By Norman Warwick

English Folk Expo’s Artist Mentoring Programme 2020/2021

Open now for new applications

Deadline: 5pm Sunday 21st June

Applications are now open for the third edition of the English Folk Expo (EFEx) Artist Mentoring Programme, aimed at equipping emerging artists with the skills, knowledge and experience for a career in folk, roots and acoustic music. This is a unique, free and wide-ranging opportunity for artists. Each artist on the programme is partnered with a professional music industry mentor who will offer guidance throughout the year-long programme.

They will take part in training days, including one day in partnership with the Featured Artists Coalition.

Nancy Kerr

They will attend the Americana Music Association-UK Conference, FOCUS Wales and English Folk Expo Showcase, as well as performing at Cambridge Folk Festival where they will receive feedback and advice from stagecraft tutor, Nancy Kerr.

They will receive a free one-year membership of EFEx Digital, giving access to information about industry professionals, opportunities for artists and relevant online resources and, additionally, they will receive support in writing a three-year business plan.

Travel, accommodation, conference passes and subsistence expenses are covered for activity days and artists are paid a small fee for performances involved across the programme.

To be eligible to apply for this programme, artists must be resident in the UK and perform English folk, roots or acoustic music (including singer-songwriter, roots/Americana and traditional). Artists do not need to be full time professional musicians however they must be available for all dates in the 2020/2021 programme – see below.

Applicants can be of any age and background but should be at an early stage in their career. EFEx is seeking applications from individuals.

If a band would like to apply, they should nominate an individual to be the lead participant but ensure that the full band  is available for all performance dates.

Programme dates:

Training days: 16th and 17th October 2020

Americana Music Association-UK Conference: 26th-28th January 2021

FOCUS Wales: dates TBC

Cambridge Folk Festival 29th July-2nd August 2021

English Folk Expo: 21st-23rd October 2021

Applications can be made via the English Folk Expo website at www.englishfolkexpo.com / https://www.englishfolkexpo.com/artist-mentoring-programme-applications-now-open/.

EFEx is also happy to receive a link to a recorded or filmed application based on the contents of the online form or to receive applications in an alternative format.

Tom Besford

To discuss an alternative format, have an informal conversation about applying or to send sound or video links, email Tom Besford at tom@englishfolkexpo.com before applications close at 5pm on Sunday 21st June 2020. Candidates will be notified by early July.

Tom started his career in music venues and festivals with previous posts at Sage Gateshead, Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester International Festival. In late 2015, Tom took up the newly created post of Arts & Heritage Manager at the Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust (trading as Link4Life) where he leads the Arts & Heritage service, based in Touchstones Rochdale. The service currently encompasses an accredited museum & art gallery, outreach & education team, local studies & archives, café, shop and visitor information centre. Tom is currently the Chair of the Greater Manchester Museums Group, and welcomed Dippy the Diplodocus to Rochdale when it left the Natural History Museum in 2019/20.

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