The Musicboard

The Musicboard Berlin is the only institution of its kind nationwide with the aim to fund pop music in new and creative ways, and maintain a dynamic discourse on pop music in Berlin. The Musicboard counts on the innovative power of the music and creative industry. The Musicboard provides a new and courageous form of pop music funding.

More and more national and international artists, musicians and creatives of all genres choose Berlin as their center of life and work. They enrich the already existing, multi-faceted and interdisciplinary cultural scene with new impulses and ideas. Musicboard Berlin is pleased about this fresh input and the positive synergies resulting from co-operations with local creatives, which are reflected in the numerous innovative applications for the various funding programs. In four years Musicboard evolved to be an important contact point for various matters and concerns of the Berlin music scene and is accepted and respected for its uncomplicated and solution-orientated approach.

Since the beginning of 2013, the Berlin Senate set up Musicboard Berlin under the lead of Katja Lucker. Its task is to strengthen the local pop music scene by supporting projects of national and international scope which are able to enlarge the visibility of Berlin as a center of artistic productivity. Under pop music Musicboard understands all genres of popular music in general. Realistic concepts based on innovative ideas are supported and projects are funded which create a synergetic positive effect for the local pop music scene. There are no fixed themes but rather goals which want to be achieved by Musicboard and the funded projects together. By ‘Call for Concepts’ applications can be handed in until certain deadlines for five different funding programs: ‘Career springboard Berlin’, ’Pop in the hood’, ‘Festival funding’, ‘Scholarships & Residencies’ and ‘Support funding’. Any Berlin-based institution or company of the music sector, as well as individuals can apply. With these ‘Call for Concepts’ Musicboard invites the experts of the pop music scene of Berlin to think afresh and to try innovative approaches constantly.

In all matters Musicboard is working closely with the local music business, the music networks and commissions and conveys and funds co-operation projects. Due to the close collaboration with the administrative services and public authorities of Berlin, Musicboard moderates in problematic cases e.g. questions concerning noise protection and neighbourhood. Berlin-based musicians are directly supported by the ‘Scholarship & Residency’ program and the ‘Support funding’. Being a contact point Musicboard improves the transparency of already existing funding structures, it provides mediation to the right contact person and tries to provide a better infrastructure.

Since 2015, Musicboard operates under the name Musicboard Berlin GmbH as state-owned company from the Land of Berlin with an annual budget of 1.7 Million Euros from which 250,000 Euros are determined to finance the Berlin Music Commission.

In the funding programs ‘Career springboard Berlin’ and ‘Pop in the hood’ 48 projects were funded in 2017, 19 musicians got support through the ‘Support funding’ and 12 festivals benefitted from the ‘Festival funding’ program. So in 2017, 701 artists benefitted indirectly through all the different funding programs in about 183 events. Musicboard and its jury were very pleased to support 31 musicians in the ‘Scholarship & Residency’ program 2017 whereas eight of them could leave to residency places abroad, for instance in Los Angeles, Marseille, Detroit, Teheran and New Delhi.

The third Pop-Kultur and the affiliated Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs (Pop-Kultur young talents) format were again quite a success with approx. 10,000 visitors in 2017. Appreciating a lot the additional federal funds Pop-Kultur produced exclusive ‘commissoned works’. In 2018, the festival will go into its fourth round from August 15-17 at Kulturbrauerei again.

In 2018, all five funding programs from 2017 are reissued with the overall focus on supporting women in pop culture. The increased demand of rehearsal spaces for artists and musicians will still be a major issue, too, as well as the further internationalisation to the Berlin music scene.  Furthermore the Musicboard will especially focus on accessibility and inclusion. The aim is to bring together people with and without handicaps within the Berlin club- and concert culture.

In 2018, the Musicboard also organizes the Fête de la Musique in Berlin for the first time.