Dewsbury-based arts organisation Manasamitra has secured two new funding streams which will support its growing mentoring programme, helping women from minority backgrounds within the arts industry.

Having acquired funding from the Arts Council’s Organisational Development Fund and an Open Fund for Organisations grant from the PRS Foundation, the team at Manasamitra are able to continue their vital work of supporting women in music.

The Women Composer Mentoring Project helps cultivate the skills of women of colour and hone their artistic development. The programme, which was launched in 2020, has so far supported five young women in their creative careers, with a further six women currently receiving mentorship.

Creator and musician Supriya Nagarajan said: “We are extremely grateful to these two organisations that we have access to these vital funds, allowing us to continue evolving and expanding our work.

“Last year’s mentoring programme was such a success, and we are delighted to be able to support the initiative for another year. Being able to provide a source of advice, support and friendship for these young women has been incredibly rewarding, both professionally and personally.

“When I was starting my career as a musician, the sources of support for women, particularly women of colour, were limited and I am proud to be able to provide that resource for women today that was not available for me.”

Satnam Galsian, former mentee of the programme and recently appointed community development coordinator at Manasamitra, added: “Women are underrepresented in the music industry as a whole, ethnic minority women even more so.

“In the South Asian community music is often seen as a hobby rather than a viable career option and, growing up, I can’t remember seeing any South Asian women role models who I could look up to.

“The mentoring programme was a very positive experience. I was at a point in my career where I knew what I wanted to do but wasn’t sure how to achieve my goals. To have the opportunity to discuss this with Supriya, a successful performing artist, was extremely valuable and an inspirational experience.”

To find out more about the mentoring programme, please visit: www.manasamitra.com.