Both Sides NowIn Events
Launch event with Beth Orton hosted by Miranda Sawyer @ Old Granada Studios, Manchester
23rd November, 6-9pm
Manchester-based music charity Brighter Sound announce Both Sides Now, an ambitious three-year programme to support, inspire and showcase women in music across the North of England, with support from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence fund.
In an industry where women are in the minority, and those in senior roles continue to be a rarity, the intersection of geography, socio-economics and gender means women in the North of England are less likely to forge careers in music.
Since 2011, Brighter Sound has led a diverse range of programming connecting young people and emerging artists through music and creativity. These initiatives have included emerging artist residencies led by Beth Orton, Imogen Heap and Anna Meredith, and ongoing support for young and emerging music creators.
Over the years, Brighter Sound noted a consistently low level of female participation across these programmes. With PRS figures showing a low number of registered female composers in the North and their own research showing a wider problem across the music industry, Brighter Sound decided to take action.
Their response is Both Sides Now, a three-year programme that combines residencies for emerging talent, mentoring, digital resources for schools and education, industry training, apprenticeships and national and international events. Focusing on Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and the surrounding areas, Both Sides Now aims to bridge the gap in access and opportunity between the North of England and London.
The campaign will launch at The Old Granada Studios, Manchester on 23rd November, with an event hosted by Miranda Sawyer and featuring a live residency showcase directed by Beth Orton. As director of the first artist residency, Beth said of the programme, “For me, Both Sides Now stands for a space where you can feel free to create music you feel excited to explore, a language you get to define for yourself and not be defined by.”
Both Sides Now programme:
- Residencies for emerging artists
- Residencies for young female musicians
- National and international commissions for new work
- Music industry apprenticeships
- The Lab – Conferences, symposia and showcases for industry and creativity
- Education – digital resources for music curriculum focused on the roles and achievements of women in music. In partnership with com
Those interested in participating in any of these programmes should register at www.brightersound.com/bothsidesnow for more information and updates
Both Sides Now’s objective is sustained and tangible impact on women’s representation in the music industry – reframing perceptions, challenging stereotypes to influence cultural, social and political change, while providing a lasting pathway for northern women pursuing careers in music.
Brighter Sounds and Both Sides Now use an inclusive definition of ‘women’ and ‘female’, welcoming participants who may identify as non-binary, cis-gendered, or trans.
Perceptions about the role of women in music start young, hence Both Sides Now also addresses school-based music education. We have conceived a spread of digital resources providing information and inspiration around female composers and musicians for educators.
These programmes will provide an environment for women to create, learn, experiment and perform freely. As Brighter Sound collaborator Beth Orton recognizes:
“There needs to be a space consciously created that allows our up-and-coming producers and engineers, writers and composers who also happen to be female a place they can unquestioningly and unapologetically explore passions that might otherwise remain someone else’s domain.”
About Brighter Sound (charity number 1154803)
Brighter Sound is a Manchester-based music charity that believes music-making and creativity should be a central pillar in the lives of all children and young people, that emerging musicians should be supported to develop their artistic confidence and originality, and that the music sector should be equal and diverse. Our purpose is to change the music landscape in industry, education and the wider sector by supporting emerging talent, addressing inequality, reducing barriers of access and promoting diversity and inclusion.
Supported by Arts Council England, the National Foundation for Youth Music, Manchester City Council, Help Musicians UK and PRS for Music Foundation our ambitious programmes use activity, partnerships, support and innovative projects to connect people to opportunities to develop, explore and grow through music, helping them achieve in their careers, education, musical and personal lives.
In 2016 we worked with 1652 young musicians and 1021 emerging musicians, 186 artists and facilitators and 483 adult learners. Across 57 projects, 53 performances and 854 sessions, we created 287 new works, and shared them with a live audience of 7350, 10,506 online viewers and had a broadcast reach of 10.7m. We collaborated with the Stroke Choir and the Swan Street Collective, an ensemble for young people living with special education needs and movement difficulties, continued our Emerging Musicians and Change Or Be Changed programmes and led artist residencies with Imogen Heap and Anna Meredith.
About Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence fund
Ambition for Excellence is a £35.2m fund aimed at stimulating and supporting ambition, talent and excellence across the arts sector in England. It aims to:
- Contribute to the development of strong cultural places
- Grow and develop talent and leadership across England and across artforms
- Give an international dimension to excellent work
- Create the highest quality new work, including for indoor and festival contexts
Its expectation is that 80 – 90 per cent of this fund will be committed outside London, to support the target of a minimum of 75 per cent of Lottery funding is committed outside the capital by 2018.