The combined Northern agencies Jazz North are working together well. Their close collaboration does seem to be building capacity in a sensible way. A first initiative to support gigs promoted by volunteer promoters has received a grant from Arts Council England. Here's the full story from Steve Mead and Nigel Slee:
NorVolJazz (The Northern Voluntary Jazz Promoters Network) has been successful with its bid to Arts Council England (ACE) of £9,925 from the Grants for the Arts scheme for a series of roadshows to strengthen the jazz promoter skills-base. Jazz North worked with the network’s steering group to shape a bid around the urgent needs of voluntary jazz promoters, as identified by the group themselves: fundraising, education, audience development and marketing.
The roadshows will take place across the north at various jazz events and festivals over the next year, each focussing on one or two key areas at a time, with visiting specialists giving presentations and tailored guidance to help jazz promoters up their game in areas of the profession which are often taken for granted within larger organisations. These events will cover a host of topics: tackling grant applications, operating friends schemes, charitable fundraising, forging links with schools and Music Education Hubs, discovering what attracts cautious listeners, how to analyse your audience, website development, creating human interest stories, using the press, social and digital media.
Voluntary promoters play a vital part in keeping the northern jazz scene alive, yet most of them – carrying out most of their work for free and in their spare time – often don’t have the hours, capacity or expertise to turn their attention to matters other than getting the next gig on the road. These roadshows will channel some much-needed resources into our valued network of promoters to help them build a secure future.
More information on how to get involved with NorVolJazz here.