Note to presenters: If you are unable to answer a question, refer the potential applicant to the Enquiries team. This presentation is about Arts Council England’s Gfta and Libraries open access funding scheme. We will look at the overall principles of Grants for the arts, how it works, and will then go on to consider some key aspects that should be considered when developing a application for the new Libraries fund. Arts Council England is the country’s Arts Development Agency. It has nine Regional offices which employ Relationship Managers with specialist knowledge of artform or policy areas, and since ACE took on responsibility for the development of Libraries in 2011, each region now has a Relationship Manager for Libraries. These nine regions reflect the government’s administrative regions and for Arts Council England ’s decision-making purposes, are grouped together in four Areas – North (Yorkshire, North East and West), Midlands and South West (which include both East and West Midlands), East and South East and London (which is large enough to be both a Region and its own Area).
Arts Council England believes that great art inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves, and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. It wants as many people as possible to experience great art. Grants for the arts is for time limited activities which help to deliver the Arts Council England mission, ‘Great art for everyone’. Since taking on the responsibility for Libraries and Museums, we have been exploring how we can maximise some of the opportunities for museums and libraries to work collaboratively with the arts sector, to enable the Arts Council able to work across a wider cultural footprint and to bring together each sector’s complementary strengths to increase participation in arts and cultural activities.
Before we talk about the Libraries fund in particular it’s useful to have a quick overview of the Grants for the arts scheme that this fund is aligned to. Gfta is an ongoing programme. 9 years of operating, with occasional improvements and tweaks. Budget : Across the country around £64 million a year is available for GFTA. Customer focused. GFTA is designed to be open and consistent. It is easy to understand, there are no hidden agendas and it doesn’t require prior knowledge of Arts Council England. Equality: You are assessed on what’s written on your application, rather than any prior relationship with Arts Council England. Demand exceeds the budgets available, so the process is competitive. The assessment and decision making processes are transparent and open. Simplicity: Single application for the whole country and whether you are applying as an individual or organisation or what you are applying for. Quick decisions. Six weeks for applications £10,000 and under; 12 weeks for applications £10,001 and over. Flexibility. GFTA designed to fund any and all types of arts activity, and flexibility to respond to the needs of applicants. Gfta centre – Arts Council England regional offices are responsible for advice and making final decisions on applications. However, applications are assessed by assessors based in the GFTA centre in Manchester. Ensures consistency of approach for applicants across the country. Online application –through Arts Council England website. It includes links to all relevant guidance and will check your application for you before you submit it – for instance, it will check if your budget is balanced.
One programme, one application pack regardless of the project. This ‘time-limited’ point is very important – GFTA is for project funding (with a beginning, middle and end, and a clear set of aims) only. Arts Council England provides revenue, or ongoing funding, to its National Portfolio Organisations and will not do so through GFTA – it can fund up to three years worth of activity, but has to be for a defined time-limited project. Last point is very important – it’s a ‘rolling programme’ with no deadlines and you apply when suits you – make sure you leave Arts Council England enough time to assess your application before your project starts.
Before we look at the specifics of the Grants for the arts fund, I want speak a little about the purpose of this specific fund for Libraries. It is a ring fenced amount of £6m over 3 years to support libraries access this open funding programme. These funds are additional to the general Gfta budget. As part of our vision for libraries we want to support public libraries to work in collaboration with the arts sector, to bring together each sector’s complementary strengths. Public library services are in a unique position to develop activities that engage their communities in an active and meaningful way, and their offer to their communities can be enhanced and enriched by the rich creative and cultural experiences that high quality arts activity can provide. Equally, the arts sector is able to learn from public libraries’ wealth of knowledge about reaching their communities. We envisage public library staff working alongside artists and arts organisations in their shared communities to develop a rich, wide-ranging arts and cultural offer which will extend audience reach and participation in both arts and library activities. The fund is rooted in Goal 2 of achieving Great Art for Everyone; ‘increasing engagement and participation in arts and cultural activity’. We hope that this fund will encourage Libraries to develop exciting and innovative arts based projects that could result in greater community cohesion and encourage local creative participation in arts and cultural activities.
