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SWIM: Scottish Women Inventing Music Guest blog

We’re very proud to support new organisation, SWIM: Scottish Women Inventing Music, and are excited about its official launch on March 8th, International Women’s Day. Board member, Laura Leslie of SWIM tells us more about the organisation and what to expect at the launch. Please chip in what you can for the launch fundraiser and come along and join us on the day. Over to Laura…

Scottish Women Inventing Music (SWIM) is a brand new network founded by award-winning musical director, arranger and composer Hilary Brooks. Inspired by initiatives like PRS Keychange 50:50, SWIM aims to support musicians who identify as female who hail from all areas of Scotland, and work in any area of the music industry.

On Friday 8th March 2019 (International Women’s Day), SWIM is excited to host its official launch event at venues across Glasgow. Our organisation has come a long way since Hilary had the initial idea back in 2016, when she attended a brunch for Women in Music in London. Among many inspirational speakers, Vanessa Reed (CEO of the PRS Foundation) really stood out when she called for those present to set up their own projects and drive for change. When she came back to Glasgow, Hilary gathered together friends and colleagues and organised a relaxed breakfast meeting to chat about these ideas.

Hilary Brooks

The initial meetings of SWIM were really well attended and filled with talented women who were excited to share their experiences of working in the music industry and who were keen to work together to achieve a level playing field. Driven by their enthusiasm, SWIM has been steadily growing its reach, and our official launch will kickstart our activity.

We have put together an event that reflects the diversity in SWIM’s membership and the wealth of talent across the Scottish music industry. Mindful that childcare is often a barrier for people attending events, we have a creche during the day so parents are free to participate. It’s a full day of activity, packed with panel discussions, mentoring sessions and live performances so there are lots of opportunities for everyone to get involved!

During the daytime sessions at Kinning Park Complex, we’ll find out more about the various initiatives that are in place to make positive change, and what can be done to keep the momentum going in our first panel ‘Making Waves’.

In our second panel session, we’ll hear from some of the role models in Scottish music who have made huge strides in their professions and continue to inspire other women to follow in their footsteps. This will be followed by a speed mentoring session where attendees will have the opportunity to engage directly with our role models and find out more about their experiences. We’re humbled that so many women we admire have agreed to be our guest speakers for the day and we are looking forward to hearing about their experiences and learning from their advice. (You can find out who is joining us here.)

One of our own role models, composer Janet Beat, will be presented with a lifetime achievement award. Janet was a female pioneer of electronic music and her experiences in education and as a music writer continue to influence musicians today, including many members of SWIM. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to thank her for her dedication and hard work.

Janet Beat

Music of course is at the heart of SWIM’s focus and to round off the day, we will be treated to some outstanding performances. We’re thrilled to be linking up with the Glasgow Women’s Library who are hosting a performance by the talented young women of Hidden Rhythms. Finally, we’re heading along to The Old Hairdressers, where Bitches Brew – founded by SWIM member Emma Smith – are headlining a special showcase evening, celebrating our launch with performances from some of our members: Kim Edgar, Bell Lungs, Signy + Emma and Anne Martin.

Looking to the future, SWIM’s activity will focus on continuing to advocate for equality in the music industry, promoting the work of our members, and connecting role models with young women and girls from schools, colleges and universities. There is still a lot to be done, and we are ready for the challenge!

We realise that we can’t do this alone, and we are incredibly grateful for all the help and support we’ve received so far, whether this is in the form of volunteers, publicity or donations.
If you’d like to get involved, here’s what you can do:

• Attend our launch on Friday, 8th March! Purchase tickets for the daytime session, for Hidden Rhythms, and for Bitches Brew

• Support SWIM by donating to our Crowdfunder campaign

• Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and keep up to date with all our news

• Join SWIM! You can become a member by signing up via our website.
If you’d like to know more, visit our website or contact