creative industries fund nl
Upstream: Music x Design Grant Scheme

Upstream: Music x Design Grant Scheme

Budget 2021: € 300.000

in collaboration with the Performing Arts Fund NL and Sena

The last deadline of 2021 was 1 September 2021.

With Upstream, the Creative Industries Fund NL, together with the Performing Arts Fund NL and Sena, supports innovative artistic formats and collaborations within Dutch pop/urban music. The Upstream: Music x Design grant programme is executed by the Creative Industries Fund NL and is intended for projects in which artists work together with designers and makers on new applications of design, visual culture and technology within music. With the help of Upstream, the Funds and Sena aim to broaden and strengthen the music industry in the Netherlands, to come across more strongly internationally and to stimulate crossovers into other disciplines. Talent development, professionalization, innovation and experimentation are central. The annual budget is made available in two application rounds of each € 150.000.
The Upstream: Music x Design grant programme is aimed at supporting collaborative projects. Dutch partnerships formed by at least one pop artist and one designer or maker from the creative industry may submit an application for this grant programme. It is important that together they make a proven contribution to their disciplines, nationally or internationally. The applicant must be registered in the Chamber of Commerce trade register.

In addition to Upstream: Music x Design, the Performing Arts Fund offers artists in pop-/ urban music the opportunity to invest in the development of their career with the Grant Programme Upstream: Music. For more information, visit (Dutch only).
Under the Upstream: Music x Design grant programme, applications for subsidy can be submitted for projects aimed at innovative (artistic) applications of design, image or technology within pop music. The programme is intended for projects that will also be shared with a wide audience. Projects can result in both physical and virtual presentations, products, installations or interventions.

development and realization application
For the development and realization of projects, the maximum contribution per project is € 50,000. The contribution is intended to provide fair compensation for the artistic/content-related parties involved and for costs, including material costs, relating to development, prototyping and performance.

starting grants
Within Upstream: Music x Design a grant can also be requested for the start-up phase of projects. The start-up phase is a maximum of six months and is intended for carrying out preliminary research, preparing for the project and fleshing out the collaboration. Starting grants amount to a maximum of € 5,000 and must result in a detailed plan for realization.

Applications must consist of a detailed project plan, time planning, budget, communication plan, CVs of parties involved, a (visual) portfolio and a collaboration agreement between the participating parties. Applications must be submitted by the party involved in the creative industry.

The Board may choose to provide part of the contribution as a loan, based on the advice given by the advisory committee. This form of support can be applied if it is likely that the project, or part of the project, will lead to a revenue model. In this situation, a part of the contribution, determined by the Board, must be reimbursed within three years at the most. When a project does not generate the expected income, the loan is partially or entirely written off.

for which projects can a grant application not be submitted?
A grant application may not be submitted in the case of projects in which none of the collaborating parties is primarily active within the creative industry, i.e. the disciplines of architecture, design and digital culture. In addition, no applications may be submitted for projects that do not rise above regular practice, such as conventional video clips or stage concepts, merchandising and artist branding.
In evaluating the application, attention is paid to the consistency of the project's motivation in terms of objective, set-up, expertise involved and content. Projects are also weighted according to the following criteria:

• Impact: the project investigates a sub-aspect of the pop sector in an innovative way and brings together parties with a proven track record from at least two disciplines.
• Artistic quality: the artistic quality of the project is high and it is technically feasible.
• Distinctive value: the project adds value to the existing range within pop/urban music.
• Dutch interest: the project is a collaboration between two or more partners who have a clear link with the Dutch creative industry. The applicant is registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. If the immediacy is well-founded, collaboration with a foreign party is permitted.
• Public reach: there is a clear vision on the project's public reach and the project is internationally scalable.
• The project's premiere takes place in the Netherlands.
• The application is accompanied by a detailed Intellectual Property Agreement between the participating parties that provides insight into the Intellectual Property relationships and the expected economic gain. The agreement on property rights, copyright and neighbouring rights must be signed by the parties involved when the request for realization is submitted.
• The Intellectual Property Agreement guarantees the possibility of unimpeded use of the end product by the artist concerned after realization of the end product.
• There is reasonable co-financing consisting of a personal contribution or a contribution from third parties.

