In a guest blog for Everything Theatre, we hear about the BBC’s Performing Arts Fund in 2013. Applications have recently opened, and this year a series of schemes focussed on theatre have been launched.
Since it was established in 2003, the BBC Performing Arts Fund (BBC PAF) has supported and awarded grants to 1,250 individuals and 237 community groups from across the UK. We receive our income from voting lines on BBC One entertainment programmes, such as The Voice.
This year we are not only celebrating our 10th year of operation, and passing the £4 million mark in grants awarded, but we are also launching schemes with a focus on theatre. Opening for applications on the 13th May, the Theatre Fellowship scheme will award £10,000 to host organisations that will provide unique opportunities for talented individuals to develop their skills.
Organisations of all kinds (from production companies to festivals) can apply to offer a Fellowship over the course of a year. Talented and motivated emerging creative theatre makers will work under the guidance of experienced mentors to develop their skills, experiment, create and showcase their work, and experience the reality of working in a professional theatre environment.
Fellowships can be offered to a range of creative theatre makers including directors, producers, actors and writers for example.
BBC PAF recognises the barriers emerging individuals can face when trying to establish themselves in the performing arts sector. The scheme will benefit those with real potential, regardless of their background or financial situation.
An example of how the Fellowship structure has benefitted previous winners includes Chloe Hughes who was a Producer Fellow with Plymouth Dance in 2011. Chloe had been initially attracted to the opportunity for the mentoring that was going to be made available. At the end of her Fellowship she said “This has been a unique and fantastic opportunity to develop my skills across a range of projects, network with others in the industry and have dedicated time for mentoring – which assisted me greatly in propelling me forwards to develop my own personal projects and think strategically about developing a long term career in this sector.”
We also hope the host organisations will benefit from nurturing fresh ideas and new perspectives and working with those who may not be found in their usual networks. It will be very exciting to see what can come from this collaborative process and we look forward to getting a peek at those applications and hearing more about the innovative potential of those across the industry.
- £10,000 grant for theatre organisations to host a Theatre Fellow
- FAQs, terms and conditions and application form are available through the website
- Online applications open 13th May 2013 and the deadline is 22nd July 2013
- Our other scheme for 2013, Community Theatre, will be launched in June