Our approach to funding organisations

From summer 2022, we are focusing our limited resources on programmes for early-career UK artists, curators and producers that can have the biggest impact on expanding their practice and create a step-change in their careers. An instrumental part of it is our new two-stage funding process for organisations wishing to run these development programmes.


Jerwood Arts last opened a call for entries for organisations to apply for artist development programme funding in 2019 and received 278 applications. Since then, the 19 partnerships that were selected have formed a key part of our work and offer to individuals. The timelines and, in many cases, the nature of the opportunities within these have adapted and stretched during the pandemic, providing essential and career-changing support for over 130 artists, curators and producers.

Prior to 2019, our funding for organisations was opaque – there was no clear process for starting a conversation with us or making an application. While many brilliant programmes were supported, we recognised that only a more open and transparent approach would generate the new relationships and ideas that would in turn provide the most relevant opportunities for artists.

As the 19 partnerships that began in 2019 have completed or are nearing their ends, our focus has been to update our approach to funding for organisations in response to some of the big issues facing independent arts funders and the arts sector. We have been public about considering our responsibilities and actions around these, including by publishing a series of Jerwood in Practice blogs (see Find Out More below). One theme has been ever-present: there is more demand for our funding than we can support. The question we have grappled with is how do we reduce the labour of application making and increase the likelihood of success for applicants whilst remaining open, transparent and inclusive?

Our response

Now, as we reflect and learn from the pandemic and our evaluation of our programmes since 2019, we are confident that a two-stage process for organisational funding is the best way to manage demand and expectations, while enabling us to discover the most innovative and impactful development programmes to support.

The guidelines for the Jerwood Developing Artists Fund have been published on our website and any organisation may consider whether it is an opportunity they would like to apply for. In the first instance, they will be able to complete a short Expression of Interest (EOI) form. These will be considered regularly and we will be inviting forward the ideas that represent the most exciting prospects for the development of early-career artists, curators and/or producers to make full applications.

We believe the new Jerwood Developing Artists Fund will mean we can stay open, inclusive and accessible while also continuing to work closely with the people behind the programmes. For us, it is the honest relationships and shared values we have with organisations that define our most successful work.

Please see EOI guidance for full details of the fund’s aims and the information we require.

Overall, the Jerwood Developing Artists Fund will create a rolling portfolio of exceptional programmes offering career enhancing, artist-centred, accessible opportunities to early-career artists, curators and producers throughout the UK.

Why use a two-stage process?

The EOI creates an open door for organisations to submit ideas to us for this fund year-round, whilst also increasing the chances of success when making a full application. We recognise that many organisations are stretched and a lot of energy goes into unsuccessful application making. By opening an EOI form asking for only brief headline information, we can stay open to new ideas without creating a laborious process and ensure that over time we refresh our portfolio to include old and new relationships.

To kickstart the Jerwood Developing Artists Fund, we began inviting full applications in April 2022, testing the framework and application process and leading to eight new programmes that will be starting over the coming months.

How big is the Jerwood Developing Artists Fund?

We can be open about the numbers involved. Our ambition is to ensure that the success rate for full applications at our quarterly Board Meetings is 40-60%. We hope to support 15-25 organisations a year to run development programmes on an average grant of £30k.

The EOI stage will remain competitive and we know many will be disappointed. We will be reviewing the ideas submitted according to gaps in our representation including art form, discipline and geography. We will also be looking to  ensure organisations have the experience, leadership and capacity to provide the very best care and encouragement to early-career artists for their careers to thrive.

How does it fit within Jerwood Arts’ overall approach?

Alongside the Jerwood Developing Artists Fund, we will continue to run our successful Awards and Fellowships in partnership with organisations that have a strong alignment with our values and the resource and skill to elevate these into high profile, career-change moments for artists. These include Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships, Jerwood Curatorial Accelerator, and the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries.

In the visual arts, we announced the end of our exhibition and events programme at Jerwood Space at the end of 2022 and are developing new partnerships for our flagship awards Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open, the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards and Survey to continue into 2023 and beyond.

We are currently developing our offer for direct funding to individuals and will announce more in due course. In the meantime, individual early-career artists, curators and producers should look out for opportunities via our current portfolio of Jerwood Developing Artist Fund on our Apply Now page.

Lilli Geissendorfer, Director

Jon Opie, Deputy Director


Find out more:

Jerwood in Practice: Introduction

Jerwood in Practice: On feedback

Jerwood in Practice: 1,243 Voices, Live Performance Artists’ Experiences of Covid-19 and Hopes for the Future