To achieve the aims of the fund there we are looking for projects that can demonstrate a three way relationship between libraries, artists and or arts organisations or cultural facilitators and communities. We will be looking to fund projects that demonstrate a genuine connection between libraries, communities and the arts sector.
To sum up the Libraries fund: This money is additional to the Gfta budget and is specifically for applications from Libraries. Gfta is a rolling programme. There are no deadlines and each decision meeting throughout the year has an allocated amount that it can spend. The Libraries fund will be assessed against the Gfta criteria, which we will look at shortly. Assessments are made centrally by the Gfta team in Manchester. At assessment stage comments are sought by the RM Libraries from the region where the application has originated from. If the project is pan-region or national then comments are requested from the relevant regional or national offices as well.
Permission to apply for more than £100,000 can be sought. If you think you want to apply for more than £100,000 you may speak to the Libraries Relationship Manager in your regional office. If the project is of national significance (that is, it will have an impact in 3 or more regions, or the activity will have a national impact, you may be able to apply for up to £200,000) The application guidance ‘How to apply’ provides detailed information on who can apply, who cannot apply, what you can apply for what you cannot apply for and how to make your application eligible to be assessed so read the guidelines carefully It is important that you consider carefully the amount you request, ensuring that all the costs are appropriate and also that you have worked hard to look for other partnership funding. Arts Council England wants to fund as many good projects as it can, so the more of your project you can fund from other sources, the further Arts Council England can make its money go. We’ll speak about this a bit more shortly.
Other library structures (community libraries outside statutory provision, academic libraries, private libraries, for example) are not eligible to apply to this designated fund as a lead applicant. They may be a partner in an activity, as long as the lead applicant is a public library/library authority.
It is important to note that Gfta funds are specifically allocated to supporting arts activities – projects with artistic aims and outcomes that people in England can engage with. For libraries, this does mean that there are some areas of their wider work that we would not be able to support.
Currently, the majority of applications we receive from library services or involving libraries mainly relate to literature and/or reader development activity. While applications for these types of activities will be welcome through the designated Libraries fund, we would also particularly welcome applications that involve artists and arts organisations working in other artforms, or across different artforms. We would encourage prospective library service applicants to consider the variety of different roles that public libraries could play within a project, for example: a host for a residency, a commissioner of new work, curator of festival activity or exhibition, reading development organisation, or venue (or network of venues).
The Grants for the arts programme – including the libraries fund – is designed to support any and all types of arts activity As an illustration of the broad range of types of activity public libraries might want to consider developing an application for, this is a list of some of the types of arts activity we are able to fund through Grants for the arts. Your application can cover a single activity, or a number of activities. It can fund building activity, but you’ll need agreement from Arts Council England in advance of applying – there is an information sheet on the website about Capital Applications. Read that for more detail.
In this section we’ll talk briefly about things Libraries applicants should consider when developing a proposal.
These are the criteria and they are assessed and scored on the basis of your application. It is worth coming back to these four criteria periodically as you are developing an application, to make sure that your application is telling us what we need to know. Note that these tie into the headings under which you structure your application You and your work = quality How the public engage with your work = public engagement Making it happen = how the activity will be managed Finance (and the budget section) = how realistic the activity is financially Remember that Arts Council England assesses on what you submit, and only exceptionally requests further information. Make sure you read all of the information sheets and guidance available before writing your proposal.
The written proposal should contain all the main information about your project. If you need us to refer to appendices, please clearly reference the relevant supporting document and page number in your proposal.
With their wider cultural and community offers, library services may be more familiar with articulating the educational, social or wellbeing-related outcomes of a proposed project than its artistic outcomes. Grants for the arts funds can only be used to support arts activity, and we would ask Libraries fund applicants to think carefully about the specific artistic aims and outcomes of their proposed activity, and how they will articulate these in their proposal.
