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National Endowment for Music

A new Development (February 2017) 14 Feb 2017

National Endowment for Music

The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams AM, has given the go ahead for the creation of a National Endowment for Music. This is a joint initiative with fellow Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates AM. The Welsh Government investment helps get the Endowment started, helping with start-up costs and seed funding that is hoped will attract further contributions. The Endowment is to be established in the coming year and the Arts Council of Wales has been given the task of driving forward the project in this initial phase.

An Endowment for Music, targeted at young people, was one of the ideas that came out of the work in 2015 of a Welsh Government Task and Finish Group on Music Services. The Arts Council was a participant in the Group. The idea can be traced to strategic thinking undertaken by the Arts Council in 2008 to look at different ways of supporting music development. Over the last year the Arts Council commissioned further research which set out the merits of the Endowment approach. The Arts Council welcomes the Welsh Government’s take up of the idea.

Commenting on the initiative, Chair Phil George said:

"Challenging times call for determined action. It’s more important than ever that we provide opportunities for young people to enrich their lives through artistic expression. This new fund is an invitation to private and corporate donors to join the Welsh Government in nurturing young musical talents and helping them delight and amaze us all."

Once formally established, the Fund will be operated by an appropriately constituted not for profit charitable independent company. Its focus will be the creation of new opportunities for young people’s musical talents to be identified and nurtured. The Fund will support musical activity in all its forms and at its heart will be a commitment to ensuring that opportunities are available to all young people, regardless of the ability to pay.

The Fund, which is expected to start offering support from 2020, will depend on attracting a range of partner investment and support. It will need the the participation of corporate and industry sponsors, one off dedicated deals, high net worth individual philanthropy, the voluntary sector, and legacy giving. This is a mid to long-term initiative. If you are interested in being involved, or want to follow the development of the Endowment, please contact in a first instance via: musicendowment@arts.wales

The National Endowment for Music is one aspect of a wider approach to the arts and young people. The Arts Council is fully committed to helping realise the talent and potential of young people; whether as creative individuals in their own right, or through a life long appreciation of the contribution that the arts can make to well being and quality of life.

The Arts Council’s other activities include the work of its Arts Portfolio Wales, 67 organisations many of whom promote creative opportunities for young people. These include the work of national companies such as Ffilm Cymru Wales’ "Into Film" schools project, Literature Wales’ Writing Squads and Young People’s Laureate. And Welsh National Opera’s acclaimed provision for Youth Opera.

Other activity currently supported by the Arts Council includes the national youth performing groups (managed by National Youth Arts Wales), young people’s arts festival Raw Fest, our participation in the activities of the Urdd, and our nation wide initiative to support talent in the visual arts Criw Celf.

Finally, we are now in the second year of a ground breaking five year partnership with the Welsh Government that will invest £20m in the "Creative Learning through the Arts" programme. Shortly to feature in day to day teaching in over 500 Welsh schools, the programme is transforming the ways that creativity is used to illuminate and enliven the school curriculum.

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