Ideas Fund 2020 - artist call out


Wednesday 1 April 

Credit: livescore project with Greg Sinclair - photo by Jassy Earl

Wednesday 1 April 

How to apply

We would like to keep this process as simple as possible so we would ask you to send us the following:

  • A description of your idea and what inspires you to want to explore it
  • How it will connect with children and young people
  • Who would be involved
  • An idea of what funding you would need
  • A rough timescale of when thing would happen

You should write everything in a Word or PDF document and email it to with the subject title Ideas Fund 2020.

Do any of you remember Ideas Fund, an award for artists that we ran until 2015?  If so, we hope this will be like an old friend coming back to visit you as we launch this special one-off Ideas Fund 2020 to support the sector and initiate interesting projects and ideas in response to coronavirus.

We would like to invite submissions from artists who would like to explore innovative ideas and projects that will reach an audience of children and young people in some way while schools are closed and many are working from home.  This might involve things that will happen online, or arrive by post, or are participatory projects, or something else that we haven’t thought about yet!

Unlike the previous Ideas Fund, we are looking for an outcome this time rather than open-ended research because we want children to benefit from each award.  Ideas should be sparked by theatre and dance, something that can be experienced in some way by children and young people.  We are interested in ideas for babies and toddlers right through to teenagers, things they can experience on their own or with their families or carers.  We know there are great ideas out there that will spark a bit of magic and find connections when we are all being asked to live and work separately.  

Artists can use these small awards to pay for their own time, materials and associated costs of delivering their idea.  Unlike the previous Ideas Fund, all of the ideas should have an outcome in some way for children.

We imagine the awards ranging from £1,000 - £2,000 per idea, artists are welcome to apply as individuals or in collaboration with others.

The aims of this Ideas Fund are:

  • To fund good and interesting ideas
  • To fund ideas that will occupy or inspire children and families who are off school
  • To support theatre and dance artists in Scotland, emerging through to established, with paid work and time to explore new ideas
  • To explore alternative ways of connecting with young audiences

How will awards be made?

There will be a deadline every month with a panel selection process.  Each panel will involve Imaginate staff and two freelance artists who will paid for their time.  We will invite different artists for each panel, for this deadline the panel is Greg Sinclair (Freelance performance maker), Hannah Lavery (Writer) and Fiona Ferguson (Imaginate).

The panel will use these above aims to make decisions with the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be based in Scotland
  • The budget and timescale must be realistic with all artists paid at appropriate industry rates
  • Children and young people should be at the heart of your idea
  • The diversity of each selection

How much funding is available?

We are currently fundraising for this so this will be a rolling fund for as long as we can make it happen, you can donate to the fund here.  Once the money runs out, the fund will stop.

We have tried to describe some of the things we are looking for but ultimatley we are really open to what the most interesting ideas are. We would encourage you to contact us if you are unsure if you are eligible for Ideas Fund. This might be that you have questions, or aren't sure if the thing you're thinking about is something that would be considered, or just want to check in about what you are thinking.  We are especially keen to support underrepresented voices, a range of age groups in the target audience, and a wide range of artists and themes.  If any of that is useful, please contact Fiona Ferguson Creative Development Director.

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