We want to see that the main aims of the activity are clearly related to artistic development. In our assessment we will look at how you propose to realise your artistic aims in a high quality way to achieve strong artistic outcomes for audiences or participants. For example, we want to know why an applicant has selected the artists or organisations they’ve chosen to work with; this might be related to their expertise in working with a specific group of people, or the high artistic quality of their work.
We look for evidence that a project will deliver an excellent quality of experience for participants. This is about showing that the needs of the target audience have been considered, and that the artistic experience they will have is good quality in context. This might be participatory work, for example, or work in a community context led by artists or experienced creative facilitators. We generally assess quality based on the information given by applicants in the ‘You and your work’ section of the proposal and other information such as artists’ CVs and the quality of partner organisations’ work.
Partnership working is particularly key to achieving the desired outcomes of the Libraries fund. We will be looking to see that any proposed activity is supported by appropriate partnerships, as we are aiming to stimulate mutually beneficial partnerships between arts organisations and libraries to achieve strong outcomes for both sectors. We will be looking to see that strong partnerships are in place to support the development and delivery of the activity, and that the roles and responsibilities of all partners are clearly defined. We want to see evidence that partnerships have been carefully considered, and that all parties are committed to the project. You could include evidence of this with your application, for example letters of support from partner artists/arts organisations. Arts sector partners might be fully involved with the initial development of the project right from concept stage, for example, or might lead on specific aspects of an activity (audience development or artistic programming, for example) in which they are specialists. Partners might be individuals or organisations. They might be locally based or might have a more national remit.
We’ve done a section here on reading-specific projects, as given the nature of libraries’ work there are likely to be some specific queries around this type of activity.
Organisations can apply for generic reading development work as well as that targeting specific audiences, such as children and young people and communities requiring access support, eg emergent readers or those not yet comfortable with reading for pleasure.
There are always queries about what we consider to be ‘literary work’ – again, I’d refer back to our focus on literary fiction, poetry and work in translation / diverse work, and to us looking for work to be ‘high quality in context’. We can have further discussions about this in breakout groups if you feel that it’s something that you’d like to look at further.
Engagement is at the heart of everything that Grants for the arts funds.
It is worth reiterating that currently, the majority of applications we receive from library services or involving libraries mainly relate to literature and/or reader development activity. While these types of applications are absolutely still welcome through this fund and their value is recognised, we would particularly welcome projects involving other artforms. When we speak about wanting libraries to be ‘ambitious’ in their applications, this is as much about thinking about different types of work and the different roles that the library service can play as about the scale of an activity.
There is a wide range of support available for prospective applicants to the Grants for the arts Libraries fund, and we would encourage potential applicants to make use of as many of these services and resources as possible.
This brief section is an introduction to the nuts and bolts of making an application to the Grants for the arts Libraries fund – the application form itself, with full notes, is very user-friendly and there is plenty of guidance available on completing the form.
Applications to the Libraries fund are made through the Arts Council’s online application portal. This is what the opening page of the online application looks like. Note the Left Hand column (in Pink) – when you’ve completed all the necessary information on that page and saved it, a circle with a tick appears next to it – you can save your application at any point and come back to it. If you get stuck, click on the small telephone icon at the top Right Hand Side and it’ll give you a reference ID and a telephone number to call – this puts you through to Enquiries who can help. If you’re really stuck, you can give them access to control what you’re doing onscreen and they will advise on how to progress with your application. You don’t need to complete the application form all at once – you can save it in draft, and come back to it as often as you like before submitting.
When you get to it, the budget page has advisory notes embedded in it (see the pink ‘here’ hyperlinks). The system will not let you proceed until your budget balances. Again, if you need any guidance or advice at this point of your application our Enquiries team is available to help.
