Los Angeles: Villa Aurora

Last Application Deadline 1.3.2020

CONTACT
Maureen Noe

maureen.noe@musicboard.berlin.de
T +49 (0)30 288 787 88

1 Overview

Musicboard Berlin in cooperation with the Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V. grants one Berlin pop musician a three-month residency at Villa Aurora in Los Angeles, USA. As an established residency house, it offers a space for interdisciplinary exchange as well as the opportunity to work on own artistic projects. The residency at Villa Aurora is intended for artists of all pop music genres. With the term »pop music« Musicboard refers to all genres of popular music as well as cross-genre or experimental pop music that cannot be clearly assigned to the categories of jazz or classical and new music. Due to the networking opportunities on site, the residency is particularly suitable for musicians who are active in the field of film.

2 Conditions

Eligible to apply are:

  • solo artists living and working in Berlin
  • pop musicians that work professionally and stand out through their creative achievements
  • musicians with a high level of independence and personal initiative
  • musicians who are particularly open to interdisciplinary exchange

3 Timeframe

Stay in Los Angeles: 3 months in the 1st quarter of 2022

The duration of the residency is set, the residency cannot be shortened. The exact period of the residency will be coordinated between the cooperation partners and the selected musician.

4 Residency Details

The Villa Aurora was the home of writer Lion Feuchtwanger and his wife Marta during their US exile in the 1940s. As a haven from persecution by the National Socialist regime, the Villa Aurora became a meeting place for German-speaking emigrants in Los Angeles. The Feuchtwangers regularly held readings, concerts, and receptions there. Their guests included Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Bruno Frank, Charlie Chaplin, Franz Werfel and Alma Mahler-Werfel, Hanns Eisler, Ernst Toch, and many other artists and intellectuals. Villa Aurora has been run as an artist residency since 1995 and serves as a centre of cultural life and international encounter.

In addition to the Musicboard residents, the Villa Aurora hosts scholarship holders from across Germany in the fields of fine arts, film, composition, literature, and performance. As a residency house, it offers a space for interdisciplinary exchange. A stay at Villa Aurora not only promises the potential for artistic collaborations, it also provides good networking opportunities to the Los Angeles music scene at large. There is a soundproof room on-site which is well suited for making music and recordings. A selection of technical equipment is available. The Villa also has a grand piano and its own house organ.

5 Contributions

The Musicboard covers:

  • the round-trip travel costs as well as costs for accommodation, food, working and rehearsal space
  • a singular contribution to project-related costs

6 Application

The following documents must be supplied, in German or in English, using exclusively the application tool that can be accessed via the button at the end of this page:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Statement of Purpose
    using no more than two A4 pages, including the presentation and basis of the planned artistic initiative in the context of the residency
  • Artistic resume
    including proof of past performances, releases, and collaborations with other artists (e.g. in the form of web links, graphic documents or screenshots)
  • Three music samples
    to be uploaded as mp3s
  • Scans of certificate of registration or personal ID (front and back)
    indicating Berlin as place of residence
  • for non-EU citizens: Passport scan
    including residence permit, duration of stay, and type of work permit

In each round of funding, applicants may apply for more than one residency, by indicating multiple options in the residency application. It is important that a statement of purpose is submitted for each residency site.

Only fully completed documents can be considered. All applications will be handled confidentially and used exclusively for decision-making and funding purposes. Publication of certain relevant details is granted by the applicant as part of the application process.

7 Selection Procedure

The residencies are awarded through Musicboard Berlin GmbH upon recommendation of a three-year term, independent jury of Berlin-based pop experts and in consultation with the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. In the fall of 2020 the following jury was appointed to the Scholarships & Residencies programme:

  • Elia Rediger
    musician and curator of the series ›Aus dem Hinterhalt‹, Deutsche Oper Berlin
  • Julia Lorenz
    music journalist and writer
  • Katja Lucker
    Managing Director of Musicboard Berlin GmbH
  • Pamela Owusu-Brenyah
    A&R, music consultant and curator Pop-Kultur Festival
  • Sarah Farina
    DJ and producer

A short description of the jury members is available here.

8 Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve collected here some frequently asked questions about Musicboard’s residencies. This information is intended for general advice, is not legally binding, and does not take the place of an examination of individual circumstances. We will gladly answer further, detailed questions on the funding programme by phone or by email. Please read the FAQs and other explanatory notes on this website carefully before contacting us. We also recommend the free services of the Kulturförderberatung by Kreativ Kultur Berlin, which supports artists in all disciplines in their search for possible funding, can offer tips for preparing applications and can provide review of applications.

