Let’s ACE it

We are delighted to be receiving ACE funding from 2023, which will enable us to step up the work we do on behalf of our members.

ACE stands for Arts Council England, and after many years of not being regularly funded by ACE, Making Music decided this year to apply for three-year funding as an Investment Principles Support Organisation (IPSO). Bear with me, the rest of the words in this blog are not all abbreviations, promise! 

One of the reasons for not applying for regular funding, since 2013, is that we are proud to be funded by members only for our core activity. Members buy a subscription, and in turn we deliver what their group needs to flourish and develop. As members fund us, they have a say in how the association is run (e.g. on the Board of Trustees) and what it does. Regular funding would, we felt, somehow diminish that ‘member ownership’, by introducing another stakeholder, a non-member, with their own priorities to which we would need to respond. 

In this ACE round, though, there was a strand to apply for, for work we are already doing – helping members remove barriers for participants and audiences – which we realised could do with more resource from our end to really support groups and make a difference.  

‘At the heart of our Inclusivity & Relevance Principle,’ so ACE say, ‘is a commitment to achieving greater fairness, access and opportunity across the cultural sector.’ Who can argue that we don’t want to be part of that! 

So… we applied to be an IPSO for Inclusivity and Relevance and were successful. The funding and work start from April 2023 and we will be in touch after that, to talk more about what it means and how to get involved.  

In the meantime, we are pleased to be working in partnership with ACE and that they will be supporting our work, enabling us to deliver even more value to members.  

After all, members are the reason we exist and who keep us going - we were bowled over by their response to the hours, days, and months the team put in over Covid. Not only did groups loyally continue their membership and subscriptions, dozens and dozens of people also took the time to write and thank us for that work and tell us how it made a difference to their group.  

Here's to ACE-ing even more for our members…. 

Barbara Eifler 
Chief Executive of Making Music