A new community interest company set up by a-n, Artquest and DACS to distribute small awards to UK-based visual artists has been launched. A pilot programme of grants and commissions is open for applications from now until 11am on 16 May 2016.

The Artists Fund will distribute small but transformative awards that enable artists to reach the next critical step in their careers, by serving as a catalyst to further their work in any way required.

The pilot programme includes five grants of £1,000 aimed at supporting artists’ practice in the broadest sense – such as studio time, investing in materials or experimenting with new processes – and three commissions of £2,000 that are designed to support new work and enable artists to source additional funding.

The Artists Fund is open to visual artists who are over 18 and have been practicing professionally for a minimum of three years, either as graduates or as self-taught artists. The pilot programme will be closely evaluated to help shape the future of the Fund, and awardees will be asked to contribute to this.

Grants and commissions

Artists Fund: Grants are intended to support an artist’s practice in the broadest sense. Awards can be used to support studio practice, to support projects or interventions that embrace experimentation and focus on process, as well as to pay for essentials such as materials, development or fees.

Grants may be used to: finalise a piece of work that requires completion money; allow travel for research or networking; purchase necessary training, equipment or materials; support fees or other expenses; support the whole or partial cost of an activity.

Deadline for applications: 11am, 16 May 2016. See Jobs and opps listing for full details.

Artists Fund: Commissions are designed to to test assumptions made in the art world about how artists can raise money using their practice, beyond selling their work, and the viability of how artists might earn in the future.

For the pilot programme, The Artists Fund is seeking radical ideas to compile into case studies for the development of the Fund and as a challenge to traditional arts funding programmes.

Commissions are intended to: support new work that will explore experimental and risk-taking ways to increase professional income; encourage new directions or experiments in practice; enable artists to double their money by making at least an additional £2,000 during the life of the commission in any (legal) way possible.

Deadline for applications: 11am, 16 May 2016. See Jobs and opps listing for full details.

The Artists Fund was established following a successful bid by a-n, Artquest and DACS to Arts Council England’s Catalyst Arts: building fundraising capacity programme to research the viability of the project.

Further information about The Artists Fund, including full application criteria, is being hosted by Artquest. www.artquest.org.uk

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