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BBC Performing Arts Fund awards £250,000 in new grants

2 November 2012

The BBC has announced more than £250,000 in grants from its Performing Arts Fund, a charity which helps develop new talent across the UK and is funded by phone voting on reality programmes such as The Voice UK.

Forty-seven not-for-profit community groups have been given awards of up to £10,000 under the fund's community music scheme, to help them encourage new members and run workshops and projects which will 'bring them closer with their communities and raise their profile'.

A BBC spokesman said the scheme has encouraged groups 'to take on more challenging projects through commissions, and to work collaboratively with other local organisations as well as professional artists'. Miriam O'Keeffe, director of the Performing Arts Fund, said: 'We are delighted to be providing an avenue for these projects to flourish. The passion these groups have for music is inspiring. The range, not only in the types of groups but also in the spread of ages, shows us that music really is for everybody.'

The successful groups demonstrated that their projects were 'challenging and ambitious yet achievable', that their project would develop the group and its members, and that the group would collaborate with and have an impact on the wider community. Winning programmes included workshops for marginalised young people in Manchester, sending an African drumming expert to the Shetland Isles to give intensive tuition and awarding Stevenage Symphony Orchestra in Hertfordshire more than £3,000 to create a new piece with a local composer and schoolchildren.

The ReSound Community Choir from Scarisbrick in Lancashire said of its award that 'the support from the BBC Performing Arts Fund will enable us not only to stage a concert for some of the most vulnerable people in our community, but to develop the skills within our choir to provide a lasting resource for the future'. The Dacorum Community Choir in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, said: 'For the vast majority of our participants this will be a totally new experience, resulting in a lasting memory for the performers. It will have a really positive effect on music making throughout the local community.'

For the full list of winners, see http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/paf-music-fellowships-2012.pdf.

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