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Funding organisations for blind and visually impaired musicians

Whether you are visually impaired or not, a career or education in music will take some financing. The competitive nature of the music industry often expects early-career musicians to work voluntarily, and on top of this, blind or partially sighted musicians may be presented with additional financial barriers, including:

  • Time to find solutions to access challenges.
  • Additional costs associated with accessible equipment and technology.
  • Hiring sighted assistance to support with the social media and website upkeep, and visual image that is expected in the modern world.
  • Taxis where public transport is not suitable.

Whatever the reason, it can get expensive! Fortunately, there are funding options to explore. In this article, we are going to discuss some of these! 

Please note that these resources are primarily based in the England, and so may not apply if you are based outside of England. If you are aware of resources in your country, please make sure to leave a comment under this article! 

Large national organisations

One of the most notable organisations worth mentioning is Arts Council England. The Arts Council is the “national  development agency” for creativity, which invests funding from the government and National Lottery to assist creative individuals and groups. The two primary funding streams are their Developing Your Creative Practice (DYCP) grants and National Lottery Project Grants.

Another notable funding resource is the PRS Music Foundation. The PRS Music Foundation  is the “UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development,” which has aided some of the most popular UK artists, such as Little Simz , Dave, Sam Fender, Years & Years, AJ Tracey, Imogen Heap, the fanatics and more. They offer up to £5000 for creative individuals to assist with their careers, and up to £10,000 for organisations.

Drake Music have put together guides for accessing Arts Council England and PRS Foundation funding: Funding Advice for Disabled Musicians. These offer some very helpful tips and information on different funders, as well as interviews with people who have been through the process of applying for these funds, and who have successfully received funding.

Other sources to explore

Help Musicians is another great organisation, as not only can they offer up to £5000 of funding,  but they have many other helpful articles and resources that can assist with mental and physical health within the music industry, and schemes tailored towards your career such as Co-Pilot , which is a mentoring scheme to assist with career development. They also offer regular webinars to assist with applying for funding and applications.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) is another organisation helpful to both individuals and organisations/institutions. Their purpose is to eradicate inequality in the music industry, and celebrate diversity. They offer open funding streams to support young people and ideas, to support access and participation within the arts, and education regarding Music and the arts. 

Another charity passionate about inclusivity in music is Music For All, which offers funding to disadvantaged individuals and groups, as well as donating instruments and equipment.  

Another notable funding organisation which has many different funding grants to offer is Youth Music. Youth Music offers funding to groups and individuals ranging from £2000 to £30000.  Some of these grants include the Next Gen Fund, the Trailblazer Fund, and the Catalyser Fund

Like many other charities on this list, Sound Connections offers funding to disadvantaged individuals and groups to assist  with their music, careers and education. Their most well known grant is named Innovate, which offers up to £2000 to groups and individuals across England to carry out “ innovative” music projects. 

Blind and partially sighted children wishing to access music tuition and instruments, may be able to access support from the Amber Trust.

For a further list of grants and specific awards, including the Elizabeth Eagle-Bott Memorial fund, check out the following article by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

Thank you for reading this article, be sure to check out the rest of our website and our knowledge hub! Good luck!

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Zenny Jabeera

Zenny Jabeera

I’m a singer/songwriter, and have been singing and writing from a very young age. I’ve had professional vocal training, and I’m hoping to release more of my own music. Sound without site will help me to connect with other musicians such as producers and instrument players, and will allow me to expand my network. I’m also hoping to learn more skills to better myself.