ACW Stabilisation Fund for Individuals
Opens on 29th May and closes 15th June for 1-10K
Guidelines and FAQ’s are here:
https://arts.wales/stabilisation-fund-for-individuals

On 15th May Groundwork held an open Zoom meeting to discuss the above fund. Below is an outline of the scheme and queries/responses that came up during that conversation.

We put a number of questions to ACW following our meeting, ACW have now released an “Additional Clarifications’ document which answers these and other questions.
https://arts.wales/sites/default/files/2020-05/Additional%20Clarifications%20-%20Individuals%20Stabilisation%20Fund.pdf

Please note we do not have additional information to that which has been published by ACW or any influence on decision making at ACW. Therefore the information below is offered in good faith to support independent artists but we can take no responsibility for the success or failure of your application.

We believe ACW wants to enable artists to continue being artists, to support artists in finding a way through and out of this crisis and to have a healthy arts ecology as we emerge from this. They have therefore deliberately been open in what you might apply to do.

Groundwork would encourage you to think about both: small applications that support you as individual to sustain, develop and navigate these times creatively and more ambitious proposals that creatively face the particular challenges the dance community are likely to face as the ways we work and meet audiences are likely to be significantly affected well into the future.

 

Outline of stabilisation Fund for Individuals

  • Opens on 29th May and closes 15th June (please note ACW say they may close the fund early if it is oversubscribed).
  • You can apply for 1-10K
  • Decisions will be received by 13th July
  • It is for activity, which can be completed within 6 months of receiving the grant (i.e. completed by Jan 2021) and you must be able to deliver it with the restrictions in place at the time.
  • You have to be a freelancer.
  • You have to work mainly in the non for profit sector/have experience of working on publically funded work.
  • It is for artists who have lost money due to corona virus and intended for those most in need.
  • It will also support ‘the best projects’, the wording of what these projects might be varies across the ACW documents but includes:
    Surviving threat, building resilience, maintaining creative practice, develop/evolve and sustain individually or collaboratively, develop networks, develop new ways of working, take creative risks, offer creative response to constraints.
  • It can support individual projects and collaborative projects and can support individuals to lead on projects that support an artform or community of artists (given a track record of working in this way).
  • The project might have public facing outcomes i.e. online/socially distanced but it does not need to be public facing.
  • It does need to consider/address ACW priorities around inclusivity, diversity and equalities and increasing accessibility to the arts.
  • It also needs to consider Welsh language use/engagement.
  • You can submit one application yourself and be part of one application as a collaborator. (More info about multiple grants below).

The criteria for assessment are:

  • Financial need
  • Strength of creative proposal – its contribution to yours and others artistic practice
  • Meeting ACW priorities – inclusivity, diversity, equalities, accessibility & Welsh language
  • Benefit – now and in the future – for yourself and others
  • Plans for management and delivery of the project
  • ACW will also consider art form and geographical spread.

 

Queries and discussion points

Financial need:
This fund seems more open than the Urgent response fund in that it does not suggest qualifying for SEISS or other funds will make you ineligible. However it is aimed at those who have lost money and those most in need.
The first question is ‘Tell us briefly how COVID-19 has affected your freelance income due to the cancellation of existing and future work.’
We think you can include definite cancellations and also detail things that you had planned/expected (without making any assumptions that you would have received ACW regular project funds). You could also detail other financial points – if you have not received SEISS, UC etc or if these are not enough to sustain your artistic practice. We think ACW wants to be enable people to continue being artists, so if not receiving this fund means you will need to find work elsewhere/leave the arts etc tell them that and why.

Level of grant to apply for:
ACW will expect more benefit to you and others if you apply for the top end of this fund, i.e probably employing other within the project rather than paying yourself 10K and clear public benefit either within the life of this project or in the future. They will also expect a track record of managing projects of a similar scale if you applying for larger amounts.

