The world looks very different today than it did before Covid‑19. Although some gallery spaces are managing to re-open, many venues are still closed, and individual freelancers are without work. So we’re looking for projects that try to get to grips with the new conditions that we’re likely to find as we re-emerge from the Covid‑19 lockdown. We’re not talking about 'business as usual' – instead, we have the opportunity to take a fresh look at how we can achieve a strong and resilient arts sector that properly reflects the fullest range of our country’s people and communities. It’s what we mean by 'resetting the dial'.
What is Connect and Flourish?
- Connect and Flourish funds the development of collaborative proposals between organisations, individuals and creative professionals working together. We’re looking for exciting, ambitious projects that are artist led, audience or participant focused, and that engage and connect to the public.
- Connect and Flourish is about creating opportunities for individual artists and creative professionals from all backgrounds to work with creative partner organisations. We want you to point the way to new ways of working that will help show how the arts will emerge from the challenges of the Covid‑19 pandemic.
- Connect and Flourish supports the goals set out in our corporate plan, 'For the Benefit of All'. We attach particular importance to discovering imaginative ways of working that offer new and positive responses to the need for the arts in Wales to respond in a practical and meaningful way to the challenges identified by Black Lives Matter and #WeShallNotBeRemoved. This is a moment to 're‑set the dial'.
- We understand that developing ambitious proposals takes time and energy. If you’re at the early stages of pulling your ideas and partners together, you can apply for development funding so that you have the resources to do this properly.
- You can apply for a grant of between £500 and £150,000. There will be two rounds of applications during 2020/21, with further rounds in 2021/22.The next round opens on 17th February and closes 17th March. There will be a further version of Connect and Flourish later in 2021. This is a programme that will allow ideas to mature at their own pace over a longer timescale. You have up to 24 months to deliver your project if that’s what is needed.
- For administrative purposes, we’ll need a ‘host’ organisation willing to submit the application and manage funds on behalf of the project partnership. This organisation doesn’t need to be the dominant partner in delivering the project – we’d welcome examples where it’s artists and creative professionals who are leading project activity.
- We believe that public funding should have a cultural and social purpose. So everything supported through this Fund will be expected to demonstrate commitment to the principles of the Welsh Government’s Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015 and the 'Cultural Contract'.
- We’ll do our best to work with you throughout the project, supporting you where we can to achieve your vision .
- We’re aiming to turn around applications within 12 weeks of the closing deadline date. If the number of applications we receive means that this isn’t achievable, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.
- The budget for this Fund is £5million over the two rounds in this financial year. It’s made possible by funds distributed by the Arts Council of Wales from the proceeds of the National Lottery.
- There’s likely to be competition for the available funds and we might not be able to fund all of the eligible applications that we receive. Applying can’t, therefore, guarantee all or some of the money you require.
- Our funding decisions will be informed by any Covid‑19 guidance, policies or restrictions from the Welsh Government that apply at the time.
For a full list of the Connect and Flourish first round awards: CLICK HERE
The Arts Council is also introducing improvements to its application process to make it a simpler and more user-friendly experience. We will be introducing a new grants management portal.
Please see below a short sub-titled video demonstration of the new portal.
We are introducing a new online grant application system, to support greater access and to simplify our application processes.
PLEASE NOTE: If your organisation has applied to us previously, you will be sent a redeem code to register on the new system. This will be sent to the address for your organisation’s primary contact on our old system. Please don’t try to register before you receive this code, and if you don’t receive one please contact us email@example.com.
During these first months we may experience some technical issues, and therefore you might want to wait a few days before starting your application to allow us to iron out any teething problems.
In the meantime, if you would like to start working on your application offline, you’ll find the questions in the Guidelines above. You may then copy and paste the text into the online application form ready to submit by the deadline of March 17th.
Please remember to allow up to 5 days for us to validate your organisation’s registration on the new system if you haven’t applied to us before.
If you experience any difficulties with your application or registration, then please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can help you swiftly. We welcome any feedback.
Applications close 5:00pm 17 March 2021.