Only the first four criteria mentioned above apply to starting-grant applications: impact, artistic quality, distinctive value and Dutch interest.
Refer to the Grant Application Guide (PDF) when submitting your application. The guide provides guidance with regard to the grant application and the drawing up of the project plan, budget and communication plan.

General Subsidy Regulations and the Architecture Grant Programme
The Creative Industries Fund NL has Subsidy Regulations that formally apply to the application, evaluation, awarding and final approval of a grant. Supplementary grant programmes have been drawn up with specific objectives and conditions. Read the Subsidy Regulations (PDF) as well as the Grant Programme Upstream: Music x Design (PDF) attentively before submitting an application.

online application environment
The application should be submitted using the online application environment. You have to sign up and create an account to do so. Please note: do so in a timely manner, it can take up to 1 working day for the Fund to validate the account and this is only done during the working week.

You can submit the online application form until 23:59 on the day of the closing date. Advice is to submit your application earlier because of the busy server.

Specific questions about the procedure, budget and/or project plan can be sent via email to one of the grants officers. First check if you can find the answer to your question in the Frequently Asked Questions.
After your application has been submitted, the Fund office checks whether you comply with the formal requirements as listed in the Subsidy Regulations (PDF) and the Grant Programme Upstream: Music x Design (PDF).

An advisory committee will evaluate your request on the basis of the Subsidy Regulations and the Grant Programme Upstream: Music x Design. In particular, it will assess the extent to which your application is aligned with the criteria listed in Articles 16 - 21 of the Subsidy Regulations (PDF) and the grant programme's specific objectives (Article 1 of the Grant Programme Upstream: Music x Design (PDF)). If the positive decisions in a round of applications exceed the available budget, prioritization can be applied. The committee will issue a recommendation to the Creative Industries Fund NL's Board. View the composition of the advisory committee for the Grant Programme Upstream: Music x Design here.

It happens quite regularly that the available budget of a subsidy round is insufficient. The total amount of the grants requested by all the positively evaluated applications exceeds the round's budget, or subsidy ceiling. Prioritization must then take place. This is carried out in accordance with Articles 9 and 10 of the Subsidy Regulations. Article 10, clause 2 (a) applies in this case:

'The available amount will be awarded to the applicants whose application is valued most highly, where the requested contribution can be awarded to the most highly valued applications, provided the total does not exceed the subsidy ceiling, and subsequently only the amount remaining up to the subsidy ceiling will be awarded to the applicant to whom awarding a grant would lead to the subsidy ceiling being exceeded.'

The board will take the recommendation into account in their decision to award the subsidy or not. You will be informed of the decision 10 weeks after the closing date for the grant programme at the latest. You will receive a message with the result by email.

If you do not agree with the Creative Industries Fund NL's decision you can submit a reviewed application or letter of appeal. More information is provided here.

If you receive a grant from the Creative Industries Fund NL you will enter into obligations. Please read important information on your accountability here. Two weeks before your project ends you will receive a request by e-mail to submit your accountability in the online application environment.
For further information please contact Team Upstream: Music x design:

You can also call +31 (0)10 4361600.

grants issued Upstream: Music x Design


Upstream: Music x Design Grant Scheme Presentation

The Secret Life of Plants

Project Wildeman, 2021

'The Secret Life of Plants' is a project by music and performance company Project Wildeman and visual artist Rosalie Wammes. Together they will develop a large, futuristic plant object, which is an installation during the day and where ritual performances take place in the evenings. It is a fusion of electronic live music, design and video art, which reveals a deeper layer of communication with plants. Music and design come together on an equal footing in the development of a meditative ritual. In this way, the team wants to take the audience gradually, without spoken language, into a surrealistic trance experience. This project contributes to the awareness of the relationship between humans and nature. The performance will be shown 25 times at different festivals, including Oerol and Karavaan (premiere).

