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Jerwood Arts General FAQs

What do you do?

Jerwood Arts is the leading independent funder dedicated to supporting UK artists, curators and producers to develop and thrive. We enable transformative opportunities for individuals across art forms, supporting imaginative awards, fellowships, programmes, commissions and collaborations. We present new work and bring people from across the arts together in the galleries at Jerwood Space, London, as well as at venues across the UK.

Do I have to be a registered UK charity to apply for funding?

No. Depending on the criteria for each funding opportunity, we can fund individuals, unincorporated groups and companies, and limited companies and/or registered charities. The organisations we fund have to be non-profit and have arts as their core mission.

How do you define an arts organisation?

We define an arts organisation as an organisation with artistic mission. Typically arts organisations that would qualify for Jerwood Arts funding include:

● Collectives
● Companies
● Development agencies
● Festivals
● Galleries
● Artistic Groups
● Orchestras
● Theatres
● Venues

I am an individual. Can I apply for funding?

Yes. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for the following opportunities we offer: Jerwood Bursaries, Jerwood New Work Fund, and Awards and Fellowships. If the opportunity you would like to apply for is not currently open for applications, please sign up for our newsletter.

I am an individual and interested in one of the Development Programme Fund Opportunities. Do I apply to you?

The Development Programmes are run by organisations funded by us and you should get in touch directly with the organisation if you would like to find out more about the opportunity.

Why do you say artists, curators and producers have to be within the first 10 years of establishing their practice?

We think of artists in the early stages of their careers as those within the first 10 years of establishing their practice. Broadly speaking, this means the artist will have reached a critical moment in their career, and will require a particular kind of support in order to maximise their potential and to propel them into the next phase of their development. We fund across art forms and the 10 year framework also allows us to recognise that in some disciplines the ‘early’ or ‘emerging’ period is longer than others. Jerwood Arts has a long history of making opportunities to support this moment and in concentrating on this, we focus our expertise and resource on where we think we can make the greatest difference. We do however recognise that artists at any moment in their career might experience profound challenges in sustaining a career, and advocate to arts organisations and other funders to consider the barriers that prevent artists from all backgrounds achieving life-long, fulfilling practices.

Are there any age restrictions on who can apply for funding?

No. We do not put any age restrictions on our funding. We ask that you are within the first 10 years of establishing your practice. These 10 years may have started after a career change and/or retraining, may have been interrupted by life events, or you may have trained as an artist and then pursued a different career before returning to your practice. Our application form allows you to explain your specific circumstances.

How do you define length of artistic practice?

For the majority of artists, we define the start of your artistic practice from when you had your first professional engagement, such as your first group show in a gallery, published work, theatre performance or dance show. There is no hard and fast rule with this definition, but we hope it indicates the experience level of those we are expecting to benefit from our support. The length of time you have been practicing as an artist may be linear, or may maybe more interrupted. We are happy to consider the length of your practice as the time before and after any pause. Our application form allows you to explain your specific circumstances.

What do you mean by a ‘transformative’ moment for artists?

A variety of language is used for a career defining moment for artists and we are open to suggestions from applicants as to what this might be for them, or the moment they would like to make for others. In our experience, this includes but is by no means limited to: making a significant new work which brings wider recognition; adding new knowledge or skills to a practice that gives artists strength and confidence; building a new relationship, such as a mentor, coach or creative collaboration; undertaking a period of research and reflection; and having trust placed in an individual to make work on their own terms.

Where should your work take place?

All activity funded by Jerwood Arts must take place in the UK. Our primary reason for this is the limits of our resources: we want to make the greatest impact and do not have the expertise or funding available to do so internationally. We recognise that artists work is increasingly global, and connections with individuals and organisations working in other countries can significantly enrich projects. Therefore, we welcome applications for projects that have or will have international collaborators, travel or outcomes, but the international elements have to be supported by other funds.

I have never been to college or university. Can I apply?

Yes, our Jerwood Bursaries, Jerwood New Work Fund, and all of our Awards and Fellowships are open to artists who are within 10 years  of starting their practice (with the exception of the Jerwood/FVU Awards which is five), regardless of whether they had formal training.

What access support do you provide?

Access support is available for individuals to make applications for all our opportunities, including alternative formats. If you are invited to meet us or to interview, you are welcome to discuss any access support you may need. Where we offer Awards and Fellowships to those who require support, we can cover some access costs. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this, or have any feedback on the accessibility of our work.

Can I include access costs in a funding request to Jerwood Arts?

You are welcome to include access costs in your application budgets. It should form no more than 25% of an individual’s budget for a Jerwood Bursary. In other cases, it can form a reasonable part of a project or programme budget so that individuals can be supported to take part in projects equitably. We would be happy to see access costs supported by other sources of funding in budgets too.

What support is available if I need assistance with my application?

If your question is not answered within this FAQ section or in the guidance for the specific funding opportunities, then please contact us at info@jerwoodarts.org. However, if you request assistance in the last few days before a deadline, be aware that the volume of applications that we typically receive in this period is very high. We therefore recommend you submit your application well in advance of the deadline in case any questions arise when you complete the form.

I’m not based in London, is there a budget to support my travel if I’m invited to interview?

Yes. We very much encourage applications from artists who are not London-based, and have additional budget to support reasonable travel costs if selected for interview, where the selection process involves an interview.

