The MIL Academies* are a training project that combines an artistic creation residency with the learning and development of a strategic and business plan. It is aimed at artists and early-career music industry professionals living in Portugal, prioritising participants from the regions where the Academies take place.

MIL organizes two Academies per year: in 2024, the cities in which it’ll take place are Évora and Ponta Delgada.

Its programme consists of an online training by ARDA Academy, which focuses on the themes of record publishing, distribution and publishing, communication, pitching and presenting ideas, booking and circulation and project management and business plans.

This is followed by a week of in-person training, where the artists come together to develop at least one theme, with the guidance of a music producer, and the professionals develop the business plan for the launch of the project in residence.

*All sessions of the MIL Academies are lectured in Portuguese.



This year’s programme consists of:

1. Online Training | between November 11th and 21st 2024

6 subject matters lectured by ARDA Academy :

  • i) Record Publishing
  • ii) Distribution & Publishing
  • iii) Communication
  • iv) Pitching & Presenting Ideas
  • v) Booking & Circulation
  • vi) Project Management & Business Plans

2. In Person Training / Artistic Residency | between November 25th e 30th 2024  (Évora and Ponta Delgada)

  • During the artistic residency, the artists will create an original musical project, guided by a music producer;
  •  The early-career music industry professionals will develop a strategic business plan for the launching of the musical project done in the artistic residency, with the help of a guide, while following a script presented during the online training;

Presentation of the final results on the last day.


  • Artists* in an early-career stage;
  • Professionals in an early-career stage in the music industry (included in the following areas: communication, management, distribution, publishing, booking, production)

Residentes em Portugal, com foco nas áreas de realização das academias.

*Candidaturas de grupo não serão aceites.


  • Fill out the form;
  • Read the regulation and confirm total availability to participate in all the sessions of the programme;

The MIL Academies encourage all people to apply, regardless of they’re visible or invisible characteristics – i.e: gender identity, age, physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, beliefs, education, ethnicity, nationality, cognitive impairment, economic situation and life experiences.


1st Edition

The first edition of MIL Academies happened in Leiria and Ponta Delgada from November 27th until December 2nd, gathering 8 artists and 8 professionals.

In Ponta Delgada, the MIL Academies gave rise to Mercalli Dream – an outcome of cross-pollination between the sonic aesthetics of Cláudia Fernandes (CLAUTHEWITCH), João Melo (The Quiet Bottom), Maria Carolina, and Pedro Pavão (Sir.Kasmo). Their producer was Elliott Sheedy.

Their sound combines seismic anxiety with melancholic enchantment, resulting in a new musical genre called “lagoon gaze,” with roots intimately connected to the territory of São Miguel. Mercalli Dream will be released by TECTÓNICA, a record label created in the context of the academies by the participating professionals (Aline Camargo, Diogo Medeiros and Henriques Lopes Valença) with the guidance of educator Márcio Laranjeira. The business plan developed for the release of the band’s first single can be found here

In Leiria, from the MIL Academies, SAFRA is born. Under the guidance of producer Nuno Rancho, Francis Salema, FeMa, Lisa Sereno, and Malinwa deconstruct the Portuguese folk repertoire, filter it through bold contemporary pop and electronic elements, and reconstruct it on delicate instrumental layers.

SAFRA is released by palmapluma, an independent creative production company created by the participating professionals (Filipa Antão, Mariana Lois, Rúben Lopes and Sara Fernandes) with the guidance of João Silva that fosters interdisciplinary dialogue between music, words, and visuals. This provides fertile ground for artistic creation, expression, and dissemination that transcends conventional borders and labels. Their business plan can be found here