The Folk Federation of NSW Young Folk Artists Award is an annual program funded by donations and our membership. There are two Awards: under 19 years; and under 25 years. The call for applications is usually in the first quarter of the year with the awards announced in the middle of the year (2023 dates TBC). We take a broad view of ‘folk’ forms, and encourage bands, soloists, singers, instrumentalists, trad-players and original composers to apply. Applicants just need to provide a video sample of their music/act and complete a few short questions about their background and what the award would mean for them. The two recipients are selected by a small panel from within the Folk Federation of NSW committee.
Each of the Young Folk Artists receives a cash prize, a day of free recording/mixing (donated by Blue Mountain Sound), access to mentoring from an experienced artist in the folk genre, and access to performance opportunities (e.g. at the Sydney Folk Festival). The program is coordinated by Craig Sinclair who keeps in touch with the artists as the year goes on. The 2022 Sydney Folk Festival included a youth showcase event in which the 2021 and 2022 award recipients all played short sets. Young folk artist recipients are also invited to perform at FolkFedNSW’s end of year ‘Folk Bash’.
FolkFedNSW is keen to build links with festivals and folk clubs around NSW to generate further interest and engagement in the program and to provide additional performance opportunities over the year’s program. Craig is especially keen to build the base of young folk artists who are engaged with this, whether or not they receive the award, with a longer-term view to identify ways of connecting young artists and facilitating collaboration.
You can see more info about the Young Folk Artist Awards HERE, including an interview with previous recipient Bodhi Turner as well as videos provided by the current recipients Emma Foote and Sean Cooper.
Cover photo: Sean Cooper (under 25yrs Folk Artist 2022) mentoring session with acclaimed WA musician Rod Vervest