Home » Following the success of Atsain, Anthem launches new fund for young people and music opportunities in isolated areas in Wales
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Following the success of Atsain, Anthem launches new fund for young people and music opportunities in isolated areas in Wales

ANTHEM Music Fund Wales, is excited to announce another 10 organisations who have benefited from the Atsain Fund enabling them to run youth music projects across Wales. Following this announcement, Anthem is now launching a brand new fund to support young people living in isolated communities in Wales to improve access to music.

Anthem’s Atsain Fund has supported 45 youth music projects across Wales and invested £379,933 across the last two years.

Anthem Music Fund Wales believes that every young person deserves the opportunity to engage and explore what music can do for them. Their mission is to enable access to music, generate more opportunities and nurture diverse talent to take the next steps to musical careers.

Atsain Fund launched 2 years ago and supports organisations working with 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.

In December 2023 Anthem launched the fourth round of the Atsain Fund and received 38 applications asking for a total of £308,000. While Anthem was so pleased to be able to support 10 organisations and provide £74,767 in this last round, the standard of applications was extremely high and there were so many more organisations they could have funded if there was more funding available.

Rhian Hutchings, Anthem Chief Executive, said: “It’s clear that music is a very powerful tool to use when working with young people, and can be used in many different ways. So many organisations are seeking to create youth music projects to support young people and give them a voice.

“We’ve only been able to support a small amount of projects in our latest round. More funding is urgently needed to enable even more young people to thrive through music.”

In Atsain Round Four Anthem are pleased to support: Action for Arts Trust (Rhyl), Beacons Cymru (Pan Wales), Cerebra (Carmarthen), Ethnic Youth Support Team (Swansea), Heol Chwarae Rôl Role Play Lane (RCT), High Grade Grooves Academy (Gwynedd), Lab 7 CIC (Cardiff), Sistema Cymru Codi’r To (Gwynedd), Swansea Music Art Digital (Swansea), Ty Cerdd – Music Centre Wales (Pan Wales).

Rhian Hutchings added: “These projects over the last two years have had a huge impact on young people. Music was obviously a focus of all the projects funded through Atsain, and projects offered skills in a wide range of musical disciplines and genres.

“There were also clear personal and social outcomes for all project participants. Confidence, self-esteem and pride were strong outcomes for many of the projects evaluated, as well as friendship and community building. For some participants, engagement in a youth music project was life-changing.”

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A parent of an Atsain funded youth music project participant said: “Since attending, S has found the confidence to start back at school again. He looks forward to attending his sessions each week and always comes home excited to show his dad what he’s learnt.”

The Atsain Fund evaluation is uncovering how we can break down barriers for young people in Wales, and Anthem is now using this learning to launch a more strategic approach through Atsain, focusing funds on specific barriers.

A Youth Music Organisation in Wales stated: “The potential is there for Anthem to have a major impact on strategic developments in music education and programming for young people in Wales because of the commitment, experience and knowledge of organisations both in terms of music and in funding and the politics within Welsh Government.”

Anthem is now launching the first of these strategic funds – Young Curators Cymru. This year-long programme has been created in partnership with Theatr Brycheiniog to address the specific barrier of geographical isolation.

Anthem is now calling out for organisations to apply for the Young Curators Cymru project. This exciting programme of activity will give up to 40 young people aged 11-18 years old the opportunity to curate and programme music events within their own rural communities. Anthem is excited to see how venues working in areas of rural isolation could be host venues and are encouraging them to apply. Training and support to run the project will be provided by Anthem and through their training partner on the project, Theatr Brychieniog.

Young Curators Cymru partners will empower young people to become active citizens within their community, bringing them together to develop promoter skills and music interests, and introducing them to pathways into the music industry that they would otherwise not be given the opportunity to learn about. The project aims to address geographical isolation, giving young people in rural communities the skills to run activities that they wouldn’t normally have access to. Young Curators Cymru is funded by Youth Music, Arts Council of Wales and Foyle Foundation.

This fund is now open and the closing date is the 12th of August. A webinar will take place on 22nd July for anyone wanting further information. All application and webinar information can be found on the Anthem website.