The standard eligibility criteria for Grants for the arts apply to all applications to the Libraries Fund. Please see the ‘How to apply’ online guidance or booklet for a full list of the eligibility criteria (http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-for-funding/grants-for-the-arts/how-to-apply/). All applications to the Libraries fund will undergo a check for eligibility before going through to assessment stage.
We need to be able to identify these applications at the point we start to process them, as they will come in to us through the online portal along with all the other Grants for the arts applications. Applicants will be prompted to include this suffix by the portal.
Arts Council England wants its money to go further and having other partnership funding (income from other sources) is one way it can achieve this. It also shows real support and demand for your activity. For projects which use the arts to deliver on other agendas - it will be important that the agencies and authorities involved support the activity and provide partnership funding – for example, in the case of an Arts & Health project in a hospital, Arts Council England would expect the PCT to be committing cash to the project. Partnership funding can include cash and in kind contributions . The assessment process considers what is reasonable in each case.
Common examples of in kind support could include: venue hire, marketing support, volunteer support time.
Applications go through five stages Pre-application advice : We would encourage applicants to the Libraries fund to make contact with the Relationship Manager for Libraries in their region to discuss their plans for making an application. They may also put you in touch with other Relationship Managers for advice, depending on the nature of your project. There’s also plenty of guidance available on the website and if you want to speak to someone about queries such as eligibility, Arts Council England Enquiries can guide you through how to apply. There is a very detailed programme-specific guidance sheet available on the website.
Had this slide already, but worth reiterating at this stage: Gfta Libraries fund is assessed against Grants for the arts criteria with an emphasis on the outcomes below by the Gfta team. Outcome-driven: - stimulating ambitious, innovative partnerships between libraries and arts organisations - encouraging communities to participate in artistic and cultural activities
Grants for the arts Libraries fund
Grants for the arts: Libraries fundVisiting children’s class at Dalston CLR James Library in London. Photo:Michael Cameron Photography
Arts Council England’s mission statement: To get great art to everyone by championing, developing andinvesting in artistic experiences that enrich people’s lives.
Grants for the arts: What is it?Background• first launched in April 2003• customer focused• equality of opportunity• grants to individuals and organisations• light touch• quick decisions – six or12 week turnaround• flexibility built in• national assessment in Manchester• online application
Grants for the arts: What is it?For time limited arts-related activities that:• engage people in England• help artists and arts and culture organisations in England carry out their workNo deadlines
Grants for the arts Libraries fund “This fund will be for projects that stimulate ambitious, innovative partnerships between libraries and artists and arts organisations and which encourage communities to participate in artistic and cultural activities. The £6 million available will be accessible exclusively to projects that are led by public libraries in partnership with arts and cultural organisations.”
Grants for the arts Libraries fund• ring-fenced budget of £6 million, additional to other Grants for the arts funds• 2.5 year programme: Sept 2012 to March 2015• rolling programme – no deadlines• assessed against Grants for the arts criteria (with an emphasis on the outcomes below) by the Grants for the arts teamOutcome-driven:• stimulating ambitious, innovative partnerships between libraries and arts organisations• encouraging communities to participate in artistic and cultural activities
What doesGrants for thearts fund? A mother and daughter at Dalston CLR James Library in London. Photo: Michael Cameron Photographyfford
How much can I apply for?•the minimum amount that can be applied for is £1,000•the maximum amount is £100,000 (however there areexceptions): – permissions – national activities
Who can apply?• the lead applicant must be a public library, public library authority, network of public library authorities, or organisation managing a public library authority, as defined under the Public Libraries & Museums Act 1964. Lead applicants will need to confirm their status in the Management section of their proposal• this is because the funds allocated to this programme are designated for supporting public libraries specifically. Other types of library are still eligible to apply for support through the standard Grants for the arts process
What types of activities can we support?• Grants for the arts funds are intended to support arts activities (projects with artistic aims and outcomes)• we cannot fund libraries’ core work through Grants for the arts, as this is the responsibility of local authorities. We cannot fund non arts-related work through Grants for the arts.• however, we can support a wide range of arts activities that support, enhance and enrich libraries’ core work, and develop libraries’ role as a cultural provider in their communities.
