PRS Foundation has secured a $200,000 grant from the Creative Europe programme of the European Union to develop a new initiative aimed at promoting the role of women across the music industry.
The grant will help fund the Foundation’s new Keychange programme, which is designed to highlight ‘the potential creative and economic contribution women could be making to Europe’s music industry’.
Building on the Women Make Music Fund in the UK, Keychange will seek to boost talent development and innovation in music by creating new international opportunities for performance, collaboration and learning amongst female artists and professionals looking to break into new markets.
PRS Foundation has teamed up with a number of European partners for the initiative, including Iceland Airwaves, BIME (Spain), Reeperbahn (Germany), The Great Escape (UK), Tallinn Music Week (Estonia), MusickCentrum/Way out West (Sweden) and Mutek (Canada). Additional sponsorship has been secured from Spotify and STEF (The Performing Rights Society of Iceland). More partners are expected to be announced over the coming months.
Activities announced so far include two gatherings of the Keychange network at Tallinn Music Week and BIME in 2018, smaller groups showcasing and networking at other partners’ music festivals, a programme of creative labs and online content, a high profile social media campaign and an event in Brussels at the European Parliament in 2019, where partners will jointly present a manifesto for change.
All supported artists and professionals will be selected through a nomination process led by local partners and their industry colleagues. A joint selection panel will take place at Reeperbahn Festival in September 2017.
Vanessa Reed, chief executive of PRS Foundation, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve succeeded as lead partner in our application to Creative Europe in spite of uncertainties posed by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. European and international collaboration is essential to the creative and business development of individual artists and the industry as a whole. Keychange’s focus on giving talented women access to international networks and new markets at critical stages in their career will help them realise their potential as future leaders of an industry that is ready for change. I’m proud to be working with such an impressive line-up of festivals and music organisations to realise this ambitious European project which is based on shared values and a joint commitment to shifting the status quo.”
Alexander Schulz, founder/director, Reeperbahn Festival, added: "Reeperbahn Festival is rightly proud to be the German partner in the Keychange initiative. We look forward to presenting the project's launch in Hamburg in September and working alongside some very impressive, like-minded events with the distinct aim of making a meaningful difference and lasting improvement to the way women in our industry are involved and included in music festivals, conferences, and the business environment in general."
Kevin Moore, general manager, The Great Escape, also commented: “Keychange is going to be a fantastic new initiative, driving the agenda on equality and diversity in music, ambitions that are matched by The Great Escape. We are very proud to be a partner on this project.”
For more information, visit the PRS Foundation website.