Creative Communities Fund

With Hull being the UK City of Culture next year there are lots of opportunities becoming available for artists to get involved. As I am coming to the end of my Photography BA and wondering what I am going to do next I thought I would take advantage of these opportunities.

The Creative Communities Fund is available to support artists wanting to put on some creative activities in 2017. There are a number of criteria that your activity needs to include but if it meets those criteria you can apply for up £10,000 and in exceptional circumstances even more than that.

Projects must celebrate arts and culture, be open to everyone, engage people and communities in Hull and be more than the every day. It should fit into at least one of the seasons that the City of Culture will be focusing on next year. That is Jan -Mar Made in Hull, Apr-Jun Roots and Routes, Jul-Sep Freedom and Oct-Dec Tell the World. Then there are a number of secondary criteria that the funders would also like projects to meet including Working in Partnership (with artists overseas), Embracing digital and technology and finally Looking beyond 2017.

I discussed a few ideas with my tutor and the idea that I really wanted to go for would mean that I would be applying for almost all of the £10,000 allowance. I doubted that anyone would give someone straight out of college (even someone as mature as me) a grant for £10,000. However, my tutor said it sounded like a great idea and pointed out that I have lots of experience in other areas.

I wrote an outline plan for a project that involves hosting a number of workshops with local residents in Hull on the theme of Freedom, then a few months later hosting similar workshops in Hull’s twin town, Freetown, Sierra Leone. The project would then finish with exhibitions of the final photographs in both Hull and Freetown.

Not having any links with Sierra Leone myself my tutor put me in touch with the directors at Nova Studios who have been working in Sierra Leone for more than 10 years. I have also independently spoken to someone who is the national director of World Vision in Ethiopia but who has previously lived and worked in Sierra Leone and I am hoping that he will be able to give me some contacts too.

Not having many links to groups in Hull, my tutor also put me in touch with someone at Creator College that uses the creative arts to educate young people not in school. He was very pleased to hear about my idea and has invited me to do some workshops with the young people at his school. I also remembered that I have a friend who has recently moved to Hull and is working on the Bransholme Estate as part of a local church and wanting to build more of a community feel on the estate. I contacted him and he was delighted to offer me the space and access to the groups that meet in their community building.

It looked like this plan was coming together so all I needed to do was knuckle down and fill in the application form. It is the first funding application form that I have completed and it took me more than two days to write it all out clearly, ensure that I had all the information they could possibly want and to double check all the details. But I have finally done it!

I won’t hear until July if I have been successful or not and it is anticipated that demand will be high but lets keep our fingers crossed and hope that the outcome is positive.

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