The BBC Performing Arts Fund will be concentrating the grants which it awards during 2012 on music, and will be awarding grants of up to £450,000. (In 2011 it was dance, in 2013 it will be theatre.) BBC Chief Operating Officer Caroline Thompson – in whose BBC Outreach Division it sits – admitted that it is tiny in the overall context of the BBC, but recent appraisals – detailed in the Fund’s most latest accounts – do show its essentially grass-roots work to have been highly effective. Since starting it has given out £3.8m. It distributes a lot of small community grants, which many other trusts find increasingly cumbersome to administer.
The fund (@BBC_PAF on Twitter) is a registered charity emplotying three full-time staff seconded from the BBC. It is in its ninth year. When it was set up it was the BBC Fame Academy, but has moved on, notably having its priorities completely re-set after a review in 2010, and an overhaul of the composition of the trustees board in 2011.
FIRST ROUND: It will be seeking applications from this May from for grants of up to £5,000 from community/ grass roots groups seeking to “carry out training, attract new audiences, encourage new members and raise their profile in the community.” Or for up to £10,000 from “groups wishing to commission new music.”
SECOND ROUND: in August it will be open for applications for a Music Fellowship cheme “to help individuals through the early stages of their music careers.”
I’m told informally that their ears will certainly be open to jazz, and there’s evidence for that:
– Kate Danielson, who spent a few highly successful years on Tony Dudley Evans’ team at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival is one of the trustees.
– Arun Ghosh was working last night at the launch event, as Music Director for the Cardboard Citizens theatre company, whose work was being showcased.
The proceeds of the phone votes on the programme “The Voice” will be directed to the PAF. This change was foreshadowed fairly clearly in the PAF’s most recent accounts.
For more detail, and updates on the specifics of the application processes, the fund has a WEBSITE