Knowledge Centre Blog

Thoughts on Commencement of The Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland Programme by Sharon Rollston, Chief Executive, Music Network

Sharon RollstonMusic Network is delighted to be participating in the Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland Programme 2020-22. This opportunity comes at a critical time for the music sector and indeed for the arts across the board both here in Ireland and globally. Alongside other industries we’re grappling with a myriad of challenges and uncertainties in the wake of Covid-19, constantly adapting to the ever-evolving scenarios that present. In the context of such seismic shifts, initiatives like Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland are more valuable than ever in helping to increase much-needed investment in the arts, and we very much welcome the opportunity.

As a national music touring and development organisation, Music Network’s mission is to make high quality live music available and accessible to people throughout Ireland regardless of their location or circumstance, and to support the career development of musicians.

Everything we do stems from our mission: from our work in music education, to supporting musicians at varying stages of their development, to providing concerts, audience development and music-making activities through our valued network of partners. Our geographic reach, through our National Touring Programme, is extensive, and over the past 34 years we have contributed significantly to music development throughout Ireland.

Our vision is that of a culture which increasingly values live music as an integral and beneficial part of our everyday lives. Our values are centred on excellence, accessibility, partnership, equality and sustainability.

We want audiences to experience the very best of live music from world-class musicians in their own communities. We want to help musicians build successful careers in their chosen field. The past few months have brought home the power that music and the arts have to carry us all through testing times, and strengthened our resolve to continually seek new and creative ways to bring musicians and communities together in the future.

The diverse nature of our work presents many opportunities to support specific programmes of interest including education, commissioning and artist development programmes. Through the Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland programme we aim to strengthen existing partnerships and create meaningful and mutually beneficial new partnerships with individuals, businesses and philanthropic organisations that can help us to extend our reach and achieve much more.

2021 marks Music Network’s 35th anniversary, and the beginning of a new chapter in our development. We are currently in the process of writing an ambitious new strategic plan for the period 2021-2025. It is timely therefore to welcome our Fundraising Fellow Catherine Hearn onto the Music Network team. We’re looking forward to working closely with Catherine, particularly in relation to a number of exciting new programmes earmarked for development.

We also look forward to working intensively with Business to Arts over the next two years to build organisational capacity in fundraising, enhancing our relationships with existing supporters and forging new partnerships that ultimately diversify our income streams and enable the sustainable growth of the organisation.

We’d like to thank Business to Arts and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for this valuable opportunity.

Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland is a partnership between Business to Arts’ New Stream programme and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

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