Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You know those TV phone-in votes?

Have you ever wondered what happens to the money from those expensive TV phone-in votes for BBC talent shows? It might be going on some pretty good causes. The BBC Performing Arts Fund has just announced £420,000 of funding for the music sector in two new schemes - Music Fellowships and Community Music. And a new talent show called The Voice, which aims to select its winners purely for the quality of their voices - yes, really - is going to raise money for the fund from its voting phone-lines.

The BBC Performing Arts Fund is a tad undersung, JD thinks, given that it has paid out around £3.8m in grants over the past nine years. It started out in 2003 as the Fame Academy Bursary Trust, and was later renamed. It gives money to both performing arts individuals and community groups and also offers them mentoring and career advice. So call in and vote: you might be helping someone.

Here's what they say about the new music schemes:
Launching in May, the Community Music scheme will award grants of up to £5,000 to grassroots music groups from across the UK, helping them to carry out training, attract new audiences, encourage new members and raise their profile in their community. Grants of up to £10,000 will be awarded to groups wishing to commission new music.

The Music Fellowships scheme will open for applications in August and is designed to support individuals through the early stages of their music careers; helping them to establish themselves in the professional world through bespoke placements within existing music organisations. 
Dorothy Wilson, Chair of the BBC Performing Arts Fund said: “Music has been part of the BBC Performing Arts Fund since it was formed out of Fame Academy. We will continue that support by investing in community groups such as choirs, bands and orchestras as well as nurturing new talent across the UK.”