Creative activities are not merely pleasant ways to pass the time – they can actually have a positive impact on our mental health.
A new report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists suggests that ‘social prescribing’, where clinicians prescribe supplementary activities such as art classes or gardening, could mitigate the effects of the pandemic on our mental health.
These activities can help improve patients’ physical and mental wellbeing and are crucial in combating loneliness and its mental health consequences.
As the UK begins to tentatively emerge from lockdown, building the physical and mental resilience of our communities is more important now than ever. Creative and cultural projects will be fundamental to our recovery.
The good news is that grant funding isn’t all about tech or commercial projects – there are some great options for funding for arts projects in the UK.
If you have a great idea or project that could support the arts, there are some great arts council grants that could help you.
Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants
We think the Arts Council’s National Lottery Project Grants is one of the best schemes available.
Arts Council England administers an open-access funding programme for arts, museums and libraries projects, working to benefit people living in England.
There are two grant streams available, one for grants of £1,000 up to £15,000, and another for grants of over £15,000 up to £100,000.
Awards are available for individuals and organisations for projects ‘directly creating and delivering creative and cultural activity; those which have a longer-term positive impact, such as organisational development, research and development and sector support and development,’ for a maximum of three years’ duration.
Activities must have outcomes that focus on one or more of these disciplines, and engage people in England to experience, become involved with or participate in creativity and culture:
- Visual Arts.
- Combined arts.
- Museums and collections.
Activities can include:
- Developing skills.
- Organisation development.
- Project-related overheads.
- If applying for funds for touring: no more that 15% of touring activity should take place outside of England.
There are a few more criteria to consider – you can read more about those here.
Some of the most recently-funded projects by the Arts Council include:
- Arts and creating writing protects to help support the mental wellbeing of children and young people, during Children’s Mental Health Week.
- Dance and sculpture, to digital portraiture and postcards projects led by Disabled artists and creatives.
- ‘And Still I Rise’ – a platform which will represent black artists, giving them an opportunity to express their artistry in response to recent events, such as the killing of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
Arts Council grants could be the best way to get your creative and cultural idea into the hands of people who need it the most.
If you’ve never applied before, or need help with your application, consider applying with Grantify.
We’re working closely with Arts Council England funding experts to bring in-the-field experience to your application – in fact, our consultants have had a success rate of 80.4% in applications!