Live Work Fund FAQ

An audio recording of the application guidance and this FAQ is available here.


Who is the Live Work Fund run by?

The Live Work Fund is run by Jerwood Arts staff. Paid freelance mentors will be contracted to work on the programme to provide artist/producers with creative and professional support.

It is funded by Jerwood Arts, Wolfson Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Linbury Trust.


Are there any costs involved in applying?

Application to this fund is free. We recognise that making an application involves significant unpaid labour on the part of applicants and aim to provide as much information on these pages to help you make an informed decision about whether to apply and how to put together an application. As part of trying to reduce this unpaid labour the application form requires no more than 700 words, plus two 100-word statements from your referees.



Can I make an audio/video application?

Yes. If you would prefer to submit your application as an audio or video recording, the online application portal provides the opportunity for you to do this.

You can upload one audio or video file containing your proposal. We will ask you to complete contact details and an equal opportunities monitoring form in written form to assist the processing of your application. No assessment of the production quality of audio or video recordings will be made.


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

We test the guidance pages on our website and the application portal thoroughly. However, we know that technical difficulties do arise. If you experience an issue with the website, please report it to

You may find this especially frustrating if it happens right before the deadline, therefore we strongly advise that you try to submit your application well in advance.



What do you mean by artists/creatives?

For this fund, by ‘artists/creatives’ we mean artists, creatives and producers with their own independent artistic and/or creative practice who take artistic and creative leadership in the process of making, creating and/or generating new artistic outcomes in their artform.

Your artform may be in one or more, or fall between one or more of the following generally defined artforms: music, theatre, opera, circus, dance, live art, performance. We do not wish to unnecessarily restrict the fund to tightly defined artistic practices, as this runs counter to our understanding of how contemporary artists/creatives work.

The fund is for artists/creatives whose work is focussed and relies on live performance. We therefore expect the majority of applicants to think of their practice as including one or more of the following (in alphabetical order): acting, choreographing, composing (primarily for live performance), devising, designing (set, sound, video and lighting for the stage/live performance), directing, facilitating, movement work, performing, producing, writing (primarily for the stage/live performance).


Can I apply to this fund if I have applied to Jerwood Arts or received funding from you in previous years?



Can I submit more than one application?

The Live Work Fund accepts applications from individuals and collaborations. You can make one application as an individual and also be a lead or named member of a collaboration’s application. You cannot make two or more individual applications, and you cannot be a named member of a collaboration in two or more applications.


I haven’t been able to work in 2020, can I still apply?

Yes. We recognise that opportunities for work this year have been limited. You will be asked to provide evidence of your artistic/creative practice in your application and this can be drawn from any time in the last 18 months. The examples you give should show where your practice has (or had) reached to date, to support the case for the direction you want to take it with the support of the Live Work Fund.


If I get funded, can I still take on additional work during 2021?

Yes. The Live Work Fund is designed to give you the freedom to pick and choose the work you take on during the 12-month period. You are free to make choices that you think are most appropriate for your circumstances.


What do you mean by ‘within ten years of beginning their professional artistic/creative practice’ at the time of applying?

The fund is open to artists/creatives who define themselves as having no more than ten years of professional artistic/creative practice at the time of applying. This means they consider the beginning of their professional artistic/creative practice to have started after November 2010 and no later than November 2019, unless there has been a career break for health or care reasons.

We focus on artists/creatives within the first ten years to be true to our mission to support those in the first phases of developing their practice, and to ensure that what the fund can offer in terms of financial and critical support, networks and knowledge, will have a transformative impact on the selected individuals. Most artists/creatives supported by Jerwood Arts consider themselves to be ‘early-career’.

We ask for applicants to have worked professionally in their art form/discipline within the last 18 months. This is because the opportunity is not designed as a graduate opportunity or for those who are returning to their practice after a long period away. Due to the high number of applications, it is important for the selection panel to engage with your recent track record to understand your practice and its potential in depth. Those with less than eighteen months professional experience are very unlikely to be successful.

Our approach to ‘within ten years’ is flexible. For some, this will mean being within ten years of graduating an educational course, others will have taken a different route and might have changed their direction or career and mark their beginning differently. If you have taken career breaks, for example, as a result of illness or caring responsibilities, your practice may have begun earlier. Alternatively, you may have started your artistic practice as a ‘second/third career’, following a period working in another sector.

We provide space to explain your own circumstances in the online application form and are happy to discuss your situation with you to help you work out if you are eligible. Please email


Can the Live Work Fund support international working?

To be eligible for the fund, you need to live and work in the UK. This includes both individuals and all members of a group if applying collaboratively. The proposal has to focus on the development of your vision working in this country. You may of course travel and work internationally in 2021. The work you undertake during the year, both in person and digitally, may include people based outside of the UK, although the focus of the benefit of the award has to be on the UK-based artists named in the application.



