I thought that the summer may have brought a less hectic, more harmonious schedule. However, having put time aside for funding bids, it has proved to be anything but.
I love an ‘Expression of Interest’: short, succinct, and over in an afternoon. Some of the other larger funders, however, have kept me chained to the office computer, making a mockery of downtime such as a bank holiday. Why such funders need to know the membership number of the professional body of the accountant from the firm who did our audited accounts is beyond me! Maybe its Kids Company syndrome, or maybe as the competition to gain money from trusts and foundations soars ever higher, details such as this can separate the financially savvy wheat from the chaff; or the conscientious from the blaggers; or most frighteningly, the organisations who can employ professional fundraisers and those that can’t. It’s hardly a level playing field in that instance.
A good friend of Creativity Works, Dr Dan Ashton, Lecturer and MA Pathway Leader: Global Media Management, Winchester School of Art, is undertaking some very interesting research into the mechanics of arts funding: the terminology, detail, word counts, application forms and such like. Dan is following some of the participants from our Art of Fundraising co|Create workshop in July and using their fundraising journey as data. It will be immensely useful for us to see how impactful our workshop is, and how we may improve it for next year. I will be sure to update you on Dan’s findings, and indeed we may collaborate with Winchester School of Art to disseminate some of his conclusions.
In more recent co|Create news, last month we held a very enjoyable and fertile networking event: Speed Networking. Following the principles of speed dating (which I googled, FYI), each participant had the opportunity to meet others in short, explosive bites of creative rendition. Many found this exercise alone an excellent chance to hone the articulation of their work and practice. Further time was set aside for participants to follow up on the sparks of synergy they had encountered with a view to possible collaborations. Creativity Works then awarded a modest seed fund of £100 to a fledgling partnership whose idea was perceived to have the most potential by all present. The collaborators who were awarded the seed funding were: Alice Ling, Catherine Boot, Caroline Garland & Oliver Langdon (the last two from Kilter Theatre). Their ideas centred round creating performance and exhibitions in people’s own spaces and homes, especially those who are isolated and have accessibility challenges. I’m intrigued to see how this idea unfolds and I hope that their seed fund offers them a chance to meet and progress their cooperation.
The next of our Networking events will be held on Thursday December 7th, so do keep this in your diary. I can promise it’s not as scary as real speed dating, not that I’d know, I’ve never done it, honestly…
Director, Creativity Works