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Grants for the arts funding events for Black and minority ethnic artists and organisations

  • Date: 13 February 2013
  • Area: South East
Crawley Mela, 2011

Crawley Mela, 2011. Credit: Waldemar Jarekci

This Spring, Arts Council England will be running events in Reading, Crawley and Milton Keynes to encourage more Black and minority ethnic applicants to its Grants for the arts funding scheme.

Grants for the arts is an open access scheme and awards National Lottery money to thousands of arts projects nationally each year. It offers awards from £1,000 to £100,000 to support the creation and presentation of great art, from dance to sculpture, poetry readings to melas. 

The scheme supports artists and arts organisations to produce more innovative work, enables projects that bring our communities together and enriches lives, and stimulates the creative economy in our cities and towns.  

About the events

The funding events are aimed at artists, arts organisations, community groups and members of the public, preferably who are from a Black and minority ethnic background. This includes people whose ancestral background is African, Asian, Caribbean, Chinese, Middle Eastern, North African, Romany, and the indigenous peoples of the South Pacific islands, the American continents, Australia and New Zealand.

The events will provide people with a chance to hear more about Arts Council's Grants for the arts scheme, what sorts of activities it funds, and how to apply. All of the funding surgeries are free to attend. The scheme welcomes first-time applicants and people are welcome to ask questions.

The Arts Council has been working with local community groups such as Milton Keynes Islamic Arts Heritage & Culture organisation, Crawley Mela, Crawley Wordfest, and 2 Heavy Productions, as well as local authority partners and arts organisations to get more Black and minority ethnic people to attend the surgeries.

Paul Bonham, Diversity in Arts Practice Relationship Manager for the South East, Arts Council England says: 'These events are a really good chance for people who may not have realised that they could apply for funding before, or who may want some support, to put together an application.

'The South East is home to a rich diversity of people and the Arts Council believes that this diversity creates a robust and strong arts sector. We really want to encourage people from all of the various Black and minority ethnic communities to come down to their nearest event.  If you can't come along and want to find out more, please do get in touch.'


A Grants for the arts funding event will be held in Reading's MAPP Centre on Thursday 21 March, 11am to 1pm. Richard Kingdom, Theatre Relationship Manager for the South East, will be leading the session, present the open access scheme and answer any questions people may have.

The MAPP Centre is located at 22-24 Mount Pleasant, Reading RG12TD.


In March (date to be confirmed), the Arts Council will be hosting a Grants for the arts funding event at Crawley Library, 6pm to 7.30pm. Members of the public are welcome to come to the free event. John Prebble, Literature Relationship Manager for the South East, will be on hand to talk about the funding scheme and give advice to anyone thinking of applying.

The event links in with the Crawley Wordfest, which takes place Saturday 16 March to Thursday 28 March 2013. Crawley Library is located at Southgate Ave, Crawley, West Sussex RH106HG.

Milton Keynes

In Milton Keynes, the Arts Council will be running a joint event with one of our Arts Council England National portfolio organisations, MK Gallery, on Thursday 18 April, 5.30pm to 7.30pm. The event will offer people the opportunity to hear more about the funding scheme and to meet and talk to staff from MK Gallery's Learning Team 

MK Gallery plays a leading role in the city's rich cultural offer introducing exciting international artists to the city such as Pushwagner, James Lee Byars and Gilberto Zorio, The exhibitions programme is supported by a diverse education and participation programme, engaging audiences of all ages. In this particular event, participants are invited to discuss future opportunities for MK Gallery's Project Space, an accessible community exhibition space, managed and developed by the Learning Team.

Paul Bonham, Diversity in Arts Practice Relationship Manager for the South East, will be leading the funding session, and MK gallery staff will be on hand to talk to interested groups. MK Gallery's address is 900 Midsummer Blvd, Milton Keynes MK93QA.

To register for the free Grants for the arts funding surgeries, go to our Eventbrite page

To find out more about Grants for the arts, see