Aply for Folkstock Arts Foundation scheme

PUBLISHED: 15:41 28 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:16 29 April 2013

Folkstock Arts Foundation

Folkstock Arts Foundation

Archant

THERE’S still time to apply for a place on a new scheme run by the Folkstock Arts Foundation.

The Folk [Picture: Sharon Cooper]The Folk [Picture: Sharon Cooper]

ASPIRING acoustic artists in the county are being offered the chance to fulfil their dreams by a new community organisation promoting live music.

Folk, roots and acoustic musicians who write and perform original material can apply for places on a heavily subsidised scheme run by the newly-formed Folkstock Arts Foundation.

The Folkstock team includes Rhythms of the World performance director Steve Smither and is headed up by Helen Meissner, who helped launch all-girl trio The Folk.

“I felt it was time to formalise what I can do for bands and give it some structure, so there are four programmes of coaching and support, delivered over six months,” said Helen.

“All ages and all levels of experience are welcome, but it has to be acoustic, folk or roots music.”

If you want to apply for a place, visit www.folkstockartsfoundation.com or follow on Facebook by typing in folkstockartsfoundation to the search bar. Alternatively, email folkstock@hotmail.co.uk

But hurry. Applications close on April 30.

There are places for 18 acts in total, which can be bands or solo musicians, and the scheme is currently run by volunteers who are passionate about supporting unsigned musicians.

Helen said: “All applicants to the scheme will get some feedback after they have applied, your application will not just be sent out into a black hole, which I think is demoralising and completely the opposite of what we are trying to achieve here.

“There are no legal contracts or obligations, but people signing up to the foundation will need to provide some sort of financial contribution at a level which they can afford, starting from £5, to demonstrate commitment.”

The opportunities range from ‘Feel the Fear’ development stage for students through to ‘Grass Roots’ for people with a bit more experience.

Then there’s ‘Phoenix’ for more experienced bands or performers who are at the stage where they need another boost to get them to the next level, while ‘One for the Road’ is to help people who are prepared to travel out of their local pubs – and comfort zone – and onto stages and airwaves further afield.

Full details of the four programmes can be found on the website www.folkstockartsfoundation.com

There are a number of local showcase opportunities planned for performers who are signed up to the Folkstock Arts Foundation, or who are associated with it, including one on May 18 at the Welwyn Garden City Food Festival.

Another is due to be held at the Forum Hertfordshire in Hatfield on June 26, while four workshop/mini festival campfire events will be held across the summer at Church Farm Ardeley, in East Herts.

Saturday, September 21 sees a flagship acoustic festival, Folkstock, at Aldenham Country Park, near Elstree, in south Hertfordshire.

Other events around the country, such as a fundraiser in Brighton, are being added to the list.

Helen said: “There is a lot of raw talent all around us, creating original songs; singing in showers and strumming in bedrooms, especially if they are too young for the pub open mic scene, or too embarrassed to try again once their children have become more independent, for fear of ridicule by friends or family.

“Sometimes all they need is someone outside their immediate loop to give them some honest feedback and guidance about possible steps forward.

“You do, of course, need a degree of persistence and application to get on in any walk of life, but being a musician lands you in a very competitive environment. And it really is survival of the fittest.

“My aim is to help musicians be ‘match fit’ to embrace the opportunities which come their way and I am really excited to be starting this programme.”


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