Grants for the arts Libraries: What can we support?•we can consider funding activities involving any of theartforms that come under the Arts Council’s remit: theatre,music, dance, literature, visual arts, and combined arts•we can consider funding a broad variety of types of activity,for example: festivals, exhibitions, workshopprogrammes, residencies, digital projects, performances,and so on.
What does Grants for the arts fund? Arts-related activities including: • projects and events • buying assets such as equipment • activities for people to take part in • organisational development • commissions and productions • professional development and training • public art • touring • residencies • research and development • audience development and marketing activities
The assessment criteriaFour criteria:• the quality of the activity and the quality of effect the activity will have on the people experiencing it, or its ongoing effect on artistic practice (or both)• how the public will engage with the activity, immediately or in the longer term• how the activity will be managed and its ongoing effect on the applicant• how realistic the activity is financially, and its future effect
An evidence-based process• Grants for the arts uses an evidence-based assessment process and applications cannot rely on assumed knowledge• the more information that an applicant can give us that evidences that the activity is well planned, will have good artistic outcomes, is financially sound and will engage people successfully (plans, the reasoning behind decisions made, timelines for the activity, target audiences, marketing plans), the better• even provisional plans are helpful to allow us to see an applicant’s thinking. See our ‘How to apply’ booklet and the ‘Understanding assessment’ information sheet on our website for more information
Artistic outcomes• Grants for the arts funds can only be used to support arts activity, so we need to know the artistic outcomes of the project• we want to know why applicants have selected the artists/organisations they’ve chosen to work with (eg expertise in working with a specific group of people, or the high quality of their work). If an applicant tells us the artistic rationale behind their choices, we can consider this in our assessment of their project
Artistic outcomes (cont)What do we mean by artistic aims and outcomes?We want to see that the main aims of the activity are clearly related toartistic development. This could be demonstrated, for example, through:•delivering a programme of work that will allow audiences/participants toexperience high quality artistic work•providing opportunities for participants in an activity to develop their ownartistic skills and/or produce their own artistic work•offering artistic development opportunities to artists through activities suchas residencies or commissioning new work•providing opportunities for using the arts in new contexts
Artistic outcomes (cont)• we assess quality based on the information given by applicants in the ‘You and your work’ section of the proposal, and other information such as artists’ CVs.• we are looking for evidence that a project delivers an excellent quality of experience for participants. This is about showing that the needs of the target audience have been considered, and that the artistic experience they will have is good quality in context.
Partnership working Window poetry by Alyson Hallett (photo: Marc Hill, Apex)
Partnership working• partnership working is particularly key to the desired outcomes of this designated fund. We look to see that any activity is supported by appropriate partnerships. Here, we are aiming to stimulate mutually beneficial partnerships between arts organisations and libraries to achieve strong outcomes for both sectors• arts sector partners might be fully involved with the initial development of the project right from concept stage, or might lead on specific aspects of an activity (audience development or artistic programming, for example)
Centre in Torbay. Photo: Michael Cameron PhotographyReading-specific projects Poet Frances Leviston reading at Durham Book Festival (photo: Andy Taylor)
Reading-specific projectsOrganisations can apply for the development anddelivery of projects that support access to readingfor pleasure for individuals and communities.Projects might include reading group activity, events,workshops, residencies and promotions. They mightalso help readers to enjoy and engage with a diverserange of literature. We focus on projects that promotethe reading of literary fiction, poetry and work intranslation.
Reading-specific projects (cont)• it is important to note that as our funds must be allocated to arts activity, proposals for reading development activity must tell us how the activity will – immediately or in the longer term – lead to more people reading literary work for pleasure.• reading projects focusing solely on non-fiction may struggle to score well against Gfta criteria.• while improved literacy is a positive outcome of this type of project, we need to see the artistic basis of the project to be able to consider it for funding.
