News: Because It’s 2016

Sound and Music: Diversity Data
Sound and Music: Diversity Data
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Sound and Music

Diversity in New Music 

Sound and Music is announcing today a programme of activity to address the lack of diversity that still exists in new music. This programme has been created in direct response to data collected and analysed by Sound and Music over the last three years regarding applications to its programmes. That data is also being made publicly available today, with a view to encouraging more organisations to be open in this regard.  

You can see Sound and Music's Diversity Data here 

In 2015/16, over 550 people applied to a Sound and Music programme. The average applicant was a London-based 25-34 year old white male with a PhD who had already applied to Sound and Music before

Out of the 470 applicants who filled in the equal opportunities form, only 7% considered themselves to have a disability and only 26% listed their ethnicity as anything other than White BritishApplications from women comprised 32% of the total. Not a single person of Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi heritage submitted an application.  

This is a serious issue for the future of the new music sector. New music needs a broad range of creative voices and talent to thrive, and for there to be an interesting, vibrant and relevant musical landscape.   

Over the next few years and until significant progress is reflected in the data, Sound and Music is committed to gaining better understanding the reasons behind the figures; and to taking positive action to improve them. 

Launching our Pathways Programme 

As a first step, Sound and Music have launched a new programme that explicitly seeks to work with a broader range of composers and music creators. This programme has been created in direct response to the data, and with the advice of a steering group made up of diverse individual artists as well as representatives from Heart n SoulDrake Music and CM (Community Music)  

The Active Encouragement: Pathways Programme invites UK composers and music creators who are either registered disabled or from backgrounds other than White British to join Sound and Music’s talent development residency programmes 

Sound and Music want to encourage brilliantly talented people out there who are either unaware of our work or who don’t believe that it’s for them to apply – to better understand what the barriers are, both real and perceived, that have prevented them from previously applying.  

In a two-step programme, the selected artists will spend the first six months working with Sound and Music in bespoke coaching and mentoring sessions to help inform the selection of a suitable partner organisation, with whom they will work as an artist in residence for up to 18 months as part of Sound and Music’s existing talent development residency programmes

They will be supported through the residency by mentoring as well as by the Sound and Music team, including participating in a number of peer networking days that bring together composers and music creators who Sound and Music are currently supporting. 

Sound and Music will incorporate what it learns into all of its future plans

Our Pathways Programme will open for applications on Thursday 24th March 2016 

Find out more about our Pathways Programme and How to apply here   

Susanna Eastburn, Chief Executive at Sound and Music said: 

“Last year, when the new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked why his cabinet was 50/50 men and women, he simply answered: “Because it’s 2015”. This is how we feel about the data we see regarding the diversity of the composers we are supporting – which we believe reflects a wider problem across the music sector. Why are we doing this? Because it’s 2016.” 

Richard Whitelaw, Director of Programmes at Sound and Music said: 

“Action on improving diversity needs to move to the centre of artistic planning in our sector. As the national funded organisation for new music we want to do better. We want to take responsibility for creating a representative and outstanding artistic programme that celebrates the vivid diversity of adventurous UK music creation today

The Active Encouragement: Pathways programme is supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation as well as through core funding from Arts Council England. 

#newmusic // #pathways



Find out more about our Pathways Programme and How to apply 

Deadline: Noon, Tuesday 24th May 2016 


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