hardship funding should consider the PRS Emergency Relief Fund and all UK-based music creators are eligible for the Help Musicians UK Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund.

Our friends and industry partners have created this central source of support and advice for musicians during the Covid-19 pandemic which includes links to other Hardship Funds and relief opportunities announced by UK Arts Councils: http://www.coronamusicians.info

 

Guidance and FAQs

Am I eligible?
Who shouldn’t apply and where should they go instead?
How much is available through the Sustaining Creativity Fund?
When are the deadlines?
How and when will decisions be made?
Support for music creators with access requirements
Can we apply more than once?
Can we be in receipt of or apply to other hardship funds?
Can I apply if I’ve already had a grant from PRS Foundation?
What can the grant be spent on?
What are you looking for in the application form and why?

Am I eligible?

This Fund is here to support those who have already started their careers and make outstanding music who have lost income as a result of Covid-19.

We will prioritise emerging music creators experiencing professional hardship who will struggle to sustain creativity and may not progress from early career stages without this support.

Eligible applicants will be:

  • UK-based music creators – meaning Songwriters or Composers, plus Artists, Bands, Producers or Performers who play an active role in the creation of new music (i.e. songwriting and composition)
  • Based in the UK
  • Active music creators, having been involved in the creation of new music for at least 18 months
  • Reliant on music income to get by
  • Experiencing financial and professional hardship from loss of music work due to the Covid-19 pandemic. You must be able to prove that the pandemic has led to loss of work (e.g. gig cancellations, loss of commissions, loss of other music related income)
  • Experiencing significant impact on their work, monthly income and ability to complete planned musical activities
  • In need of financial support from this Fund in the next 3 months to get back on track
  • Self-employed, freelance music creators, or currently unemployed^

You will be asked to describe your current financial situation and need for relief funding, and we reserve the right to ask for evidence of funding need.

We can fund bands but would prioritise funding the main music creator (main songwriter) or would avoid funding two writing members of the same band. We can fund two different creators who want to collaborate on the same project so long as we are not double funding that creative project.

^ We continue to monitor support available from the UK Government and will adjust our criteria and decision-making according to who can access financial support elsewhere. We may prioritise self-employed, freelance or currently unemployed music creators who cannot access enough government support or cannot wait for government support to arrive. We may also consider applications from those who fall between the cracks. At time of writing this would include self-employed creators who cannot wait until June to get by, and those with Ltd. Companies who need to avoid furloughing themselves in order to access support.

Who shouldn’t apply and where should they go instead?

  • Musicians, Performers or Producers who do not make an active contribution to songwriting or composition
  • Students in Further or Higher Education
  • Music creators signed to major labels or major music publishers
  • Those who have not been creating music for at least 18 months
  • Those not in need of financial relief, including those with significant savings (over £5,000), expected payments or other funds they can rely on to get by^

This Fund prioritises emerging creators because we feel they will most benefit from this level of grant support to sustain creativity. More established creators are less likely to fall back to square one and more likely to benefit from larger grants and other types of support listed here.

Music creators and performers in need of immediate payments for pressing or dire financial crisis should instead apply to other Hardship Funds, including the PRS Emergency Relief Fund and Help Musicians UK Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund. Our friends and industry partners have created this central source of support and advice for musicians during the Covid-19 pandemic which includes links to other Hardship Funds and relief opportunities announced by UK Arts Councils: http://www.coronamusicians.info

If you are not experiencing professional hardship, from loss of music work due to the Covid-19 pandemic, please do not apply. Denying those with genuine needs at this time damages the wider music community and you will be slowing the process for everyone.

If you need a larger grant for creative projects, PRS Foundation offers a range of music creator funding opportunities which may be more relevant to your situation. We remain an open, accessible funder for UK based music creators, do not expect significant delays to deadlines or processes and may also re-purpose our Open Programme which offers up to £5,000 for music creators. Click here for other PRS Foundation opportunities. You may also consider applying to your UK Arts Council for new types of larger grant funding.

^ We continue to monitor support available from the UK Government and will adjust our criteria and decision-making according to who can access financial support elsewhere. We may prioritise self-employed, freelance or currently unemployed music creators who cannot access enough government support or cannot wait for government support to arrive. We may also consider applications from those who fall between the cracks. At time of writing this would include self-employed creators who cannot wait until June to get by, and those with Ltd. Companies who need to avoid furloughing themselves in order to access support.

How much is available through the Sustaining Creativity Fund?

Grant support of £750 is available to each grantee.

Spotify is making a donation to PRS Foundation and will match donations made here pound for pound. This allows us to support at least 120 grantees across two deadlines. Should donations allow, we can offer support to more applicants, or will announce a 3rd deadline.

The level of competition means we will only be able to support a small proportion of applicants.

When are the deadlines?

We will run at least two deadlinesone in April and one in May.

The Sustaining Creativity Fund responds to changing creator needs quickly but does not compete with emergency relief funding which meets immediate, pressing and dire financial needs. We want to avoid creators being overwhelmed by many new funds, deadlines and ‘first-come-first-served’ anxiety.

