Injecting $1 million into an industry in a rough patch, the 2020 American Express Music Backers Fund is a much-needed shot in the arm for businesses, artists, and fans all over the country.
Music isn’t an industry, in Australia at least, that survives without a few do-gooders. Whether it’s a veteran artist hosting a free workshop to educate the next generation, or an industry figurehead financing the country’s next big festival, these particular wheels are kept spinning through the philanthropy of the many.
Recently American Express played their first hand into this long history of give-backers with the Music Backers Fund, announcing a yearly $1 million fund that saw venues upgraded, tours un-cancelled, and so much more. In 2020 the Music Backers Fund is returning, and not a moment too soon.
The Music Backers Fund will be allocated far and wide within the Australian music space, from individuals doing something special in their local scene to businesses in need of pick-me-up amongst 2020’s unexpected dealings.
And of course, grants will be delivered to the artists amongst us who keep the music playing.
So how do you, or a friend of yours who’s doing something awesome, apply to be part of the 2020 American Express Music Backers Fund? Currently three initiatives are open to applications; Grants, Studio Week, and Nominate a Mate. Here’s the lowdown.
Grants: for Artists and Businesses
The Grants section of the Music Backers Fund is all about getting back on track or supporting exciting new opportunities in the music world. It covers a broad spectrum, meaning anyone from the ground up can apply, from musicians who took an income hit thanks to a cancelled tour, to existing organisations sitting on the next big idea to shake up the industry,
Currently Grants are divided into three categories, which you can read a little more about below. In applying for any grant it’s important to know where you’re coming from and what you need, so be ready to choose the option that fits your situation best and be ready to back that up with all the information you have at your disposal.
- Back on Track ($2,000 to $10,000): Help you do what you do best with a well-placed investment.
- Transformation and Growth ($2,000 to $25,000): Set yourself up for future success. This doesn’t necessarily mean a big new idea, but you’ll want it to account for a new arm of your business – something with potential that you’ve always wanted to do.
- Innovation and Community Impact ($2,000 to AU$50,000): We’re talking game changers. If you have an idea that’ll turn the industry around or make a massive, lasting impact, this one’s for you.
Nominate a Mate
You may not necessarily be someone entrenched in Australian music – doesn’t mean you won’t know somebody who is. By nominating a mate you’ll immediately put them in the running to score a $1,500 cash prize being offered to 100 individuals. Nominees should be those who’ve used music as a tool for positivity in 2020, whether that’s releasing a killer song, running an initiative that supports less privileged musicians, or any number of other brilliant ideas.
It can even be a mate who introduced you to your favourite new artist – that much can change a life.
Plus, nominating a mate will put you in the running to win a cheeky little prize of your own. If your nominee scores a prize, you’ll also be up for a $250 gift card with Ticketmaster.
Musos, this is the one you’ve been waiting for. Anyone who’s been behind the scenes knows that recording grants can make or break the right artist. The fact is, studio time is expensive, and a leg up can make all the difference at the right point in your career.
Studio Week grants will be awarded to 50 artists as part of the 2020 Music Backers Fund, giving them a day in one of 10 iconic Australian studios to record one track. What’s more, the session will be mentored by industry experts, and the best track to come out of the initiative will be awarded a $5,000 release grant.
If you’re sitting on that big single you’ve been wanting to do proper justice with studio time, don’t sleep on applying for a Studio Week grant.
While Grants, Nominate a Mate, and Studio Week are currently open, there’s plenty more to come from the 2020 Music Backers Grant. More is on the way, so stay tuned for updates.