You say in your guidance you welcome applications: ‘If your situation, background and/or identity is currently under-supported across the art sector, including but not limited to under-represented BAME backgrounds, LGBTQ+ identities, gender identities, socioeconomic backgrounds, those with disabilities and/or caring responsibilities.’

What do you mean by this?

Broadly speaking, people with these backgrounds and current circumstances are those most likely to experience disadvantage in the form of reduced opportunities due to their levels of income, education, and work experience on the one hand, and discrimination and unequal access to opportunities on the other. This disadvantage may be evident in access to educational, artistic and employment opportunities, health, and quality of life. Overall, these groups tend to be underrepresented across the arts, to varying degrees in different art forms and disciplines.

We have thought carefully about what we can do to support access and inclusion through our work, and believe the biggest difference we can make is in supporting people to apply to us. We are committed to providing information and advice to enable people to make the right decision to apply, and then support them in making an application. Through this support we are investing in the capacity, confidence and skills of individuals to apply not just to us, but to other sources of income, thereby supporting their long term success.

We hope that our increased commitment to supporting people to apply will increase the breadth of applications we receive in term of diversity including socio-economic background, and geographic reach nationally. We have refined our monitoring data to help us improve how we capture this data, and will be publishing what we learn from it at the end of our 2019 pilot year.

The other area we can have influence on is our decision making process. For 2019 we are appointing a diverse range of Artist Advisers from across the UK to be our ears and eyes and support our assessment and decision making. The aim is for them to help us to broaden our taste and increase our national reach, and we will share what we learn from working in this way at the end of our 2019 pilot year.

How do you define how an artist is making a positive contribution to the UK arts scene?

By this we mean we want to support people who are actively engaging with networks, collectives, audiences and organisations in the UK. The nature of the engagement is open to interpretation, and it could be in a collaborative, challenging or enlightening way.

I am a migrant to the UK, with unclear residency status, can I apply?

Our funding is for people living and working in the UK, however we have no requirements about residency or settled status. Please contact us if you would like advice about making an application.

What art forms do you fund?

We work across all art forms, and actively support those whose work is interdisciplinary. Here is a list of art forms we are interested in. While not exhaustive, it gives an indication of the range of artistic work we have funded in the past:

  • Activist Actions
  • Applied Arts
  • Art Criticism
  • Body-based practice
  • Cabaret and Club Arts
  • Circus Arts
  • Comedy
  • Craft
  • Creative Producing
  • Curatorial Practice
  • Dance
  • Drawing
  • Experimental Animation
  • Fiction
  • Installation
  • Improvisation
  • Interactive Art
  • Juggling
  • Live Art
  • Light Installations
  • Live Literature
  • Moving Image
  • Music
  • New Media and Digital Practices
  • Non-fiction (non-academic)
  • Opera
  • Page Poetry
  • Painting
  • Playwriting
  • Performance Art
  • Puppetry
  • Radiophonic Art
  • Sculpture
  • Set Design
  • Socially-engaged Practices
  • Sound Art
  • Spoken Word
  • Street Art
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts
  • Writing

Why do you not support feature films and short films?

We do fund artists and animators to make experimental film, often for presentation in galleries or digital formats. Feature films and short films by comparison are relatively well covered by the expertise and resources offered by organisations such as BFI, Screen Skills, BBC and Channel 4, among others, and therefore we choose to direct our limited resources towards those who are under-supported elsewhere.

How often can I apply for your funding? And if I’m unsuccessful, when can I re-apply?

You can apply to each opportunity once a year. For example, you could apply for a Jerwood Bursary and to the New Work Fund, but you could not apply for a Jerwood Bursary twice in 12 month period.

What’s the difference between formal education and specialist/professional development?

Formal courses refer to those operated by established educational institutions such as further education colleges, universities, art colleges, acting schools and conservatoires. We will not support those who are enrolled in such institutions nor fund the course fees, living costs or other expenses associated with these. If you are within the first 10 years of establishing your practice, we will fund the costs of specialist/professional development, such as masterclasses, informal courses, coaching or residencies. In the visual arts, we recognise alternative or open school programmes such as Syllabus, Open School East or School of the Damned as professional development programmes and we would fund costs associated with taking part through the Jerwood Bursaries if a good case for support is made.

I am doing a practice-based PhD. Can I apply for a Jerwood Bursary or to the Jerwood New Work Fund?

No, we cannot fund anyone in formal higher education. You can apply for a Jerwood Bursary, Jerwood New Work Fund, Award or Fellowship to start after the end of your PhD.

When can activity supported by Jerwood Arts start?

We cannot fund activity that has already happened, therefore anything we fund has to take place after confirmation of funding has been received.

What happens if I experience a technical issue with the website?

We troubleshoot the website thoroughly; nevertheless, from time to time people do report technical difficulties. 99% of these occur within the last hour before we close the applications portal as a result of the high volume of applicants trying to submit at that time. Therefore we strongly advise that you try to submit your application well in advance of the deadline. We recommend drafting your application offline so that you can paste your answers into the online form when you are ready. Please be aware Word and website word count tools may differ slightly. If you do experience a technical issue with the website, please report it to info@jerwoodarts.org.

What is the tax eligibility of my funding from Jerwood Arts?

Jerwood Arts does not have the professional insurance to offer tax advice for individuals in receipt of its funding. Please visit HMRC’s website for information about receiving funding, awards, bursaries and grants, or consult with a qualified expert. You may also want to look at the information provided by Art Quest on the subject here.