Some Handy Tips on Applying For Grants!

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This post is a cool combo of event promo and excellent professional tips since the lovely folk behind this event are doing such good things with supporting musical artists!
In 2016 the 20th Anniversary Darebin Music Feast took place from Oct 27 – Nov 6  in Melbourne. Part of the 11 day celebration of music across the Darebin Municipality included an exciting program called Shop Talk which included a bunch of industry-focused workshops. One of these workshops was put on by Creative Victoria and they talked about their Music Works Grants.
Grants are a daunting thing for many artists and musicians, so we thought we’d ask the team at Creative Victoria to jot down a few points to help shed some light on what is available, and share some advice for applying.

Things you should know about Music Works

  1. There are 2 Major Funding rounds per year and 5 Quick Response Grants per year
  2. Music Works Grants support strategic professional development and career opportunities for Victorian contemporary music artists, musicians, performers and associated industry professionals where funding or access to resources are a barrier
  3. The Music Works program is specifically designed to support development and capacity building for the contemporary music industry. As an industry development focused program, priority is given to projects that intend to engage with the commercial market.
  4. One Area of Funding, Building Capacity is designed for industry stakeholders such as managers, artists, small organisations and industry technicians to offer career development, and to build industry capability. Building Capacity will fund activities that assist professionals to acquire business acumen and industry skills through attendance at workshops, master-classes, industry conferences and other professional development opportunities which have a direct input into furthering their business or artistic output.
  5. I want to do a recording next month but it is not in the timeline for the Major Funding Rounds – can I apply for a Quick Response Grant? Quick Response Grants are available to cover immediate opportunities in the Building Capacity and Connecting to Markets areas of funding (not Creating Content). However, if there are exceptional circumstances that you could not have planned for, please call staff before making an application.

Tips for grant writing

The panel advise that applications from industry and artists who would be considered to be at the beginning of their career (i.e. with little live or business experience) are encouraged to get some “runs on the board” (gigging, touring, demos) before applying for grants. Alternatively, ensure that your request reflects your experience and the opportunity to grow your business or audience.

  1. No-one wants 500 CD’s or vinyl gathering dust under a bed, or online media that no one visits. So, it is important that you include a plan as to what will happen once the recordings are finished. (How will you get it to your markets? Who will do this? What timeframe are you considering? How will you promote your record? Will you tour? Make a video? Hire a publicist?, etc.) This will show the peer assessors that you are aware of the need to market your products and that you have considered this in your planning.
  2. A grant writer is a professional employed to write your funding application for you for a set fee or a percentage of the grant. The Music Works grants are designed so that you should not need to pay for a professional grant writer but you are welcome to use one. There will be no preference made by the peer review panel.
  3. Speak to program staff about your application. Best to call well in advance of the closing date.
  4. Ensure that the proposal clearly outlines in plain English what is proposed, why it needs to happen, how it will be achieved, who is centrally involved and where it will take place.

Some notable projects made possible by Music Works: 

Evelyn Morris – For a mentorship with experimental composer and performer Kim Myhr in France and a residency at Kuntlerhaus Boswil, Switzerland.
AMATEUR HOUR – For the production and promotion of the second season of the web-based music and variety show Amateur Hour.
http://creative.vic.gov.au/news/2016/grants-of-almost-$500,000-awarded-to-victorian-music-industry

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