Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Fusion Inspire: The Grant Application Process

Having found the strength to listen to my inner voice and focus my energies on making it so, rather than disbelieving that it could be, I began my grant application to The Arts Council of Wales.

First, you have to decide what it is you want to do and which grant you are going to apply for, then devise a brief outline  ...

 Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

There is an on line form to fill in and this goes off to HQ in Cardiff for them to decide whether or not you are eligible to apply. If you are, which I was, your details are sent to your regional office and you must arrange to visit an Arts Development Officer in your regional office to talk through your ideas.

 Carmarthen Town centre

I went to Carmarthen to see Suzanne Griffiths Rees who became my grant application supervisor. She was brilliant; so supportive. Very honest and straight, which I totally appreciated. She asked me to re-think my funding strand, explaining why, and also for me to be less broad in my application, to narrow the focus so that people who didn't know me or my work, would understand what it was that I wanted to achieve through the production:

My application focussed on a number of things ... this is a brief overview:

Reversing my role with the Community: Where they become my consultant rather than me supporting them with their creative expression.

Based on the West Wales Coastline

One of my favourite places: New Quay, West Wales

Collecting stories from the West Wales Coastline through Song, Composition, Film, installation, Sound scape, Found sound, Music Technology ... in other words, having the opportunity to work within all the mediums I have developed for community arts, but  applying them to my own creativity

Inclusion: Applying all the things I know about participation and inclusion via community arts, but within the context of my own production. This will be achieved by:
  • Consulting with 400 people throughout the creative journey,
  • Designing and writing a blog (thank you to Creative Artist, Sam Collins for this idea) 
  • Making the production accessible through sight, smell, touch & sound
  • Creating a composition within the piece from the rhythm of sign language
  • Inclusion of welsh language
To enable me to produce the work with 3 additional musicans and a creative artist

To fund for me to go into the studio with an engineer to record the soundscapes 

To take my production to the places where I am known as a Creative or Artistic Director and thus promote new audience. St.David's, Pembs, The National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carms & St.Cadocs Church in Trevethin.

I needed to secure venues as in kind funding and have this in writing for the grant application:

The production will be based at The National Botanic Garden of Wales for a weekend in Jan 2013. Many thanks to the committee and in particular David Hardy, Head of Communications & Marketing.

Photo By Darren Boxer

My production will also be based at The Cwrt House, St.Davids for a weekend TBC in Feb 2013. Many thanks to the Committee and in particular to Jeff Rees.

The Cwrt House, St.Davids

The Production will end in St.Cadocs Church, which doubles up as a community theatre. Many thanks to Rector Brian Pippin.

In addition, I needed to secure references from people that knew of my work:
Particular thanks to Manager, Anna Chard at Communities First in Llanhilleth
Bev Horrell, Area Community Education Manager for Caerphilly

I also needed to organise supervisors for the different aspects of the work throughout the project and evidence their support in writing for the application:

Many thanks to:
Kate Strudwick: Creative Director at Head for Arts in the Heads of the Valleys
Chris Ryan: Director of Arts Care Gofal Celf in Carmarthenshire & Pembrokeshire
Maggie Hampton: Director of Disability Arts Cymru: Particular support in relation to sign language composition

The whole process from applying in the June 2012 to finding out in the December 2012 took 6 months. I had  additional meetings to confirm the cash flow forecasts for the bid and to discuss my role, with particular attention to the fact that this grant is NOT for me to facilitate community workshops, but to focus on my own creative journey.

Tide in at New Quay, West Wales

When I found out that the Arts Council of Wales had awarded me the grant that would release me for 2 days a week for 12 months to bring Fusion Inspire to life, it was quite possibly the most joyous moment of my entire career! I put a note on facebook describing it as the 'MOST exciting news of my entire music career' and over 40 people left really lovely comments of support; how touching is that! I am so excited, feel so blessed and can not wait to share with you the adventure that this production will be ...

I hope that reading about how I got to this point, following me forward  and my personal insight into the grant application process,  will inspire you, the reader, to fuse your own ideas and set sail on your own journey ... I'd love to hear from you, if you do ... feel free to add me as a chum on facebook


Me: At The National Botanic Garden of Wales

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