Fund to help arts projects across Notts

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Individual artists and community groups across Nottinghamshire are being urged to apply for funding from a cash pot of more than £30,000 from Nottinghamshire County Council.

There are grants of between £500 and £2,500 available for a range of one-off arts projects from the Nottinghamshire Arts Fund.

For the first time, applicants can apply online for the funding through the Nottinghamshire County Council website, boosting efficiency and saving time. The application process is quick and there is a lot of help available to make it as easy as possible for applicants.

The fund is being managed by the Council’s Arts Development Service and once assessments have been made, a group of county council elected members will make final decisions about who to support financially.

Coun John Cottee, Cabinet Member for Culture and Community, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The Nottinghamshire Arts Fund aims to help promote excellence in the arts across the county and it has supported some fantastic and diverse projects in recent years. We once again look forward to receiving applications from across the county again and helping where we can.”

And to help provide further inspiration for potential applicants, the county council has revealed some of successful grant applications from the last two years. These include:

Bassetlaw district – The Harley Foundation Studios in Welbeck, Worksop, was awarded £2,100 to help raise the organisation’s profile and to promote a new annual open lecture series called: ‘In Conversation’ featuring three internationally renowned artists in 2009, an ‘Open Studios’ event and a Creative Workshop educational workshop programme.

The grant has enabled the organisation to create excellent opportunities for networking, and building links with organisations and artists and craftspeople. It has helped to improve its publicity materials has encouraged more of the public into the workshops for its educational programmes and communicate its work more effectively with the rural community.

Gedling district – Lambley Arts Festival was awarded more than £1,000 to launch a pilot year of arts activity up until May 2010 including a summer arts day, family and children’s workshops, story-telling performances and the Cowslip Sunday Celebrations.

The Cowslip Sunday Celebrations helped to revive a forgotten rural folk tradition in Lambley where every year in Victorian times tourists would travel to the village to buy cowslips, which grew wild and in abundance around the village. The flowers of the plant were then turned into wine. The event was a time for merrymaking. The grant helped the festival committee to successfully revive it in May 2010.

In the first year, its celebration included a cowslip procession, an open-air community play exploring Lambley’s history and the folklore surrounding cowslips and an evening ceilidh. A Cowslip Arts and Crafts fair was included this year.

Ashfield district – The Eastside Centre in Sutton-in-Ashfield was awarded £450 to pay for musical tutors in county youth clubs, to train and equip young people in dance and music. It helped to give young people access to professional tuition for the first time. During this project, there were 17 young people involved and there have been several success stories including helping a teenager called Alice, a 15-year-old who is an accomplished pianist and who now tutors other young people in the youth club.

Newark and Sherwood district - Sculpture in the Sanctuary event is an exhibition of sculptors in Southwell featuring work from 68 different artists from across the country, with many pieces available to buy. More than 15,000 people from all walks of life visited the event, with many visiting an arts exhibition for the first time. The event is organised by the Taylor family who created the swan sanctuary next to their garden centre in Southwell. The event was delivered by Launch Media and PR and sculptures were made from materials including stone, marble, wood, ceramics, aluminium, bronze, clay, glass and cardboard.

The Council grant in 2009 supported the first event to enable it to go ahead and it has since grown and now financially supports itself.

For more details and to apply for funding from this year’s Nottinghamshire Arts Fund, please visit the Nottinghamshire County Council’s website pages at: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/artsgrants