The Deadline 1 application process will open soon, and eligible music creators will be given 7 days to apply. We will announce Deadline 2 at the same time. This allows you to decide which fund and which deadline suits your needs, and we encourage you to hold off if you don’t need support in Deadline 1.

Our deadline and decision timing will be:

  Applications Open Deadline Decisions
Deadline 1 Mon 6th Apr Mon 13th Apr, 6pm* Mon 27th Apr
Deadline 2 Tue 21st Apr Mon 11th May, 6pm* Mon 25th May
[Deadline 3 TBC]

*those with additional access requirements can request a two-day extension

Depending on demand, donations and needs, we may be able to run a third deadline in June.

How and when will decisions be made?

PRS Foundation will share eligible applications with music expert advisors who will score applications and make recommendations. This tried and trusted system is the bedrock of PRS Foundation’s successful decision-making process, and at this difficult time allows us to pay self-employed, freelance and unemployed industry professionals where appropriate.

We aim to deliver decisions within 14 days of each deadline. Successful applicants will be issued offer letters and we may request evidence of loss of income before paying grants. Unsuccessful applicants will be informed by email. High demand means our usual ‘phone feedback day’ offer may not be available but we will outline common reasons some were chosen over others and will signpost you to other available support.

This is not a ‘first-come-first-served’ relief fund so any application submitted will be considered at the same time and against the same criteria.

We will ringfence money for some under-represented groups who are most at risk.

Support for music creators with access requirements

We are committed to inclusion and accessibility. PRS Foundation is part of Attitude is Everything’s Next Stage Funding group, focused on removing barriers in the music industry for artists with impairments or long term health conditions.

We understand that fast-turnaround deadlines and form-filling can present challenges for some creators with access requirements. To reduce barriers, we will take requests for additional advice, video application options and a 2-day deadline extension. Please contact exceptionalcircumstances@prsfoundation.com if your access requirements mean you need extra support. We may be in a position to offer ‘top-up’ funding of up to £250 for additional access requirements.

In normal circumstances PRS Foundation allows applicants to our open programme to choose between written and video application formats. With the nature of this fund and expected number of applications within a short time period, we are unable to do so by default.

In keeping with our commitment to Fair Access Principles, we may also ringfence money for under-represented groups who are most at risk of financial hardship.

Can we apply more than once? 

If you are not selected for support in the first deadline, we may invite you to reapply in Deadline 2 if there is still a financial need.

Can we be in receipt of or apply to other hardship funds?

Being in receipt of Hardship Funding doesn’t automatically discount you from receiving this Fund, but at least for Deadline 1 we will ask and we may factor this into our decision-making process to ensure a fair proportion of grants go to those not in receipt of other Hardship Funding.

Can I apply if I’ve already had a grant from PRS Foundation?

Yes – if you’ve been a PRS Foundation grantee in the past, you can still apply.

We may prioritise first time PRS Foundation grantees. Those in receipt of funding for a current project are less of a priority because they can access other support from PRS Foundation.

What can the grant be spent on?

The £750 grant can be spent on anything that enables UK-based music creators to continue to do what they do best – creating exceptional new music.

This includes using support to adapt and sustain careers by covering lost income and contributing to immediate costs. It allows creators to spend time writing, recording, collaborating, innovating and making creative plans.

Eligible expenditure would therefore include:

  • Covering loss of work and music-related income due to the Covid-19 pandemic (e.g. lost income from cancelled activities)
  • Music Creator fee (i.e. a fee to cover your creation time, or a fee which helps you to contribute to living costs while you create and get back on track)
  • Other costs relating to creative activity (e.g. recording costs, contributions to creative collaborators, training, costs relating to digital sharing, costs of keeping creator-run studios going)
  • Equipment costs
  • Marketing/PR costs

We understand that this is a challenging time in terms of financial and emotional wellbeing, and that pressure to create may be an issue for some. This is a new type of support which responds to the changing needs of creators. We want give creators a purpose and goal. And we want them to be in a good position to fulfil creative and career potential, helping to break down the huge barriers presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are not in a position to create or make creative plans, you should consider applying to other Hardship Funds. If you think you need more money to sustain creativity, consider applying to schemes such as the PRS Foundation’s Open Programme or Women Make Music.

We are unable to support any activity which conflicts with official Government advice or UK law during the Covid-19 pandemic time period.

What are you looking for in the application form and why?

We want to offer timely support in flexible ways to outstanding music creators.

The Fund application form includes further instructions, explanations and guidance.

You should prepare to share:

  • Financial information to allow us to assess eligibility and relief needs
  • Information about you as a music creator and your achievements so far
  • Music examples so that advisors can assess the quality and potential of your work as a creator
  • Any creative development plans
  • How this Fund will help you to sustain creativity

We will also ask applicants to outline other development needs so that we can signpost creators with needs to the organisations, individuals and creative peers who are innovating during the lockdown to offer new types of support

We will also monitor the diversity of applicants and grantees, requesting information which will only be seen by PRS Foundation staff. We believe that the success of the music we fund is driven by the diversity of the people who create it.

 

 

Ready to apply?

Click here to APPLY once you have read the guidance above