PRS Foundation partners with MOBO, Girls I Rate & more to support black musicians

PRS Foundation partners with MOBO, Girls I Rate & more to support black musicians

PRS Foundation has announced plans to direct its next round of the Sustaining Creativity Fund towards supporting black musicians.

Established with funding from Spotify’s Covid-19 Music Relief Fund and donations from across the industry, the scheme aims to help creators who have lost work during the coronavirus pandemic. 

A press release stated that PRS Foundation recognises that the black music community is disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, and the organisation has partnered with six black-led music companies: Girls I Rate, Jazz re:freshed, MOBO Trust, No Signal, Saffron Records and Tomorrow’s Warriors. Their networks will be used to ensure the grants are offered to those who need them most.

Grants will be ring-fenced for music creators who have worked with or used the six organisations. Grants of £750 are available to each grantee, while a £250 top-up is available for applicants with access needs. 

Applications open on July 16 via the PRS Foundation and the deadline is at 6pm on August 10am.

Joe Frankland, CEO of PRS Foundation, said: “We’re excited to bring this urgently needed focus to our Sustaining Creativity Fund.  At PRS Foundation we have a strong track-record for inclusivity and diversity and are well placed to push for positive change in collaboration with the wider industry. We’re delighted that in this open call process we will be ringfencing grant support to those working with our six incredible partners. 

PRS Foundation has spent time with the team, Trustees and partners and colleagues in the Black music community to recognise where improvements have to be made in the organisation and what tangible actions we can take in the short, medium and long term to revamp structural operations and decisions to support and stand in solidarity with Black music creators and to practice and champion anti-racism.  The focus on the Sustaining Creativity Fund is one of many actions we’ll be taking and rolling out.”

It is important to ensure support can reach black music creators

Kanya King, MOBO

Carla Marie Williams, founder of Girls I Rate and this week’s Music Week cover star said: “Girls I Rate has been supported by PRS Foundation since 2017 and we are truly delighted they are supporting our new initiative #GIRBLK, and giving this opportunity to partner on this grant. These young women will benefit so much from this and am looking forward to what we will do together in the future.”

Yvette Griffith, executive director of Jazz re:freshed, said, “Partnering with PRS Foundation for this round of the Sustaining Creativity fund in order to reach a wider Black demographic and disburse funds more representationally, is a small but very positive step in redressing the funding imbalance to Black artists.” 

Kanya King, CEO and founder of MOBO, said: “We are pleased to work with PRS foundation to provide some support to black music talent who have been less able to access funding over recent months.  It is important for us to use our extensive networks to ensure support can reach black music creators who will benefit from this vital support in these challenging times.”

Laura Lewis-Paul, creative director and founder of Saffron Records, said: “It is really important for Saffron to see the work being put in to support Black and Brown companies and artists and are happy to stand beside PRS Foundation to support their targeted round of Sustaining Creativity Fund.”

Janine Irons, co-founder and CEO, Tomorrow's Warriors said, “Tomorrow’s Warriors are very pleased to partner with PRS Foundation on its new Sustaining Creativity Fund and contribute our nearly 30 years of expertise in reaching and supporting the creative careers of young black musicians and continue to redress the imbalance among underserved and underrepresented communities of talent.” 

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