As part of BCU Arts Design and Media Faculty and PGR Studio a practice based space of doctoral training and excellence, I hosted a round table discussion  ACE Funding Opportunities. For the event I invited PhD researchers, arts organisations, an Arts Council England, Relationship Manager and artists to share their knowledge and experience of funding and navigating the precarious world of realising their practice based research through support from Arts Council England (ACE).

One of the main issues that has arisen for students considering applying to bodies like ACE is that of eligibility. There is perhaps a misconception that once you are a full time student, you are not eligible to apply.

Well here’s the thing you can apply to ACE if you are a full time student and over the age of 18!

Peta Murphy (Relationship Manager, Arts Council England)

My understanding is the key thing to remember and do is ensure that your ACE application is for your arts project and does not include your research activities. The artists presenting on the day were Jenny Peevers and Chris Mapp. Both artists have been successful in securing funding for their practice based work and shared their experiences good and bad with the group about the process of applying and the outcomes. Mapp’s practice uses solo and ensemble work to investigate notions of freedom, community and process in freely improvised musical performance. Whilst Peevers’ practice explores the interaction between art, people and place with a specific interest in exploring how arts practice can reflect and respond to the depth and complexity of people’s associations with their lived places.

Chris Mapp
Jenny Peevers

In addition Craig Ashley and Anneka French of New Art West Midlands (NAWM) the Contemporary Visual Arts Network for the region, provided details of opportunities and initiatives such as Engine a professional development programme for artists and arts professionals. NAWM also shared information about partnerships including working with Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art 2019, which will include exhibitions and professional development supported by International Curators Forum.

Craig Ashley & Anneka French

In all the feedback received on the day was very positive with most of the attendees receiving the advice, guidance and inspiration to proceed with their initiatives. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to take part including Craig Ashley and Anneka French of NAWM, Chris Mapp and Jenny Peevers and Peta Murphy of ACE. I would also like to thank Chris Hill and Jacqueline Taylor of PGR Studios in supporting this event.


This post is taken from Riding the Tiger by PhD researcher Ian Sergeant. Ian was awarded a PGR Studio Researcher Development Award for this ACE Funding Opportunities event.

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