Musicboard is the only institution of its kind nationwide, funding pop music in new, creative ways and maintaining a dynamic discourse on pop music in Berlin. It stands for a respectful approach to diversity and content-based music funding, emphasising the positions of musicians. It’s based on the collaboration and innovation of music-makers, their communities and collectives.
Launched as a joint initiative between Berlin’s music scene and the State of Berlin, Musicboard was created as a funding institution in 2013. Since 2015, it has been operating as a state-owned limited company. Since then, Musicboard has actively funded Berlin’s pop-cultural music scene, serving as a funding institution, central contact point, advisor and mediator at the same time. Musicboard Berlin considers pop music to include all genres and varieties of popular music that cannot be clearly assigned to the genres of classical music, new music or jazz. It sees pop culture as a driving force of Berlin’s cultural identity. Since 2017, it has been administrated by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe of the State of Berlin.
Now with six different funding programmes, Musicboard Berlin supports individual musicians as well as general music projects with a jury-based call for concepts. Musicians are able to realise their own projects with the help of scholarships, take up residencies abroad or receive funding for a tour in which they perform as a support act. Through the programmes Karrieresprungbrett Berlin, Pop im Kiez and Festival Funding, music projects such as festivals, concert series and workshops get funded, giving a boost to Berlin’s pop scene and letting innovative concepts take flight. In 2020, Musicboard announced its new artist-based Label Funding programme.
Musicboard strives for the participation and involvement of all people in pop culture. Diversity and inclusion have been central topics in its funding from the very beginning. This is manifested in its priorities such as funding women and members of the queer music scene, a gender-equitable distribution of funding, a diverse selection of jury members and boards, as well as Musicboard’s commitment to inclusion and accessibility in the Berlin music scene.
Musicboard’s annual Pop-Kultur festival, brought to life in 2015, gives pop music a space for reflection and discourse via concerts, talks, readings, screenings and commissioned works created by musicians especially for the event. The accompanying Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs programme offers exclusive workshops and training for 250 selected newcomer talents from around the world who work within pop culture. Furthermore, Pop-Kultur has developed into an exemplary festival when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
Since 2018, Musicboard has also been organising Fête de la Musique on the 21st of June in Berlin, with over 100 central and peripheral venues in all of Berlin’s districts.
After six years, Musicboard is firmly rooted as an important, low-threshold and solution-oriented point of contact for Berlin’s music scene and its various needs. Through solid cooperation with Berlin’s administrative institutions and authorities, Musicboard also serves as a moderator in cases of conflict.
Berlin remains a city of artists, of independent scenes – all facing structural changes, the loss of spaces and precarious working conditions. Musicboard is committed to maintaining creative freedom, to improving infrastructures and working conditions for musicians, and to the strengthening of networks.