Upstream: Music x Design Grant Scheme Presentation


Stichting Anthropologists in Art (AiArt), 2021

Musician Pink Oculus is collaborating with designers/artists Dennis Vandenbroeck and Boris Acket on an audiovisual installation for the tour linked to her upcoming album. In this installation, called 'Oculus', four elements come together: music, spatial design, lighting design and substantive research. The starting point is Pink Oculus's personal experiences with black and female empowerment, and the reference to the Afrofuturist art movement. Oculus transforms the standard performance space into a shared modern temple, where stories about the past, present and future merge. Oculus will premiere in front of an audience of 2,000 during 'Le Guess Who' festival in November 2021. Subsequently, a tour of clubs and festivals in the Netherlands and abroad will be set up. An essay will be written by Vincent van Velsen, based on the theoretical research and the process of making. Together with a modified version of Oculus, presentations will be made in galleries and art institutions.

Upstream: Music x Design Grant Scheme Presentation

Games in Concert: The Game

Stichting Wild Vreemd, 2021

Game music is a style of music that is gaining more and more attention. Smartphone Orchestra + the Metropole Orchestra are going one step further: they are developing an interactive form of concert and enthusing a new audience (gamers) for orchestral music and attending concerts, by integrating gameplay with the music. The audience literally takes part with their own smartphones and becomes part of the orchestra. During the concert, the audience plays 'The Game': a deliberately abstract game in which the audience gradually discovers that it has to work together to reach the next level. The points, levels, achievements and sounds of The Game influence what the orchestra plays. The musical elements are modularly controllable, ensuring a high degree of interactivity. The result is an innovative, interactive audience experience that shows what is possible when an orchestra and musicians let the audience contribute to the total concert experience with the help of 'game mechanics'. The Game will be performed in five major venues as part of 'Games in Concert', and will reach a total of 6,000 people. The parts for the smartphones will be created and composed by Eric Magnée, The Smartphone Orchestra's in-house composer. The orchestral instruments are in turn being arranged by Tom Trapp, one of the Metropole Orchestra's house composers. YouTubers GameGrumps, Smosh Games and NakeyJakey will be involved in the promotion.

Upstream: Music x Design Grant Scheme Publication

We... are Doomed (Pragmatic Propaganda)

The Irrational Library, 2020

'We...are Doomed' is a crossover project that connects graphic design, music and spoken word. The presentation of the third album by The Irrational Library 'We...are doomed (Pragmatic Propaganda)' will be accompanied by a new book with socio-political illustrations by illustrator TRIK. Through this collaboration, both parties want to give a boost to their creativity and skip the generic promotional campaign. The aim is also to do more justice to the album's underlying message on the theme of 'pragmatic propaganda' by means of TRIK's graphic contribution. Joshua Baumgarten's lyrics also play an important role. In live performances, TRIK's illustrations are used in moving form. Besides the ambition to use various online and offline media for the promotion, there will be a live tour that takes in event locations, art galleries and other venues.

Upstream: Music x Design Grant Scheme AV production

Eefje de Visser x Nick Verstand

Studio Nick Verstand, 2020

Singer-songwriter Eefje de Visser and artist Nick Verstand are working together on a project to develop a live show that combines music, choreography and scenography. The theme for Eefje de Visser's 2021 club tour is bringing together contrasts, and for this purpose separate elements are integrated into one harmonious system. The scenography consists of a large reflector suspended from three computer-controlled hoists, and a series of lights that follow it exactly to reflect the light to targeted spots. The intensity of the light is controlled in real time by the amplitude of Eefje de Visser's voice. This creates a lively image where light and sound merge together. For this project, several innovative techniques are being researched and developed, such as the light reflection of different materials and structures. In addition, software is being developed to control dynamic hoisting and lighting animations in three dimensions in real time. This software controls the hoist positions in such a way that the reflector is precisely positioned in the space. For the implementation of this project, there is collaboration with Sandra Hillaerts (choreography), Daniel de Bruin (hardware development) and Poul Holleman (software development), among others. The performance will be presented during an international tour, which kicks off in February 2021 in Carré Amsterdam.

the fund



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