What if I haven’t applied for funding before:
You need to have been part of, but don’t have to have led, publically funded projects before to apply to this fund. So dancers/performers other creative’s etc can apply. We suggest the application would focus of maintaining your art form and developing your practice so that you are able to re-engage in work when people start making again and you might be better equipped to work in different ways. If you don’t have a track record of managing a project make sure you planning is clear and not overly ambitious, and/or that you put in appropriate support for that.

Working within current restrictions:
The project should not assume any particular changes or timeline for changes in current Covid-19 restrictions. This means projects should be deliverable within current restrictions and/or flexible to adapt to the situation. We don’t recommend having a proposal that for example relies on rehearsal space that you don’t have control over. Use of space/meeting people etc may be written in as a possibility but the implication should not be that you project will be compromised if lockdown continues or is re-imposed.

Involvement in more than 1 project/employing others in your project:
ACW guidelines say the projects can be individual, collaborative or be leading on a project that supports others/an artform. They also say “in the interests of offering opportunities as widely as possible, we wouldn’t expect any individual to be part of more than one individual and one group/collaborative application”.
We were unclear about the implications of this for people employed in other artists projects i.e. can they only be involved in two even if their contribution is relatively small. So we put the to ACW and it is answered in their additional clarifications document:

“As stated in our guidance we wouldn’t expect any individual to be part of more than one individual and one group / collaborative application. However, we recognise that people may be involved in different projects at different levels of activity and time. Individuals will be able to be paid for work on other projects in a different role e.g. as a mentor, critical friend, someone who provides specific artform expertise etc. and could therefore be paid for work on a number of other projects through this fund. Applicants will need to consider their level of involvement and their capacity to deliver for each project in these instances.”ACW

It therefore should be ok to be involved in multiple projects depending on the level of involvement. We suggest that you have a conversation with anyone who you intend to name in your application i.e as a collaborator/dancer/mentor/critical eye etc. Make sure they are aware of the level of commitment you are outlining to ensure you do not jeopardise either their own or anyone else’s application.

Working with people from outside Wales:
We discussed working with mentors/collaborators etc from outside Wales and if that was permissible and we asked ACW for clarification – as we anticipated this is dependent on benefit to you/the arts in Wales and we suggest considering first if collaborations, skills, services from within Wales could serve you/the project equally well.
“Provided an applicant can demonstrate a positive impact on their own practice and a specific public benefit to those living or working in Wales, they would be able to pay people from outside of Wales to work with them through this funding.”ACW

How complicated is it?
ACW want this to be light touch. We haven’t yet seen the form, however based on what it was for organisations we expect it to be a similar form to normal project grants. We expect word count to be quite small, and no requirements for supporting info apart from budget however it is likely you will still need to fill in things like target figures, postcodes for activity etc.
There is easy to read guidelines and FAQs we recommend using those for people who find reading a lot of ACW info challenging.
You can contact grants@arts.wales if you have access requirements to fill in the application.

Match Funding:
You can apply for 100% of the project costs, ACW however will of course be happy if there are other sources of income. As with regular normal ACW grants projects cannot be double funded i.e receiving lottery funds from 2 sources to pay for the same thing.

Other open ACW projects:
We asked ACW for clarification about whether you could apply for this if you have another grant open:
“You can have an open grant with us and still apply to this fund, although your capacity to undertake multiple projects may be taken into account during assessment.
We will not award funding to applicants that are in default of previous grant conditions, including where they have overdue completion reports.” ACW

 

How Groundwork can help:

If you are a Wales based dancer/mover/maker and have additional questions or would like support with your application please send us an email. One of the team will support you or we will endeavour to direct you to others who have offered to support freelancers with their applications.

Please be aware we work part time and are of course also navigating these times as best we can so we may not answer immediately, if you want support please leave us enough time before the deadline to respond.

With Hope and Good Luck
From Deborah Light on behalf of The Groundwork Team

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