Last night’s marvellously useful session at Oxford’s Old Fire Station ( #OFS) was with Will Young, producer of Snowflake, the play Mike Bartlett has written specially for the OFS. Young is an experienced producer who is also under contract to the Arts Council so his contribution was of value to those wanting to learn more about promoting a play as well as learning how the funding arm of the Arts Council works. Interestingly, the budget for Snowflake ran to £50.000 with the Arts Council grant amounting to £15.000, a tidy sum which will allow the play to run for two weeks, unusually long for a theatre as small as the Old Fire Station.
Below are a few paraphrased pieces of advice given by Young on how to apply for an Arts Council grant.
Read carefully what the Arts Council is looking for. It can take three days to fill in the application form so factor this in when applying. Submitting early will allow you adjust your application and resubmit if it is rejected.
The Arts Council gets something like 100,000 applications a year so brevity is the name of the game.
Make it easy reading by using bullet points and sub-headings. Think of your application as a project so say clearly who will it reach, who will it benefit etc. Be specific. Focus on the project rather than on your own glittering theatrical career.
Finally, the best advice of the session: ask a friend to read through your application. It shouldn’t take more than five minutes. If it does, then shave off the offending minute or two.
You can get preliminary advice from the Arts Council on 0161 934 4317
Let me know if you find this useful. I’m on: firstname.lastname@example.org