Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-2022 launches call for entries for Host organisations to support creative Fellowships to take action on socio-economic diversity and inclusion in the arts and cultural sector

Jerwood Arts today, 5th December, announces details of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-2022. The UK-wide programme is now looking for 50 leading arts or cultural Host organisations to take action on socio-economic diversity and inclusion in the arts, including through the creation of 50 paid, year-long creative Fellowships.

Building on the success and learning of three previous editions of the programme, WJCB 2020-2022 will, for the first time, focus on organisational change within Host organisations. The programme will work in partnership with arts or cultural organisation ready to expand their approach to diverse recruitment and talent development, and build their capacity for outstanding artistic and cultural production.

For the first time, applications are open to any arts or cultural organisation that meets the criteria, which now requires commitment at governance, artistic and executive levels to engage with the programme and their Fellow. The changes are intended to encourage organisations to embrace and embed the structural and cultural changes required to allow early-career Fellows from socio-economic backgrounds underrepresented in the arts and cultural sector to thrive.  Successful Host organisations will be supported through an 18-month Organisational Change programme led by People Make It Work to realise their ambitions.

Information on how to apply to become a Host organisation is now available via a portal on the Jerwood Arts website. Host applications need to be submitted by 30 January 2020, with Fellow recruitment, undertaken by each Host, taking place from May. All 50 Fellowships will start in September 2020 and run for 12 months, followed by a supported ‘progression period’ for Fellows.

WJCB is informed by Jerwood Arts’ extensive research and experience in supporting cultural and artistic careers. Initially responding to issues including pervasive use of unpaid internships and poor recruitment practices, the programme has, since 2010, championed new voices and promoted the potential for positive change through sharing evidence of best practice in recruitment and talent development.

Fair access to working in the arts remains one of the most urgent issues facing the arts and cultural sector, with those from lower socio-economic backgrounds still significantly underrepresented amongst the artists and employees of UK theatres, festivals, galleries and arts organisations of all kinds.

This fourth edition of WJCB will be the largest yet, having secured support from Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Programme, Garfield Weston Foundation, Art Fund, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, and PRS Foundation to be able to scale up to 50 and offer 10 additional Hosts and Fellows, expanding into the museums sector for the first time. The programme will be supported by a training, research and evaluation team of People Make It Work, Dr Dave O’Brien (Chancellor’s Fellow in Cultural Studies at the University of Edinburgh), and Annabel Jackson Associates Ltd.

In July 2019, Jerwood Arts and the Bridge Group published ‘Socio-Economic Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts: A Toolkit for Employers’. This practical guide supports long-term change across the arts and cultural sector by sharing knowledge, providing top tips, and encouraging take-up of an intersectional approach to equality, diversity and inclusion. The guide combines practical ideas from the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme, alongside case studies from past Host organisations, with expert research and advice from other sectors conducted by the Bridge Group.

Lilli Geissendorfer, Director of Jerwood Arts says:

“WJCB has always been about levelling the playing field across the highly competitive early-career entry points for outstanding artists, curators, producers and creatives, and ensures those with talent, but without financial backing, are given the opportunity to succeed. For this edition, we are delighted to have secured additional funding to offer more Fellowships in more places across the UK and expand into the museum sector. We will focus as much on working in partnership with Host organisations to create long-term change as we are on the individual Fellows. The 110 Hosts and 125 Fellows from past editions have shown us the way, and we are excited to get started on this next edition to support organisations to discover a new generation of potential arts and cultural leaders and become powerful advocates and role models for the cultural change needed to achieve the diversity, inclusion and representation the arts and cultural sectors need.”

The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-2022 programme is designed and produced by Jerwood Arts. It is funded and supported by Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Art Fund, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, British Council, Jerwood Arts and PRS Foundation.