Grants for local artists to develop creative work

“We want this scheme to support and nurture local artists during these uncertain times, but we also want to gain valuable insights from the artists themselves. Alongside our other support for artists through the Open Venues scheme and Creative Catch-ups, this will help us to grow and to effectively support the community of artists who live and work in the local area. As we look to the future re-opening of our Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre spaces, this collaborative way of working will be vital to producing, encouraging and developing new artistic work here in the city.” - Kyla Booth-Lucking, Director of Programming and Participation

We are look to support three artists with a £10,000 grant towards developing their creative practice and for their time to bring their voices directly in to Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival programming, artistic decision-making and strategic direction in an ever-changing environment, including mentoring and advising other artists.

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Why have we started this scheme?  
Due to the impact of coronavirus we have held a number discussions with artists, producers, organisations, companies and engaged in conversations with groups and networks such as What Next? Freelance Taskforce national group and the Brighton and Hove Cultural Recovery Action Plan. The feedback we received revealed immediately that help is needed such as financial support; networking opportunities with peers; sharing resources, as well as long term opportunities to create work for digital audiences.

The feedback 

  • There is a need for income, and quick, to keep heads above water, especially for artists who survive with irregular funding or income
  • There is a desire to get back to theatres and making
  • There are many opportunities to continue talking to colleagues and peers – online spaces have opened up brand new conversations and access to people in ‘key’ jobs or places that didn’t seem possible before
  • Questions exist about how the relationship between venues and artists could be improved in the future
  • There is a desire to see a quick return to ‘normal’ and others are keen to see a new way of working, ways of ‘sharing power’ and exploit the potential of digital

The process
To maintain a transparent approach to selecting artists for support, we are running an open call. We are asking three questions and do not want you to spend a long time preparing your application as it is intended to be a light-touch process. To help with this if you are concerned about making an application you are welcome to attend one of our free 30 minute introduction sessions. Otherwise you can contact kyla.booth-lucking@brightondome.org with questions.

7 Jan 10.30 Click to book

We want to increase the diversity of artists supported by Brighton Dome and particularly want to hear from artists who (may) identify as D/deaf, disabled or neurodivergent, and/or as LGBTQIA+ or genderqueer, and/or may experience racism and/or have faced barriers to opportunity from socio economic background and/or who have entered the arts from a non-higher education route. If you require an access support worker to assist with your application we can reimburse up to 2 hours @ £25 per hour - please contact kyla.booth-lucking@brightondome.org to arrange this.

We will ask peers and organisations in the city to recommend artists who we will contact to encourage to apply as well as a public call out. There will be no preferential treatment for these candidates but we need to take proactive steps to ensure equity of opportunity.

The offer
The Artists-in-House trial will run January - December 2021. Each artist will receive £10,000 in instalments and we expect £5,000 to cover artists' time to engage with Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and £5,000 to support your creative practice - for sustaining yourself, seed funding for creative projects or a myriad of other possibilities.

The criteria
We are looking for artists who;

  • are based in Brighton and Hove and wider area with BN postcode
  • have at least 3 years experience of creating work as a paid professional or in receipt of public funding yet be working independently
  • have a practice that reflects the programming at Brighton Dome. This is typically those working in theatre, circus, dance, spoken word, music, digital/media but we will consider interdisciplinary or cross-artform artists and are willing to be surprised
  • are interested in working with Brighton Dome to make positive change in the organisation, its programme and for the arts ecology in Brighton & Hove
  • may have a precarious income due to irregular funding/income or lack of opportunity due to Covid19 impact on the arts industry
  • have a track record of making interesting and exciting work or can demonstrate the potential to do so

Any diverse candidate who meets the basic criteria is guaranteed to be shortlisted, as these individuals are under-represented in our current workforce and programming. If this applies to you, please briefly indicate this in in your accompanying email when you send us your application. We will not use your Equal Opportunities form to assess your eligibility. All applications will be assessed on merit.

Decision making
With only three question we realise the application is brief but we expect to receive a large volume of applications and in order to get the scheme underway as soon as possible we will need to make some quick decisions. We will ask a diverse panel of creative practitioners to work with us to shortlist and then speak to a number of applicants. We will be looking for people with compelling ideas and with a genuine desire to form a mutually beneficial relationship with Brighton Dome and contributing to the arts ecology in Brighton and Hove as well as people who would benefit from a stable income source next year to continue their creative practice e.g. as a result of Covid limiting their arts earning ability or without regular funding or other forms of income. You do not need to have shown work at Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival.

How to apply
Please send a 2 page application by email or link to a 5 minute video that states

  • Your name and contact details including postcode
  • A website or social media channel where we can see examples of your work
  • A 100 word testimonial from someone who knows your work (can be a collaborator, funder, review, past venue you’ve performed at etc)
  • What work you are interested in exploring in 2021
  • Why this opportunity would benefit you
  • What you could bring to Brighton Dome

Please complete and send this equalities monitoring form along with your application to kyla.booth-lucking@brightondome.org by 8 January 2021 6pm

It won’t be possible to support everyone, no matter how brilliant the application or the ideas within it. We will respond to every applicant even if unsuccessful in this scheme. We will also suggest other forms of support either from Brighton Dome or within the city that might be appropriate e.g. feedback on creative work, suggestions of useful networks or access to advice and guidance. 


Image: Hofesh Shecter Company at Brighton Dome