For working musicians today, it’s more important than ever to diversify your revenue streams. One avenue musicians can explore to help fund their careers is through grants.
If grants are available in your country/region, they can play an important role in helping to finance your music career.
What are music grants?
Music grants are handed out by governments, associations, educational institutions, and foundations. Unlike loans, they usually don’t need to be paid back. If free money sounds too good to be true, it’s because grants are not easy to get.
Criteria for applying for grants are usually very strict, and the application process itself can be quite tedious. And as you can imagine, grants are very competitive, with often only a small percentage of applicants receiving funding.
What grants can be used for
Many music grants are offered to help emerging artists, while others support more established artists in their careers.
Depending on the type of grant, funding could be used to compose music, record a demo, EP, or album. Grants also exist to help artists go out on tour, cover costs for showcasing opportunities, and even provide money to go towards marketing and promotion.
Tips for applying for grants
When considering applying for grant funding to finance a music project, it’s important to first do your research. Every grant is unique, so at first you’ll want to be sure that your project meets the criteria of the grants you’ll be applying for.
Then you’ll want to customize the application for each grant. Simply copying and pasting info from one grant to the next likely won’t be successful. Each organization has their own set of guidelines and materials they want included with applications.
But even if you don’t receive the grant you’re applying for, the process can help sharpen your focus. Applying for grants can help determine what makes your project special, what your goals are, what challenges you’re facing, and what you’d like to achieve.
Grants available to musicians
Depending on where you live, there could be grants available through various levels of government, music associations, educational institutions, and foundations.
Another thing to keep in mind is that grant programs can change, expand, get cut back, or sometimes disappear altogether. So it’s important to check back each year to see which funds are available to you.
Music website platform Bandzoogle recently ran a series on their blog
with extensive lists of grants available to musicians living in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.