10 Sep 2022
How can a small foundation promote greater equality of access to careers in the arts and creative industries? In 2021 the Ragdoll Foundation trustees began to explore this issue, focusing on how to support gifted young women from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop their talents and skills with a view to embarking on careers in the arts and creative media.
An open call for proposals in January 2022 to pilot and evaluate new projects addressing this theme received 51 applications from across the UK. The trustees invited eleven organisations to apply to stage two and awarded funding to six.
Trustees looked for examples of different models of intervention, a variety of arts practice or work within the creative industries, a balance of projects with under- and over-18s, geographic spread, and whether the proposal was for a pilot or an established area of work. In making the final selection the trustees chose pilot projects with a strong focus on organisational learning, a robust and reflective evaluation plan, and the capacity and partnerships in place to deliver high-quality work.
acta Community Theatre was awarded £24,540 over 24 months to support Forge, an in-depth, intensive theatre-making programme for young women in the Bedminster area of Bristol .
Mainspring Arts in Cumbria was awarded £15,000 over 12 months to support SpringTide, an experimental programme of creative support for a group of talented neurodivergent female artists facing barriers to entering the artworld.
Making Space in Leigh Park, Hampshire, was awarded £16,812 over 24 months to support Creative Futures, a new project exploring aspects of craft and making.
Nottingham CYF was awarded £8,410 over 12 months to support Sound, working with young women who show talent in and passion for the music and film industry to develop their artistic and technical skills.
South East Dance was awarded £15,000 over seven months to pilot the Young Producer Programme, which ultimately aims to bring about the systemic, structural changes needed to make the UK dance sector truly diverse, inclusive, and welcoming to all.
STORE in Hackney was awarded £29,888 over 24 months to support STORE Architectural After School Clubs to encourage young women from inner city London to consider careers in architecture or urban design.