What is meant by »living and working in Berlin«?
In the residency programme, Musicboard funds exclusively musicians and bands who live and work in Berlin. Residency and livelihood must be established with residence permits or personal ID (front and back). The nationality of the musician is irrelevant to the funding decision. Anyhow, for non-EU citizens filing an application, it is necessary in addition to the Berlin residence certificate to provide a passport that includes residence permit, duration of stay, and type of work permit. Please note that Berlin residence must be officially verified. Rent contracts etc. are not sufficient for proof of residence. We kindly ask you to refrain from submitting such documents containing sensitive personal data.
I’ve just submitted another application to Musicboard. Can I still apply for the residency?
In general, it is possible for musicians to be funded repeatedly and in successive periods. In each round of funding, applicants may apply for more than one residency, by indicating multiple options in the residency application. It is important that a statement of purpose is submitted for each residency site. Applications without a statement of purpose cannot be considered. It is also possible to simultaneously apply for a scholarship and a residency. In this case, two applications must be supplied. In general, due to the large number of applications in a given funding round, the jury will recommend only one grant per artist.
How must my statement of purpose be designed?
In their statement of purpose, applicants should, in no more than two pages, state why they are applying for a residency and what artistic project they would like to put forward in the context of the residency. From the statement of purpose it should be evident that the applicant is familiar with the artistic and cultural context and the profile of the residency site. When applying for more than one residency, it is important that a statement of purpose is submitted for each residency site. Applications without a statement of purpose cannot be considered. The document can be submitted in English or German.
How must my artistic resume be designed?
We deliberately omit a template for the artistic resume since artistic careers can vary so widely. The presentation can be made graphically, in text, as a biography or in the form of a portfolio. It is helpful to indicate milestones in your artistic career, such as releases, particular performances, awards, residencies, artistic collaborations or co-ventures with partners from the music industry (labels, agents, etc.). To verify these weblinks, graphic attachments or screenshots can be helpful, but they are not necessary in every single instance. The document can be submitted in English or German.
What songs can I submit as music samples? Are demos acceptable?
The music samples should be three songs that represent you and your art. They need not be the newest songs, or the ones that you want to work on during your project. Demos can be submitted. Depending on their quality, it may be wise to provide in addition one or two fully produced works.
I have questions about the accessibility of the residence – whom can I contact with questions?
We want our residency programme to be accessible for all and that it be as inclusive as possible, and so we are always available for any questions, requests and suggestions. For special needs or questions about the accessibility of the residency, please contact Maureen Noe for personal assistance: maureen.noe@musicboard.berlin.de.
When exactly is the application deadline?
The application deadline for the residency is midnight March 1, or 12 a.m. March 2. Until then, applications can be received online and will be posted as received before the deadline. The application is received when after a successful transmission a pdf appears for downloading. Only after a positive jury decision the signed application document has to be sent to the Musicboard by postal service. We recommend allowing plenty of time for the application and its attachments to upload, and not waiting until the last minute to apply. The upload speed of our servers can decline with increased traffic to the site. We do not recommend the use of Google Chrome as a browser. If problems arise with the filing, please make a screenshot, save the application draft and advise us by email at: maureen.noe@musicboard.berlin.de

What are the selection criteria of the jury, and when will I be informed of their decision?
The jury bases its decision above all on the artistic quality of the work, chances of success and the persuasiveness of the application as presented. The project idea should be meaningful for the development and career of the applicant. This can be determined by the applicant’s statement of purpose. A particular focus of the jury is the music samples provided. Funding decisions are made with a view toward building the diversity of Berlin’s music scene. Musicboard and the appointed jury place great value on inclusion and gender balance. The jury’s decision follows the application deadline by 4 to 6 weeks, and applicants are informed by email. Acceptances and declines are sent at the same time. Usually, more applications are received than can be funded, and Musicboard is not obliged to explain its decision. There is no legal entitlement to funding.

The application period for the year 2021 has ended. The Call for Residencies in 2022 will be announced via the Musicboard Newsletter.

View of Villa Aurora
Los Angeles – Villa Aurora (Photo: Mirko Lux)
Villa Aurora – Historic view (Photo: Villa Aurora)
Villa Aurora – Historic view (Photo: Villa Aurora)