Saffron has launched an "urgent" fundraiser to ensure it can continue on its mission to “advance gender equality in the music tech sector”.
Founded by Laura Lewis-Paul, the music tech non-profit seeks to address the statistics that 5% of the music tech industry is women, non-binary or trans people, and less than 1% of these are Black, Asian or ethnically diverse.
It has previously placed a special emphasis on creating safer spaces for marginalised people to learn, create and grow confidently through forward-thinking technological music creation, DJ and music industry experience. Saffron – and its sister program Mix Nights – have been doing this work consistently for seven years in Bristol, London, Nottingham, Birmingham and globally online.
The mixed Black Caribbean-led organisation was eligible for a number of grants sparked by the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement. Saffron says this allowed it to “thrive in the short term” but also notes that the funds were “largely one-off gestures rather than essential ongoing core support.” It went on to state that, over the past few months, a number of other crucial and expected arts grants and income sources in 2023 have not materialised or been cut, and our primary industry donor has departed.
In a statement, Saffron founder Lewis-Paul said: “The cost of living, government arts cuts and lack of sustained funding post-BLM is leaving non-profit organisations like us without the crucial core investment we need to stay afloat …”
Saffron are now asking for “any support” possible – monetary or otherwise to support them through this next phase of development.
A statement continued: “No matter how small, a one-off or regular donation will go a long way towards fuelling our core work transforming the music tech industry from the ground up.”
Pointing to its real impact, Saffron provided music tech training and community infrastructure for over 1000 people around the world in 2022.
This included widening accessibility:
40% access courses, mentoring and memberships for free or discounted
46% are global majority (Black, Asian, mixed ethnicities)
37% have additional support needs, eg. Autism, physical or mental health issues
And generating real impact:
41% of Mix Nights course graduates have gone on to paid gig bookings
34% of radio course graduates have secured their own residency
Further highlighting its importance, Saffron states that in 2022 it had 644 course applications for 200 places.
To support Saffron, click here.