What information should I include in my application?

The application form includes guidance on what to include against each question to help you provide the information we are most interested in.

Overall, we suggest you include as much detail as possible to get across your ideas. This will make your application more distinct and help bring your vision to life for the assessors.

There is a twelve-month supported period, so we encourage you to concentrate on two or three more fully formed ideas, rather than a larger number that you only mention briefly. A strong vision will contain its own logic despite the uncertainties of the current context.

We recommend asking a trusted friend to read over your application and offer you feedback on its clarity. This will make it easier for the assessors to envisage what it is that you might want to do and to see how the fund might help you realise it.

Should you be selected, we will encourage your ideas to grow and evolve during the time as new opportunities appear and in line with a changing context.


What can I spend the funding on?

We do not expect a breakdown or budget of how you intend to spend the £20,000. It is freely given and can be used for living or working costs as the awardee sees fit. It is our hope that it will provide significant financial support to enable you and/or your collaborators to spend time thinking about your work, researching, making new connections, experimenting and creating. Reporting at the end of the year will not focus on how the funding has been spent, but on what it has enabled.


We are applying as a collaboration, what should we bear in mind?

We recognise that many performance-based practices are collaborative and want to enable those who work in this way to apply.

Where your practice is in its DNA a collaborative one (that is, your practice only exists as a collaboration, group or collective), please submit one joint application and include names of your collaborators who will receive the funding in the online form. Your collaboration will need to demonstrate the same track record as an individual’s application of 18 months’ work. If your practice is individual but you want to work with collaborators, please submit an individual application.

The spirit of the fund is to provide significant financial bedrock from which new ideas can start to be realised, so we expect collaborative applications to still enable a meaningful level of funding to be shared by each artist/creative.

Only one payment of £20,000 will be made per application. Therefore, if there are four members of the collaboration, each member will receive £5,000.

If you are in a collaborative or collective practice and would like to discuss your potential application, please get in touch by email on and we would be happy to help you work out the appropriate approach for your practice.


How should I factor in changing restrictions as a result of COVID-19 into my proposal?

The Live Work Fund is designed to help individuals Covid-proof their practice for the future and contribute to the development of new ways of working across the live music and performing arts sector. Therefore, a strong application will acknowledge the limitations and opportunities that the changing Covid-19 context offers, creating a flexible approach to a year of learning, development and experimentation. We are looking for bold ideas despite the uncertainties, and we will be flexible in supporting you throughout the year.


Will you consider applications for activities taking place outside of the UK?

No. As part of our commitment to supporting UK-based artists/creatives, the UK arts ecology and environmental sustainability, we will only support applications that can be realised within the UK.


What supporting evidence should I include?

We provide space for you to link to three recordings/portfolios of your work. Try to include a range of work that best illustrates your practice and supports your vision for what you want to do with the fund in 2021. The links can be hosted on your own website, an organisation’s website or a third-party platform such as Soundcloud, YouTube or Vimeo. We would prefer if you do not use Google Drive or Dropbox. Please ensure the context for the work is clear (using the description of works box below if needed) and the recording is good quality. The clips will need to be available until at least 10 December 2020. We can only promise to watch/listen to around five minutes of material; please bear this in mind when selecting the work.



If my application is successful, what support will I receive?

You will receive a payment of £20,000 in one instalment. This will be the entirety of the financial contribution you receive and you will be responsible for any taxes it incurs and all expenses related to the work you undertake during the supported year. We understand that this is a large amount of money to receive in one go. Jerwood Arts staff cannot offer financial advice on the implications of the funding for your situation. We can however make available and cover the cost of a financial advisor to talk this through.

Alongside the financial support, we will be in regular contact with you to offer support and guidance where appropriate and when you need it. We will also offer up to four paid sessions with established artists/creatives and other experts to address specific questions you may have around the plans and practices you are putting in place. The mentors will be arranged in conversation with us and paid for by Jerwood Arts.

If you are applying as part of a collaboration this level of support still applies and also the previous FAQ on collaborations for details.


If I have a disability and/or specific access or care requirements, what support can be offered if my application is successful?

We recognise that artists/creatives with disabilities and/or access requirements are under-represented in the arts and may require additional support throughout the year.

Awardees are invited to submit an access document to outline your support needs. This is useful at the beginning to provide us with information about what your needs are so that the best structures can be put in place to ensure that you have equal access to work. Regardless of whether you choose to submit an access document, there will be regular confidential ‘check-in’ points to see if your situation has changed, or if there is anything that we might reasonably do with regard to access, to better support your ability to undertake and complete the supported year.

Please do contact us on if you would like to discuss your needs prior to applying.