Atsain Fund Round One Announcement
15 Local organisations receive £140k of grants to address barriers to music for young people in Wales.
Following the welcome Welsh Government announcement last month of extensive funding for access to music in schools, Anthem. Cronfa Gerdd Cymru Music Fund Wales has announced it will continue to support young people and music by awarding £140k worth of grants to 15 organisations across Wales to help address barriers to music for young people.
Atsain is a brand-new fund working for young people engaging in music who experience barriers through life circumstances, geographical issues, identity or background, and is backed by investment from Youth Music thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and Anthem’s resources with support from founding patrons and Welsh Government.
Organisations were able to apply up to £10,000 to help them deliver specific music projects for young people in Wales that address a specific barrier to engagement.
Some of the 15 organisations being supported to address barriers for young people to accessing music are working Wales wide or across specific regional areas.
Disability Arts Cymru will be using the Atsain grant to launch The Pathways to Music project which will bring together young disabled and Deaf people across Wales to guide and develop six workshops for young people aged 16-30, giving them bespoke and accessible tools to start writing, playing and performing music. It will be the first disabled-led Wales-wide music scheme for young people wanting to make contemporary music.
Media Academy Cymru will be establishing monthly music masterclasses with the Atsain funding, which will be delivered across communities in South Wales supporting young people who experience barriers because of the criminal justice system; ethnicity, neuro-diversity and those who currently are Not Engaged in Education and Employment.
Trac Cymru, will be supporting marginalised young people to articulate their own personal experiences using the folk traditions of expressive storytelling and collective knowledge.
As well as pan Wales projects, Atsain Fund is also supporting essential local youth music projects:
In Cardiff, South Riverside Community Development Centre will be launching a multi-cultural, multi-generational project involving drumming, singing and instrumental workshops. The project seeks to represent and be representative of all the communities in the Riverside area.
Sound Progression will be launching a series of workshops called Next Level to improve progression routes for young people aged 10-25 years and from diverse and/or socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
In mid Wales, Theatr Brycheiniog will be setting up a producing group, to create a musical programme for the Theatre, developing a series of events and activities designed, curated and led by young people for young people.
In North-East Wales, Art and Soul Tribe will be launching their project, The Bridging the Gap which will support young people aged 13-18, with a particular focus on neurodiversity, depression & anxiety, economic deprivation and asylum seekers. Art And Soul Tribe will work with a cohort of young people to create and develop safe spaces and sessions to learn new skills, engage with and learn from professional musicians, and collaborate to co-produce a final performance event at a local music venue.
In North West Wales, Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias will be developing and expanding musical provision for disabled children and young people in Gwynedd and Denbighshire by running after-school music clubs and showcases in partnership with families and agencies, and music sessions in a new pre-school for disabled children.
This is the first major fund to be announced by Anthem, with more ambitious plans being developed across 2022, including a new Digital Gateway which will help young people find their pathway to music.
Each organisation funded through Atsain will start their activity in the next few weeks and their programs of activity will run for between 6 and 18 months. The next round of the Atsain Fund will take place in Autumn 2022.