The lack of infrastructure and reliance on the DIY attitudes of a few is not sustainable – Reflections on Bridging the Gap
The keynote speech from Helena Gaunt and revealing discussions from panels all made for a rich and vibrant discussion around “Bridging the Gap”.
We heard first-hand experience about the struggle to progress from music study into the industry and engaging anecdotes from Moses Boyd and Supriya Nagarajan, explaining how they have navigated their way into the music industry.
All of the speakers whether artists or talent development practitioners agreed that the creativity and innovation of UK urban artists is flourishing. However, the infrastructure to support them to achieve their full potential is lagging behind. The artists we heard from all had a DIY attitude and had managed to build a network and leverage funding from PRS Foundation and other sources. However, they admitted to being the exception to the rule and not the norm.
As Talent Development Partners, our job now is to encourage the industry, Education partners and local authorities to support pathways and progression routes. We need to work together to fill in the gaps where music education is lacking.
At Urban Development we enable young talent and emerging artists to continue to access and develop sustainable careers in the highly competitive music industry. Through structured progression pathways of education, mentoring, employment support, access to industry experts, showcase events, an extensive partnership network, as well as our forthcoming Urban music and culture talent house in London we are able to give young artists the support and development they need. We are unashamed in our aspiration that the output of Urban Development music creators will make a significant contribution to the development of the British music industry, and be as championed and supported as their contemporary classical peers.
We all need to work to ensure that diversity and opportunity are at the heart of all of our programmes, whatever the genre, so that young talent from all backgrounds receive the same opportunities to progress.
Talent that is without opportunity will otherwise continue to disengage and be overlooked. The industry risks being ‘poorer’ for it. As I said in my pre-event blog, we must “allow that hidden talent to shine”, it is our imperative to be on the front line to nurture and encourage the artists and industry professionals of the future and most importantly “give the next generation of industry professionals and artists the space to grow.”
Reflections from our Theme Experts and Vanessa Reed
Alongside Vanessa’s reflections are blog posts from our three Theme Experts who followed the conversations and debates during the conference and reported back at the end of the day…
- Beyond Education? – written by Debra King from Brighter Sound
- Music Cities – written by Sound Diplomacy’s Rollo Maschietto
- Investing in the Future – Reflections from PRS Foundation’s CEO, Vanessa Reed