Serious would like to express its concern and disappointment over PRS for Music’s decision to cut PRS Foundation’s funding by 60% from 2024. PRS Foundation have been a vital resource in funding and nurturing some of the most important musicians to have come from the United Kingdom in recent years, along with talent development providers like Serious and many of our friends and partners.
As has been well documented, their funding has enabled artists to develop, create and release work – going on to sign major record deals, tour extensively, and receive numerous high profile awards such as the Mercury Prize. They have also been instrumental in breaking down structural inequalities in the music industry with initiatives such as the Women Make Music Fund, the Keychange programme for achieving gender equality (which Serious and the EFG London Jazz Festival is a proud signatory of), and the Power Up fund for Black artists and music professionals – which a number of our Seriously Talented alumni have received. Their funding applications are extremely accessible for artists and the process is very transparent, meaning that artists from a wide variety of backgrounds have been able to become recipients.
In terms of our work, they have been a funder of our flagship Take Five talent development programme since its inception in 2004, as well as funding our emerging talent programming in the EFG London Jazz Festival and elsewhere, while over fifty of our alumni have received funding from across their Open Fund, Women Makes Music, Momentum, Power Up, and other funding strands. Quite simply, our work with emerging artists which is so essential to our ethos would not be possible without them.
We strongly urge PRS for Music to reconsider this decision and encourage the entire industry to support PRS Foundation during this challenging time.