Ugandan non-mainstream artistes that have been left out in the COVID19 pandemic cold and have not performed since March 2020 now have a chance to do so and reach a global audience.
Music in Africa Foundation (MIAF) is inviting music industry practitioners based in Africa to apply for grants that aim to support musicians and the industry at large to navigate challenges and new realities introduced by Corona upheavals by way of digital concerts.
Between €5 000 (about UGX22m) and €8 000 (UGX35m) is up for grabs. But there’s a catch. Projects can only be executed by a company or organisation on behalf of the artistes.
At the heart of the grant offer is MIAL’s mandate to offer financial support to recipients to enable them to create high-quality works and promote which will in turn be marketed and showcased to not only their fans at home rather a wider global audience, primarily via digital means.
Additionally, the grant will also be geared towards facilitating the creation and dissemination of educational content with a view to upskill and enable professionals to adjust and adopt to the needs of the changing music industry.
“Thousands of African musicians have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has occasioned unprecedented lockdowns and restrictions across the continent. African musicians and professionals traditionally make a living from live performances, and now they find themselves in extreme difficulty. While social media platforms offer alternative avenues for operators to broadcast their works seamlessly, many musicians are struggling to make ends meet”, read an August 27th 2020 MIAL media release announcing the grants.
Coupled with enabling musicians to earn income from digital live performances, MIAF also seeks to support capacity-building projects that develop critical skills among professionals using digital means. Artistes are eligible for the Showcase Grants that support the production of high-quality digital live concerts with African musicians, with an emphasis on professional productions that offer real exposure, potential export opportunities and generally more opportunities for participants.
The second grant category is the Capacity-Building one and this aims to digitally deliver initiatives that develop relevant critical skills for music professionals to navigate new challenges and the transformations of the industry, especially those introduced by the pandemic.
The delivery timelines for the grant projects are between October 15th 2020 and December 15th 2020. Applications should be submitted by September 26th 2020 (23.59pm CAT).
And while only companies and organisations can apply, they must be able to demonstrate that their projects will primarily benefit musicians by offering the latter paid performance opportunities and exposure as described in the grant brief. The applying entity must be based in Africa, have official proof of its legal existence, have a valid bank account, been in existence for at least two years and be able to show at least three live concerts produced since 2017.
All concerts applied for must feature live performances – the audio of performances shall not be coming from pre-recorded materials. The concerts are meant primarily for a digital audience meaning that the applicant is able to broadcast live to a digital audience or repackage the recording for digital broadcast on a later date within a week of the recording, and no later than on 15 December 2020.
Proposed projects must showcase high-quality talent that is ready for regional or international export with professional execution of all aspects of the production, especially with regards to sound and lighting. Projects that offer audiences opportunities to discover new talent are more advantageous.
Applying entities should demonstrate how they will promote the performance to a wider audience (e.g. using existing digital networks, fan bases, partnerships and other strategies). All recordings must be done and broadcast in at least the HD formats. The principal platforms for broadcast will be Facebook, YouTube and the Music In Africa website. And in light of COVID-19, all activities must be implemented in a manner that is compliant with safety protocols.
More information about the grant calls can be found here;
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