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GRANT ROUND 6 IS UNDERWAY!
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we reached our Grant Round 6 launch target of £100,000. We are accepting applications for projects taking place between October 2023 and March 2024.
The objective of this round of grants is to provide the funds and confidence needed for ensembles to plan and carry out a range of creative projects that will bring inspiring live music to communities across the UK, particularly in areas which lack access to high calibre live classical music.
Round 6 continues the eligibility category first introduced in 2022 to support more recently formed ensembles seeking to establish themselves as professionals. Continuo is keen to help these musicians, including graduates from 2020-2023, to gain the visibility and performing experience needed to launch their careers.
Grant award decisions are expected to be announced by 21 September 2023.
Applicants are invited to request amounts ranging from £2,000 to £8,000 to support UK projects scheduled to take place between October 2023 and March 2024. For recently formed ensembles (formed ca. June 2020 - June 2023), we prefer to support live concerts or tours.
For example, grant proceeds could be used by a period-instrument ensemble to:
provide the funding to enable a concert at risk of being cancelled or downsized
fund a new project where there is uncertainty about audience take-up
tour an existing programme to new UK locations
fund the recording of new repertoire
fund a chamber recital series
create a filmed concert which can be used to generate further touring opportunities
Grant requests may be for up to a maximum of 90% of the Project Cost. Applicants are asked to provide a credible plan for the balance of the funding required for the project.
Continuo Foundation expects to award grants to 20+ ensembles, including ca. 4 recently formed ensembles. The final numbers will depend on the quality of the applications received and the amounts requested - we always seek to support as many projects as possible with the £100,000.
Eligible ensembles are UK-based professional groups of at least three musicians playing period instruments, or faithful replicas, with a consistent membership of instrumentalists, year-round activity and an identity as a period-instrument ensemble.
Proposed projects may include vocalists, or be collaborations with vocal ensembles, as long as the grant applicant is an instrumental ensemble meeting the description above. Projects may also include new works commissioned for period instruments or combine early and contemporary repertoires in their programmes.
Existing Continuo Foundation grantees are eligible to apply provided they are in compliance with the terms of their grant(s).
The main objective of our grants is to mobilise projects of outstanding artistic merit which create meaningful work for freelance period musicians, and which bring period-instrument music to audiences across the UK, engaging and inspiring people and enriching communities. The key criteria for assessing applications are:
the artistic merit and originality of the proposed project;
the number of instrumentalists engaged and the proportion of the grant funds dedicated to artists’ fees;
the extent to which new live or virtual audiences will be engaged; and
for recently formed ensembles, the extent to which the project proposed is realistic and will contribute to establishing the group's credentials and visibility.
In choosing which projects to support, in addition to the considerations above, there will be an assessment of the artistic excellence and recent activity of each ensemble. For the avoidance of doubt, ensembles do not need to meet all of the criteria below; the list is designed to give a sense of the areas being looked at by the Advisory Panel and Trustees in their decision-making. These include:
public performances since 2021, including those cancelled due to Covid-19
critically acclaimed recordings (including CDs, broadcasts, videos, etc.) since 2021
support of early-career instrumentalists and vocalists
innovative programming, including works by diverse composers
diversity of performers and administrators
involvement in outreach and education projects
whether the ensemble is a UK registered charity
The Trustees also consider the quality of the application itself, as we believe this is a reflection of the ensemble's ability to carry out the project to a high standard.
RECENTLY FORMED ENSEMBLES - EVALUATION CRITERIA
For ensembles formed between ca. June 2020 and June 2023, the Advisory Panel will consider the areas set out below:
evidence of public performances (including any that were cancelled)
background information on the musicians comprising the ensemble
the rationale for the formation of the group
repertoire being explored, aspirations, etc.
The applicants in this category are asked to submit a 10-minute, unedited video of the ensemble performing together. This could be an extract from a live-streamed concert, or part of a performance filmed on a smart phone. If there is no film footage from performances, we would consider a video from a rehearsal. The video does not need to be professionally filmed - we look for the quality of the ensemble playing, not the quality of the video.
NB - In order to be eligible, an ensemble must have had at least one public performance before 30th June 2023. The ensemble should demonstrate the intention to have a lasting presence, rather than gathering for a one-off project.
If you are a professional UK-based ensemble with a consistent membership of at least three period instrumentalists, and have an artistic project you would like to carry out in the UK between October 2023 and March 2024, we welcome you to apply.
If you do not yet have an Ensemble Profile on our digital hub for UK Early Music, Continuo Connect, you will need to create one prior to completing the application form.
Copy your Continuo Connect Ensemble Profile URL and proceed to complete the Grant Application Form below.
Submission deadline: Thursday 10 August 2023, 5pm
Award decisions by: Thursday, 21 September 2023
HOW TO APPLY
TO APPLY, PLEASE COMPLETE THE ONLINE APPLICATION FORM BELOW
Since you cannot save or print the online form, we recommend that you download and complete the Application Form Worksheet, which can be saved for your records. The answers from the worksheet can then be entered on the form below. When your application has been successfully submitted, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address provided.
All applications must be submitted online by 10 August 2023 at 5pm.
Before you start the online application, please make sure you have your Continuo Connect Ensemble Profile URL, then download and complete the Project Budget template (Excel file).
There is a how-to video here with instructions to help with completing the Project Budget template.
We strongly suggest you read the Guidance Notes to assist with completing the application.
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