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GRANT ROUND 7 IS OPEN!

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are now accepting applications in a new round offering £100,000 in grants to UK period instrument ensembles with outstanding creative projects.

The objective of our grants is to provide the funds and confidence needed for ensembles to plan and carry out a range of 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 7 continues the eligibility category first introduced in 2022 to support emerging ensembles seeking to establish themselves. Continuo is keen to enable these musicians, many of whom are graduates from 2020-2023, to gain the visibility and performing experience needed to build their careers. 

Grant award decisions are expected to be announced by 21 March 2024.   
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GRANT PARAMETERS

Applicants are invited to request amounts ranging from £2,000 to £8,000 to support UK projects scheduled to take place from 1 April to 31 October 2024. For recently formed ensembles (formed ca. June 2020 - December 2023), we prefer to support live concerts or tours but will consider a recording if this would make a material difference to the ensemble's career prospects. 
For example, grant proceeds could be used by a period-instrument ensemble to:
 
  • enable a concert with a larger number of musicians at risk of being downsized
  • fund a new project where there is uncertainty about audience take-up
  • support a tour of a new or existing programme to new UK locations
  • fund the recording of repertoire not previously recorded
  • 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 at least 4 recently formed groups. 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 within the £100,000.  

SELECTION CRITERIA

ELIGIBILITY
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.

Previous Continuo Foundation grantees are eligible to apply provided they complied with the terms of their grant(s), including acknowledging Continuo Foundation's support on all publicity related to the project and submitting their post-project report(s).
EVALUATION
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 quality, creativity 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, and support their future success.  
 
In choosing which projects to support, in addition to the considerations above, the Advisory Panel and Trustees will consider other factors in their decision-making. For the avoidance of doubt, ensembles do not need to meet all of the criteria below, the list is intended to give a sense of areas of interest. 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 December 2023, assessors 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 31st December 2023. The ensemble should demonstrate the intention to have a lasting presence, rather than gathering for a one-off project. 
CRITERIA
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 April and October 2024, we welcome you to apply. 
 
Step One:
If you do not yet have an Artist Profile on Continuo Connect, our digital hub for UK Early Music, you will need to create one prior to completing the application form. 
Step Two:
Copy your Continuo Connect Artist Profile URL and proceed to complete the Grant Application Form below. 

Submission deadline: Friday 9 February 2024, 5pm

Award decisions by: Thursday, 21 March 2024
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HOW TO APPLY

APPLYING

TO APPLY, PLEASE COMPLETE THE ONLINE APPLICATION FORM BELOW

Important!

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 9 February 2024 at 5pm. 
Before you start the online application, please make sure you have your Continuo Connect Artist 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.

CONTINUO FOUNDATION - GRANT ROUND 7 APPLICATION FORM

To apply, please complete the information below.

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APPLICATION FORM
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