While the majority of arts funding is mainly targeted at established non-profit organisations (registered charities, CIOs or CICs), there are a number of funding opportunities that you can access as an individual. If you are an artist or creative, below are examples of funders that you may want to explore for your creative project or developing your artistic work.

Key areas these typically cover are:

  • Developing your artistic practice
  • Enabling you to reaching new audiences
  • Enabling new collaborations and partnerships
  • Projects with social impact

It is important to have good evidence of your artistic work and background for funding opportunities. Example funders include:

Arts Council England

The biggest funder for arts and creative projects distributing government and lottery funding. Funding follows their ‘Let’s Create’ funding strategy focuses on three specific outcomes and four investment principles to ensure ‘Inclusivity and Relevance’, ‘Ambition and Quality’, ‘Dynamism’, and ‘Environmental Responsibility’. Funding is becoming more competitive in London with greater opportunity outside of the capital. Among other funds primary funds for artists and creative professionals are:

  • Developing your Creative Practice (grants up to £10k) – focused on supporting your professional development. – https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/DYCP
  • Project grants (grants up to £30k & up to £100k for larger projects) – more broad focus on supporting a specific project that could involve r&d projects, partnerships, and activities to reach new audiences. Every project must support the investment principle of ‘Inclusivity and Relevance’. https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/ProjectGrants

PRS Foundation

Providing funding for music creators at all levels. Projects must support all three funding priorities: 1) to support the creation, performance and promotion of outstanding new music in any genre; 2) to enable the UK’s most talented music creators to realise their potential; & 3) to inspire audiences. Across various different schemes grants range from £3k-15k. https://prsfoundation.com/funding-support/funding-music-creators/all-career-levels/

Jerwood Foundation

Provide funding to support outstanding UK artists, curators and producers to develop and thrive. Various grant opportunities are opened each year – https://jerwoodarts.org/our-funding/

Art Cry – grants up to £2.5k for artists to create bold political work – https://www.artcry.co.uk/apply

Churchill Fellowship – (grants ranging from £10k-20k) for projects that have a social impact on communities. Fellows receive funding to explore an idea that can make a practical and worthwhile contribution to UK society, in any field (including arts). – https://www.churchillfellowship.org

Paul Hamlyn Foundation – have a social impact fund for individuals called ‘Ideas and Pioneers’ (grants up to £15k currently closed/under review). They have also developed a free funding directory listing further funding opportunities for visual artists and composers: http://fundingforartists.org.uk/

It is also work exploring arts and culture funding through your local council (some are better than others). In London, the Mayor of London also has regular grants for cultural activities.

Funding opportunities open up more if you have an established non-profit organisation or if you are partnering with one that has educational or social impact aims. Connecting with charities and community groups can be a good way of doing this, or connecting with your local music hub (who oversee provision of music education in schools). For individuals and small organisations (with a turnover of less than £30k a year) a free resource for exploring more charitable funding and projects is: https://www.myfundingcentral.co.uk/