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Mandeep Glover and Simon Panayi, 2019. Image: Tim Dickeson, 2019. Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

Announcing details of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-2022

04 December 2019

Today we are delighted to announce details of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-2022. This unique cross-artform, UK-wide, programme has gone through its most significant update since it began ten years ago and has never felt more urgent. With this new edition both expanding in size and refocusing its mission to shift the practices of recruitment and inclusion across the arts and cultural sector, we and our partners are more ambitious than ever, aiming to foster a sector which ensures all those with talent can get in and get on. 

We are now looking for 50 leading arts or cultural Host organisations to take action on socio-economic diversity and inclusion in the arts, through the creation of 50 paid, year-long creative Fellowships and taking part in an 18-month Organisational Change programme led by people make it work to realise their ambitions.

The main news for today is that the programme is open for application for the first time, making it available to arts or cultural organisation of all shapes and sizes who are ready to sign up to creating a transformative Fellowship and willing to change their working practices.

Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries has always been about levelling the playing field across the highly competitive early-career entry points for outstanding artists, curators, producers and creatives, and ensuring those with talent, but without financial backing, networks and cultural capital, are given the opportunity to succeed. That is not changing. But we have had to recognise that our focus on supporting individuals to change cultures from within, a bottom up approach, has limitations. This next edition will therefore focus just as much on Host organisations, taking a top-down approach, which can support a more powerful ripple effect of change beyond the individual Fellow, beyond the individual Host, and out across the sector.

Three reasons why we are excited about this new edition of the programme:

  1. The changes we have made are full of potential for deeper, more sustained impact. They take from, and build on, latest academic and sector research, and our own evaluations of the three previous editions to create conditions for the programme to support change on many levels. At their core, they mean we will focus as much on working in partnership with Host organisations to create long-term change as we are on the individual Fellows.
  2. The need for the programme has never been more pressing. This is demonstrated by how it has brought together six funding partners including three national arts funders for the first time. New partners such as Art Fund will enable the programme to expand into the museum sector. We are delighted to have secured funding to offer 10 more Fellowships in more places across the UK, taking the total number of Hosts and Fellows to 50 nationally. Their commitment to the aims of the programme is based on their own data and research which shows that despite programmes such as Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries, and much talk of the need for change, fair access to working in the arts remains one of the most urgent issues facing the arts and cultural sector. Those from lower socio-economic backgrounds are still significantly underrepresented amongst the artists and employees of UK theatres, festivals, galleries, museums and arts organisations of all kinds, especially in leadership roles.
  3. The Fellows from previous editions are true game-changers, and we need more of them! The 125 alumni are forging their own pathways and careers, reaching senior positions, setting up successful freelance practices and influencing the next generation in turn. Together with our 110 Host alumni, they are showing the sector the way to a more equitable, inclusive and accessible future. We cannot wait to get started on this next edition to support the next set of organisations to discover a new generation of potential arts and cultural leaders and become powerful advocates and role models for the change required to achieve the diversity and representation the arts and cultural sectors need.

Information on how to apply to become a Host organisation is now available here. Host applications need to be submitted by 30 January 2020, with Fellow recruitment, undertaken by each Host, taking place from May 2020. All 50 Fellowships will start in September 2020 and run for 12 months, followed by a supported ‘progression period’ for Fellows.

Download the Press Release here.

Cliciwch yma i lawrlwytho PDF Cymraeg.

This fourth edition will be the largest yet, having secured over £1.2m in support from Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Programme, Garfield Weston Foundation, Art Fund, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, and PRS Foundation. The programme will be supported by a training, research and evaluation team of people make it work, Dr Dave O’Brien (Chancellor’s Fellow in Cultural Studies at the University of Edinburgh), and Annabel Jackson Associates Ltd.

In July 2019, we published ‘Socio-Economic Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts: A Toolkit for Employers’ together with the Bridge Group.This practical guide supports long-term change across the arts and cultural sector by sharing knowledge, providing top tips, and encouraging take-up of an intersectional approach to equality, diversity and inclusion. The guide combines practical ideas from the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme, alongside case studies from past Host organisations, with expert research and advice from other sectors conducted by the Bridge Group. We recommend all those thinking of applying take a look at it here. Cliciwch yma i lawrlwytho PDF Cymraeg.

The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-2022 programme is designed and produced by Jerwood Arts. It is funded and supported by Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Art Fund, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, British Council, Jerwood Arts and PRS Foundation.