Women Make Music: Guidance and FAQs
The 2020 deadlines will be announced in December 2019.
All applications must be submitted by 6pm on the day of the deadline.
The following are considered by PRS Foundation to be Women Make Music music creators:
- Solo artists
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for information on music creators we consider eligible and ineligible, including advice on restrictions around financial set-up.
Women Make Music supports women, trans and non binary music creators of all genres and backgrounds and at different stages of their careers, across the UK. Final decisions may be based on achieving a fair balance of supported projects.
We support high quality new music projects and therefore cannot support core organisational costs, salary costs or living costs.
What’s the difference between Women Make Music and The Open Fund for Music Creators?
Both schemes are designed to support outstanding music creators and applications are judged on the same criteria. Women Make Music is exclusively available to women, trans and non binary music creators (i.e. solo artists, composers or mixed groups where a woman, trans or non binary artist is the lead music creator).
Anyone applying to Women Make Music must be comfortable with being announced as a Women Make Music grantee or should apply instead to The Open Fund.
86% of applicants to Women Make Music are first time applicants and we want to encourage people who might otherwise not apply for funding to do so. As such, Women Make Music grantees are encouraged to progress to other funding schemes such as The Open Fund for Music Creators or Momentum and our Application and Grants Limits therefore reflect this.
We advise individual composers, artists, bands and other music creators to choose the most appropriate funding scheme between The Open Fund for Music Creators and our targeted support schemes such as Women Make Music, The International Showcase Fund, Steve Reid Innovation Award, Flash Funding or Momentum.
Please contact the team if you are unsure which funding scheme is most appropriate.
How much can I apply for?
Women Make Music offers grants of up to £5,000.
Our funding includes support of:
- promotion and marketing
- exciting community projects involving high-quality music creators
- music creator residencies
- live performances featuring new UK music
For projects involving creation (e.g. writing or recording) alone and no performances, we recommend outlining any confirmed or potential performance opportunities within answers relating to future plans
For projects involving performance, we will only fund one-off performances in exceptional circumstances and prioritise projects which either involved repeat/multiple performances
When applying, keep in mind that we can only support activity happening after the decision date for your deadline – this will mean your proposed activity must be at least 12 weeks after the deadline.
We cannot fund marketing/promotion of new music without also funding an element of creation or performance.
PRS Foundation launched the Women Make Music Circle of Patrons in 2018 with solicitors Taylor Wessing, Macfarlanes, and Rolling Stones Management company Glastry. Additionally in 2019 AWAL partnered on the fund meaning that on top of grants support, Women Make Music now offers additional support to grantees:
AWAL support includes:
- Mentoring and Advice to a number of grantees selected by the AWAL team*
- Workshops, hosted at the AWAL/Kobalt offices
- Co-curated Sessions at key conference events across the UK
- Marketing and distribution support where appropriate and on a non-exclusive basis*
Glastry support includes:
- Mentoring and management advice to a select number of grantees*
- Workshops at the Glastry offices
Taylor Wessing and Macfarlanes support includes:
- Workshops about music industry law at Taylor Wessing and Macfarlanes’ offices
- Showcase events at the Taylor Wessing offices
* The additional support from AWAL, Glastry and other Women Make Music partners is designed to meet the non-grants needs of music creator applicants. It does not disqualify any music creators from applying and no transfer of rights or exclusive relationship will be forged. All grantees can benefit from additional support, advice and networking opportunities. For non-financial support needs, an additional question is asked on the Women Make Music application form which enables the team and partners to assess additional support needs of applicants. These answers will not be shared with independent advisors and therefore will not affect the funding decision.
What can’t be covered by a Women Make Music grant?
Through Women Make Music, we support high quality new music projects which have tangible musical outcomes and a clearly defined start and end date.
We cannot support core organisational costs, salary costs or living costs. We can fund administration costs relating to the project at a maximum of 10% of total budget.
Why can’t I apply if I’m a company limited by shares?
Women Make Music is not designed to support organisations that share out profits to members or shareholders, unless the activity you are applying for is a self-contained arts project and has a clear benefit to the audience.
We are unable to offer the following:
- comments or advice on your music
- advice on signing to a label or how to organise tours/projects
- advice on gigs/venues
- advice on promoting your music, unless it has been directly funded by PRS for Music Foundation
- application form checking, prior to submission (however, you can email us with specific questions)
Please note that we are not able to accept hard copies of applications. All applications must be completed online (please email us if you consider yourself to have a disability which could prevent you from completing the online application).
Due to high levels of demand for our funding schemes, we can only accept one application per calendar year to Women Make Music*.
Music creators are also restricted to receiving one grant per calendar year.
*Please click here for guidance on the limits to the number of applications you can submit per calendar year.
If you have any concerns about eligibility, please email us.
Do you still have some questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions page.
You will be asked to provide two musical examples and a brief description of your project. We will also want to know how your project fits with our funding priorities:
- To support the creation, performance and promotion of outstanding new music in any genre
We are particularly interested in the quality of the music
- To enable the UK’s most talented music creators to realise their potential
We are interested in how your project will develop the songwriters and composers involved. We are committed to supporting UK based songwriters and composers of all backgrounds
- To inspire audiences
You will be asked to outline who you are reaching and how. This includes audiences at a local, regional, national or international level
The main reasons applications are not selected to proceed to Stage 2 are eligibility and extremely high levels of competition. Roughly 15-20% of applications progressed to Stage 2 in 2015.
For tips on how to make your application stand out, please visit our FAQ and Tips page written by grantees, staff and advisors.
Successful Stage 1 applications are invited to progress to Stage 2, for which you will have 2-3 weeks to prepare.
Here you will be asked to provide further information on how your project fits with our funding priorities, focussing on the way your project is developing the music creators, long-term plans and audiences.
You have the option to submit another example of music at this stage. We will also request a budget using our online template.
How often can we apply to The Open Fund and/or Women Make Music?
Due to high demand, you can only apply once per calendar year to The Open Fund for Music Creators.
Women, trans, non- binary artists and mixed gender groups can apply once per calendar year to Women Make Music. Those applicants are therefore able to apply once per calendar year to each scheme.
For example, if you apply unsuccessfully to Women Make Music in February, you may apply to The Open Fund for Music Creators in June or October but will have to wait until the next calendar year before reapplying to Women Make Music. It is not possible to apply to Women Make Music AND The Open Fund for Music Creators in the same deadline and we will simply not invite you to Stage 2 for both schemes.
We received a grant already through The Open Fund or Women Make Music. When can we apply again?
No music creator can receive 2 grants in one calendar year through The Open Fund/Women Make Music, and we prefer for applicants to wait until their funded project is complete before reapplying.
Furthermore, Women Make Music grantees cannot reapply to Women Make Music and must instead apply to The Open Fund for Music Creators for suitable projects- something that is actively encouraged.
Please note we may prioritise new applicants and new grantees at Stage 1 or Stage 2 due to high demand and strategic priorities. Grantees must make a strong case for repeated support and cannot be funded for the same project.
Who can’t apply?
Those unable to apply to Women Make Music include:
- Those not based in the UK
- Those previously in receipt of Women Make Music support should instead apply to The Open Fund for Music Creators or ‘Next Level’ schemes
- Those previously in receipt of The Momentum Fund or The Writer Producer Fund cannot apply to Women Make Music or The Open Fund
- Anyone applying for Women Make Music must be comfortable with being announced as a Women Make Music grantee or should apply instead to The Open Fund.