Arts Council England gives boost to inclusive music

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

There has been a change to the funding of the seven National Youth Music Organisations (NYMOs), which from 2018 will receive their Arts Council and Department for Education grants separately. However, the NYMOs’ total investment over the funding period will be the same, said ACE.

OpenUpMusic, which ‘empowers young disabled musicians to build inclusive youth orchestras’ through schemes such as Open School Orchestras, said it was ‘hugely proud’ to be a new member of the national portfolio, receiving a grant of £160,000 per year from 2018.

OpenUpMusic is to launch the National Open Youth Orchestra, the world’s first disabled-led national youth orchestra, in September 2018.

Also receiving NPO funding for the first time will be the Paraorchestra and Friends, which runs the British Paraorchestra, ‘the world’s first large-scale professional ensemble of disabled musicians’. It is part of a growing centre for accessible music in the South-West, where Bristol Music Trust, Bristol Plays Music and Colston Hall plan to open a National Centre for Advanced Training for disabled musicians in 2020.

The Paraorchestra and Friends said: ‘With a record number of new and diverse organisations joining the portfolio from 2018, we are excited to form part of a changing cultural community that challenges perceptions of disability in society and removes barriers to music-making for disabled musicians.’

ACE said the new portfolio would ‘reach more people in a wider range of places and communities all across England with many places, including Coventry and Warwickshire, Torbay, Barking and Dagenham and Northumberland seeing significant increases in investment’.

ACE chair Nicholas Serota said the 2018-22 portfolio would energise the sector, adding that it was ‘going to disrupt, going to challenge – above all, it’s going to change people’s lives’.

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