The Graeme Miles Bursary is open to artists or groups based in the North East of England. The aim is to fund an important development opportunity, project or programme of activity that will have a lasting impact on their career. The £1,200 award is made annually to celebrate the life of Middlesbrough’s Graeme Miles who died in 2013.
A contemporary of Ewan MacColl, Miles wrote his first song, Sea Coal about Hartlepool, at the age of 14, and after hearing the traditional songs of Tyneside, set himself a 20-year task to create a collection for his adopted native Teesside.
The memorial bursary, which is funded and administered by The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and funded by The Unthanks through fundraising concerts, is now in its 3rd year running and will continue to organise events to fund future awards.
The Graeme Miles Bursary scheme is open to any folk artists or groups, aged 18 to 25, in the North East of England, which includes Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and the Tees Valley. The bursary is to fund a significant development opportunity, project or programme of activity that could have a lasting impact on their career.
The inaugural winner was Joe Hammill from Thornaby on Tees. The singer songwriter, who fronts the band Cattle & Cane, invested the award in home studio equipment to record his own music. The 2016 recipient was the Rachel Hamer Band, a Newcastle folk band with strong links to Teesside.
The selection panel includes Adrian McNally and Rachel Unthank from The Unthanks.
The deadline for 2017 applications has now passed. The bursary announcement will be made in December 2017.