/ Funding

Esmee Fairbairn Arts Funding

Deadline for applications: ongoing

Esmee Fairbairn (EF) want to support the artistic and financial sustainability of the arts sector and make sure that the widest range of people can participate. They are prepared to support core costs, periods of transition and risk-taking.

Funding priorities:

  • Organisations at a pivotal point – organisationally or artistically
    EF fund successful, stable organisations trying out new business models, governance or staffing structures or artistic programmes. Ideally they will be working together with other organisations to develop new innovative collaborations and partnerships. EF are interested in how these changes can help organisations become sustainable and resilient and how this might encourage the broader sector to adopt new models. EF therefore expect an organisation approaching them for core funding to be able to provide a clear exit from the funding.
  • Development of emerging talent
    EF fund established arts organisations to nurture the next generation of artists. EF expect open and accessible recruitment process and an awareness of potential barriers, for example for artists with a disability. These programmes will genuine support and contact and offer progression routes or good signposting opportunities after they have ended.  There should be a link between the emerging artists and the organisation’s main artistic programme. This funding will support professional artists’ schemes and is not intended to support artistic training programmes.
  • Art as an instrument for social change, community cohesion or participation
    EF fund programmes that use the arts to address social change. They should offer artistic excellence and social impact. We are looking for programmes that address difficult issues and/or increase the participation, involvement and engagement of harder to reach groups. We are particularly interested in projects that link arts and social change organisations and offer opportunities for further development.

As a result of the funding, EF hope to see:

  • Organisations and artists testing out new practice without compromising their financial situation and/or artistic reputation.
  • A better long-term artistic future for the organisation or individual, with a wider funding/earned income base and an enhanced profile, skills and network.
  • A better experience for audiences and participants as a result of the organisation’s new model/practice.
  • Genuine, long term social change, with future pathways/sign-posting for participants.
  • Opportunities for engagement to continue and the breaking down of barriers through the participants’ involvement with the arts organisation.

There are no deadlines – you can apply at anytime.

EF have no restrictions on reapplying. EF have a two stage application process:

  • 1st stage: apply online. EF acknowledge by email within a week and decide whether to take it further within a month.
  • 2nd stage: answer a set of questions from a Grants or Social Investment Manager. EF will make a decision in 2 – 4 months.

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