Engagement Poet Frances Leviston reading at Durham Book Festival (photo: Andy Taylor)
Engagement• one of library services’ great strengths is their ability to reach a diverse range of communities, and their knowledge of the needs of those communities. Encouraging active participation in arts activities is key to the desired outcomes of this fund• applicants should think about (and articulate): - the target audiences for the activity - the nature of the participant experience – how will participants have an excellent artistic experience? - audience development – is an activity designed to engage new audiences (hard-to-reach groups, for example)? - how will the activity be marketed? - have communities been involved in the planning of the activity?
Working with different artforms Craft session at Deptford Lounge Library in Poet Frances Leviston reading at Durham Book Festival (photo: London. Photo: Michael Cameron Photography Andy Taylor)
Libraries and different artforms• through the designated Libraries fund we would particularly welcome applications that involve artists and arts organisations working in other artforms (or across different artforms) as part of the emphasis on widening the scope of library applicants’ ambitions• we would encourage prospective library service applicants to consider the variety of different roles that libraries could play within projects, for example, as a host for a residency, a commissioner of new work, curator of festival activity, reading development organisation, or venue
Scale and ambition• historically, applications from library services have been relatively limited in their scope and scale, with a high number of under £10,000 applications for a fairly uniform range of activities.• we want to support and enable libraries and library services to broaden their scope in terms of the scale and value of their applications to us. We would encourage applicants to be ambitious in devising their activities.• please note that applications for under £10,000 will still be eligible for consideration under this fund
Support available for prospective applicants• regional workshops, beginning in Autumn 2012• conversations with Relationship Managers (Libraries RMs and other artform RMs)• information page on external Arts Council England website• programme-specific guidance sheet on the Grants for the arts and Libraries pages of the website• case studies published on the Arts Council’s Libraries web pages• advice from the Arts Council’s Enquiries team
Making an applicationHow to make your application eligibleKey eligibility points for public library applicants to note include:•we can only fund arts-related activities•we expect at least 10 per cent of the total cost of the activityto come from other sources•we cannot fund activities retrospectively (that is, we areunable to fund activities, including buying goods or services,which take place or start before we are able to reach a decisionabout your application)•we can only fund activities that engage the public•we cannot fund ongoing overhead costs that are already paidfor by other income (eg local authority income)
Making an applicationHow to make your application eligible (Libraries fund)• in the section of the online application form called ‘Description of the activity’, we ask: ‘What is the name or working title of the activity you are applying to do?’• libraries applicants should give the name of their activity, followed by the suffix (Libraries fund)• eg: Artist in residence project at Newtown Libraries (Libraries fund)
Making an applicationArts Council England approach to partnership funding• it expects you to find at least 10 per cent of the total cost of your activity from other income sources – this is a minimum• for projects which related to other sectors for example health, education, social exclusion, Arts Council England expects other agencies to be providing significant amounts of partnership funding
Libraries: partnership funding• Grants for the arts requires applicants to demonstrate a minimum of 10 per cent match funding in an application• this can be made up of cash support, in kind support, or a mixture of the two• we appreciate that library services may not always be in a strong position to secure high levels of external cash support• we ask library applicants to consider the types of in kind support available to them, and how they might effectively represent this in their budget• in kind support is goods or services that an applicant would usually have to pay for, but has secured for free
Assessment anddecision makingAndrew Motion poem in SheffieldPhoto: Jack Eames
The assessment process Offer Reject Contract Feedback Grant monitoring
The assessment criteriaFour criteria• the quality of the activity and the quality of effect the activity will have on the people experiencing it, or its ongoing effect on artistic practice (or both)• how the public will engage with the activity, immediately or in the longer term• how the activity will be managed and its ongoing effect on the applicant• how realistic the activity is financially, and its future effect
Thank youAndrew Motion poem in Sheffield Children perform at 12 Moves dance eventPhoto: Jack Eames at The Hive Library in Worcester. Photo: Michael Cameron Photography