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€1,090,700 in funding announced for the Music Capital Scheme 2024, along with two new awards

€1,090,700 in funding announced for the Music Capital Scheme 2024, along with two new awards
Music Network welcomes the announcement by Catherine Martin T.D., Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, confirming funding of €1,090,700 for the Music Capital Scheme 2024.

The regular scheme, which comprises three different awards, provides funding for the purchase of musical instruments to individual professional musicians and to non-professional performing groups, and is open for applications from today. The scheme has also been expanded this year, with the addition of two new awards for the benefit of both musicians and arts venues, which will be launched shortly.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin T.D. said: “I am overjoyed that my Department is able to fund the Music Capital Scheme again this year and support its expansion with these new opportunities. The Scheme has benefitted thousands of people since its inception and, with this year’s extensive range of applicant supports, a particular focus will be given to assisting first time and previously unsuccessful applicants. This funding allows so many deserving organisations and individuals to receive the crucial funds they need to purchase musical instruments and, as a former music teacher, that is such a wonderful thing to be a part of’’.

Established in 2008, the Music Capital Scheme is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and managed by Music Network. Since it was established the scheme has made 544 awards to individual musicians and organisations providing access to instruments for over 51,000 people across the country. Beneficiaries range from early years to mature players including musicians with physical and intellectual disabilities. 205 performing groups have been able to purchase instruments and expand their memberships, and 202 professional established and emerging musicians advanced their performance careers with new instruments enabled by the scheme. Previous awardees include The Bluestack Special Needs Foundation, renowned button accordion player Daithí Gormley and rising star cellist Grace Coughlan, who all received funding in the last round of the scheme.

Even more musicians will be supported this year, with the introduction of two new awards which seek to address specific challenges faced by professional classical string players and by arts venues presenting live music. A primary barrier for high calibre classical musicians in fulfilling their artistic and career potential is the lack of access to a suitable standard instrument. Our first new award, Award 4, will provide string instruments for a defined period of time to exceptional players.

Our fifth scheme will support arts venues across the country who play a critical role in nurturing, and providing community access to, live music. Many venues do not own a concert standard grand piano, which impacts negatively on performance opportunities for both professional and non-professional musicians and groups, and the range of concerts that audiences can enjoy. Award 5 will support the purchase and refurbishment of concert standard pianos in selected venues across the country.

An extensive range of applicant supports will be delivered between now and the application deadline. These will be available to both organisations and individuals, with a particular focus on supporting first time and previously unsuccessful applicants. Music Network will host two online Information Sessions, one for organisations considering applying to Award 1 and one for individuals considering applying to Awards 2 or 3. Alongside this will be online seminars on key topics relating to the application process and a limited number of one-to-one consultation sessions on these topics Further details about these events are available on Music Network’s website.

All applicant supports are provided free of charge. Music Network is committed to equity and inclusion and welcomes applications from individuals within culturally diverse communities and people with disabilities.

Music Network CEO Sharon Rollston commented: “We would like to express our deep gratitude to the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media for its ongoing commitment to providing vital funding for musical instruments to both groups and individual musicians. This investment continues to make a significant impact on the quality of, and access to, music-making and live music performance throughout Ireland. We particularly welcome the addition of this year’s new awards, which will go a long way towards addressing specific challenges facing musicians and in the presentation of live music. Our aim is that the capacity building supports provided to applicants will help people to make the best application possible, achieve positive results for them, and benefit the music sector widely.”

The Music Capital Scheme Awards 1, 2 and 3 are now open for applications. Applications close on Tuesday 25 June 2024 at 2pm. A total of €542,000 in funding is available through Awards 1, 2 and 3.