Musicboard residencies 2020

+++ Application Deadline for selected residencies: July 15, 2021 – see below: Residencies 2021 / Application Deadline for the scholarships 2021 was March 1, 2021 +++


Musicboard Berlin cooperates with an independent jury to annually grant scholarships and residencies to pop musicians and bands who have made Berlin their main place of residence and the centre of their creative work. Musicboard is the only institution in Germany to grant such awards to pop musicians.

The direct funding of musicians is intended to support young talent from Berlin and to honor the innovative power of Berlin’s music creators. The awarding of scholarships and residencies abroad by Musicboard Berlin promotes the further internationalisation of Berlin’s pop music scene and enables transcultural coproductions and networking.

The funding decisions are made with an eye to representing the diversity of Berlin’s music scene. Accordingly, Musicboard and the jury attach great value to inclusion and gender balance in their selection.


In its Scholarships & Residencies programme, Musicboard exclusively supports musicians and bands living and working in Berlin. In the case of bands, this means that the majority of their members have to live and work in Berlin. The artists’ country of origin is irrelevant. Applicants should be pop musicians who work professionally and stand out through their special creative achievements.

With the term »pop music«, Musicboard refers to all genres of popular music as well as cross-genre or experimental pop music that cannot be clearly assigned to the categories of jazz or classical and new music.

An overview of the scholarship holders and residents of the past years can be found here.


A Musicboard scholarship is a personalised funding package for a pop musician or band looking to develop artistically and professionally through a particular project that is limited in time.

Funding might cover, for example, artistic work on a single subject or the preparation and implementation of projects or productions not possible to realise without public support (e.g. album or video production, promotion and marketing, the songwriting process, development of artistic collaborations and co-productions, concert performances, etc.). Digital projects are also eligible, as is coverage of living expenses incurred during the project period if work on the project eliminates other income, e.g. from concert performances.

The amount of the scholarship is not predetermined and will be granted according to the situation and project of each applicant. Musicboard recommends that the requested funding amount ranges from 5,000 to 10,000 euros. Applicants must hand in a simple financial plan justifying their requested amount.

During the scholarship period it is possible to either work in Berlin or other places. Self-organised stays abroad can also be carried out within the framework of a scholarship. The applicant must state her or his desired place of work in the application.

In 2021, applicants selected by the Musicboard jury will again have the opportunity to receive individual musicians’ coaching with Jovanka von Wilsdorf in addition to their scholarships. More Information is available here.


Each year, Musicboard awards several different residencies in Germany and abroad in cooperation with a range of national and international partners. Musicboard’s residency programme gives Berlin pop musicians the opportunity to live and work in other places and invites international musicians for residencies in Berlin. Transnational coproductions are promoted through tandem residencies between Berlin and international musicians, which take place both in Germany and abroad.

Musicboard covers the costs associated with these stays. This includes round-trip travel costs as well as food, accommodation, working/rehearsal space, and project-related costs when applicable. The respective residency partners will support the artist with networking to the local music scene as well as facilitating access to events or organising a live show. Musicians interested in applying should demonstrate a high level of independence and personal initiative, and should be open to interdisciplinary exchange. The duration of a residency is fixed, and can vary between two weeks and three months.

Applicants may apply for more than one residency at once by ticking different options in the application. It is important that a letter of motivation be submitted for each residency that is ticked. Letters of motivation and artistic resumes for residency appications abroad must be written in English. Applications without letters of motivation will not be considered. There is no need to submit a financial plan when applying for a residency.

We would like to make our residency program accessible to everyone and as inclusive as possible. If you have special needs or questions about the accessibility of our residencies, please contact us in advance for a personal consultation:

Due to the ongoing dynamic Covid-19 situation, we reserve the right to award residencies conditionally and make adjustments to the terms of residencies in consultation with the applicants if necessary. Current information on the situation at the place of residence can be found in the travel and security information of the German Federal Foreign Office.


Selection Process

The scholarships and residencies are awarded through the Musicboard Berlin GmbH upon recommendation of an independent jury of Berlin-based pop experts. The current jury was appointed in 2020 for a period of three years consists of:

  • Julia Lorenz, music journalist and writer
  • Elia Rediger, musician and curator of the series ›Aus dem Hinterhalt‹, Deutsche Oper Berlin
  • Pamela Owusu-Brenyah, music consultant, curator Pop-Kultur Festival
  • Sarah Farina, DJ and producer
  • Katja Lucker, Managing Director of Musicboard Berlin GmbH

The jury will make a recommendation based on the quality of the work and the chances for success of the project presented. The Scholarships & Residencies will be announced 4 to 6 weeks after the application deadline. There is no entitlement to claim a subsidy.

Application Documents

The following application documents for the Scholarships & Residencies programme must be submitted online only.

  • Completed Application Form
  • Letter of motivation and description of the artistic project in the framework of the scholarship/residency
    Max. two A4-pages. When applicable, this may be supplemented by a description of project partners and confirmation letters acknowledging upcoming collaborations. For international residency applications, these letters of motivation must be written in English.
  • Artistic resume
    Can be submitted in the form of a resume/curriculum vitae or artist biography. Including proof of performances, collaborations with other artists/musicians, etc. (e.g. in the form of web links, graphic documents or screenshots). For international residency applications, the artistic resume must be written in English.
  • Three music samples
    To be uploaded as mp3’s
  • Financial plan
    Indicating the required amount of scholarship funding (not necessary for residency applications)
  • Scans of certificate of registration or personal ID (front and back)
    Indicating Berlin as place of residence. For bands, please upload the registration certificate of the applying band member.
  • For non-EU citizens: Passport scan
    Including residence permit, duration of stay, and type of work permit. For bands, please upload the passport scan of the applying band member.

Application Language

All application documents may be submitted in either German or English. Exception: motivation letters and artistic resumes for international residency applications must be written in English.

Application Deadline

Each year, the application deadline for the first funding round for Scholarships & Residencies is March 1 at midnight (00:00 in the night leading into March 2). The application documents must be submitted online only. The application deadline for additional, selected residencies in 2021 is July 15, 2021 at midnight (00:00 in the night leading into July 16, 2021).


Members of the jury or employees of the Senate of Berlin or of Musicboard Berlin GmbH and their dependents may not apply.

Other Information

Only fully completed documents can be processed and considered. All information will be treated confidentially and will be used exclusively for decision-making and funding purposes.


Apply here: Online Application