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It can be a challenge for musicians to make money doing what they love, especially now that COVID continues to affect the global touring industry. While there are many ways to diversify your income as a musician, one way to get funding for your music projects is through grants.
Artist Music Grants
There are several music scholarships in Australia that help artists get funding for their projects. As a direct response to the pandemic, additional funding is available to help you through this time.
Funds For Artists’ Resilience — Ink People Center For The Arts
Grants are financial gifts usually given by governments, educational institutions and foundations. Scholarships for musicians living in Australia are widely available, but applicants often have to meet strict criteria to qualify for the grants.
Before you start applying for all the music grants on the continent, there are a few things you need to think about. First, applying for all the benefits you can get using the same sound won’t work. Each device is unique and designed for a different purpose. For example, there are special offers for travel and others for recording.
In addition, it is important to ensure that you present yourself professionally, as any business should. This means being clear about your goals, the steps you need to take to succeed, the challenges you face, and what makes your art unique. Advice from other industry professionals can be helpful in taking your application from amateur to practical.
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Finally, do not underestimate the time you will need to write your application. Getting references and researching the right budget takes time. But if you take the time to get it right, I’d hazard a guess that you’re ahead of many other applicants. Oh, and don’t forget to take the quiz and spell check!
Below is a list of over 50 music resources available across Australia. This is not a list at all. Australian music funding organizations are constantly expanding, but this is a good place to start if you’re looking for new ways to support your music.
Note that there are a variety of ‘rapid response grants’ available nationally and internationally, unlike many other grants, which means you only need to apply a few weeks from the date you want to receive funding/start work.
Artist Opportunity Grants Now Available!
In direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Support Arts—the incredible champions of mental and physical health in the music industry—is offering funding directly to those affected by the pandemic in the form of a crisis relief grant.
Levi’s, who present their annual Levi’s Music Awards in conjunction with Bigsound Festival, have changed their structure to support more Australian and New Zealand artists this time around with the Levi’s Music Fund.
The Australia Council for the Arts is the main funding body for Australian musicians. Each year, through Human and First Team Artistic Projects, grants of $10,000 to $50,000 are awarded to individuals and groups for touring, recording, marketing, professional development (including training), and more.
The Pew Center For Arts & Heritage Announces 2018 Grants For Philadelphia Artists, Organizations
Through direct funding for touring, the Contemporary Music Touring Program supports musicians performing original music and the Playing Australia: Regional Performing Arts Touring Fund supports touring in remote and remote areas. Act fast as applications close on March 2nd.
Scholarships are available to established artists and technical professionals, and if you want to head to the beautiful Adelaide Hills for 10 days to focus on creating your next release, check out the UKARIA Residency ($10,000 value).
In terms of recording grants, the PPCA Sound Recording Partnership and the Australia Council for the Arts are offering $15,000. The PPCA also administers the Performers Trust, which can cover things like tuition and PA space/hire.
Community Arts And Artist Grants Applications Now Open
Creators between the ages of 21 and 35 can apply for the Martin Bequest Scholarship, which gives young artists the opportunity to explore, learn and develop their talents by traveling internationally or abroad.
We hope that travel restrictions will soon be eased to open residencies, international arts program outcomes and international development opportunities. They’re not specifically for musicians, but they’re still available.
Unregistered artists can earn $7,500 thanks to the JP Partnership, an initiative of singer/songwriter Josh Pyke, Choose Music, Wonderlick Entertainment and APRA/AMCOS. You can use the funds to tour, record, allow you to devote time to writing, or transition to being a full-time musician, which is cool.
Grants For Creators
Songwriters and composers must be eligible to receive an APRA professional development award and a scholarship from the Art Music Foundation; both through APRA AMCOS.
ABC and Triple J offer many scholarships for artists of all genres, from rock and hip-hop to classical and jazz. There is also an option to commission a theme song to be used across the ABC network. Find all the information about the Australian Music Foundation here.
The AMP Tomorrow Fund, while not limited to the music industry, offers $1 million in grants to people working hard to make a positive impact on society.
Artists + Machine Intelligence Grants By Google Arts & Culture Lab, Google Research
Notably, looking beyond the criteria for many of these benefits, there is a strong emphasis on diversity and great culture.
I have previously mentioned the Playing Australia: Regional Performing Arts Touring Fund, which supports touring in residential areas. However, if you’re an artist living in a remote location, check out Regional Arts Fund (RAF) grants, including RAF Project Grants and RAF Rapid Response Grants, both of which are now open.
There are a number of scholarships available specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians and bands. The First Nations Music Program aims to support the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists by providing industry opportunities such as training, mentoring, performance, recording and promotion.
Nysca/nyfa Artists With Disabilities Grant
The program is divided into two categories, but the most important for musicians is Musician Support and Band Support, which offers up to $15,000 to create, tour or promote new work (such as songs, EPs, albums and videos).
For First Nations artists based in NSW, see Creative Koori Projects; The 2nd funding round is now open.
If you live in QLD, the Queensland Government’s Indigenous Artists Support Initiative (BIA) has committed to investing $12.6 million over the next few years in artists of all genres.
John Grant (musician)
Other funding opportunities for Indigenous musicians and bands include The Dreaming Award, Cherish II, The Red Ocher Award (Lifetime Contribution) and The Smugglers of Light Foundation ATSI Music and Media Award.
While MusicNT and Spotify are partnering on a build-and-release deal for MusicNT in 2020, there’s unfortunately no word yet on whether that will happen again this year. However, check out creative grants and arts development grants.
There are a few resources in Queensland, but none related to music. Check out the Regional Arts Development Fund and if you want to visit, check out the Queensland Investment Fund and the Queensland Rapid Response Fund. Note that the trip must include at least one domestic destination.
Mystery Music In Art
For less well-off emerging artists (because you have to prove there’s a high demand for your tour), there’s also the Queensland Performing Arts Fund.
South Australia has many resources, including the Helpmann Academy, which has launched its Creative Incentive Grant scheme to support emerging South African artists through COVID.
N1 Records has funding available and if you’re under 26 you can apply for the Carclew Project and Development Grant.
Alberta Foundation For The Arts Grants
The MDO Grant Support Project Manager has informed me that the 2021 funding rounds will be announced soon, so stay tuned.
The City of Charles Sturt has a live and local music program, the City of Adelaide has a Rapid Response Grant and the SA Arts Council has some grants available to local artists.
Advertisers can apply for funding of between $2,000 and $20,000 through Creative Victoria’s Building Audiences Fund. The City of Port Phillip supports local artists through its Arts Development Fund.
Live Music And Performance Grants
The Department of Local Government, Sport and Culture Business WA organizes the Harmony Week Grant and for those living in regional areas be sure to check out the WA and WA Regional Arts websites.
Monica Strutt is a singer, hardcore music fan and “former” Myspace girl from Melbourne, Australia. After years of working as a music journalist and digital marketer, he now helps aspiring bands and musicians reach the next level through ‘Be in a Band’ podcasts, coaching services and online courses. When he’s not helping other musicians achieve their goals, he writes, records and performs in his rock/metal band, The Last Martyr.
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