Keychange recognised with Award for Innovation in Brazil

At a ceremony on Saturday 8th December, Keychange was announced as the winner under the category of Innovation at the SIM Awards in Sao Paulo, Brazil. PRS Foundation CEO and founder of Keychange, Vanessa Reed accepted the award, which celebrates and highlights new tools and initiatives that change the market with technology, research and social transformation.

Keychange is a pioneering international initiative which is empowering women to transform the future of the music industry and encouraging festivals to achieve a 50:50 balance by 2022. Keychange aims to accelerate change and create a better, more inclusive music industry for present and future generations. SIM Sao Paulo, which has signed the Keychange pledge, hosted a performance by Keychange artist Tawiah and a panel discussion on International Networks for Women in Music which was moderated by Vanessa. These activities were presented in partnership with British Council.

Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation and founder of Keychange said:

“It was such an honour to receive this innovation award in Sao Paulo from an ambitious, female-led Brazilian festival which is pushing barriers in a complex political context. One of the inspirations behind Keychange is our belief that the music industry’s future innovation depends on a more diverse workforce, including more women on stage and behind the scenes. SIM’s innovation award is a fitting tribute to this aim which is now embraced by 150 festivals worldwide. I’d like to thank them and the Keychange family of partners, artists, innovators and funders for driving the success of this programme. Thanks also to the many men and women at the SIM conference who expressed their support during my stay.”

Fabiana Batistela, Director, SIM São Paulo said:
“The second edition of the SIM AWARD was quite special this year, honouring projects of resistance and social transformation. Music is an act of reflection, militancy and positioning. And the fact that professionals in the music industry choose such forceful artists as Luedji Luna and Edgar for the New Talent Award, Aparelha Luizia for the Project of the Year award and Keychange for the Innovation category, only intensifies what we already know: the music sector does not agree with the direction that Brazil has taken in the last two years, and demands change. We will be the opposition and resistance to authoritarian rule and will continue to strive for transformation and equality. Keychange is a leading initiative in the worldwide fight for gender equality in festival lineups around the world and an inspiration for everyone. Since 2016 SIM São Paulo has had at least 50% women in its artistic and professional programming. And this has helped, increasingly, to encourage and inspire new professionals to pursue a career throughout the music sector. The projects and activities awarded by SIM stimulate and encourage a new generation of independent young people.”

Cathy Graham, Head of Music, British Council said:
“Keychange demonstrates the huge value of international collaboration and has given a platform to the globally relevant conversation around gender equality in music. The British Council is pleased to be a supporter and to have helped the development of this relationship with SIM. Congratulations to all involved.”

Michel Magnier, Director of Culture at the European Commission said:
“I’m delighted that Keychange is demonstrating so clearly how cultural projects funded by the European Commission can have a significant impact internationally, engaging communities from across the world with European values and concerns. Congratulations to everyone involved in this pioneering programme towards gender equality in music.”

In the week that Primavera Sound announced achieving a 50:50 gender balance, SIM Sao Paulo also achieved the target, set by the Keychange gender pledge which encourages festivals to achieve the 50:50 balance by 2022. Over 150 festivals worldwide have now signed up to the pledge, and this celebration in Brazil further highlights the global demand for PRS Foundation’s pioneering initiative for change, funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

The recognition comes less than a month after the Keychange manifesto was presented to European Parliament in Brussels. Outlining the current gender gap in music, the manifesto was formulated from the achievements, ideas and suggestions of Keychange partners and participants, including SIM Sao Paulo and Tawiah. Read the manifesto online here.