We are delighted to be delivering a new Youth Arts Residencies programme, in partnership with North Edinburgh Arts, for freelance artists and creative practitioners working across a range of youth arts artforms, including (but not limited to) music; dance; drama; visual arts; screen and literature.  

Through the distribution of small grants, the programme aims to empower freelance artists and creative practitioners to take the key lead in the design and delivery of youth arts activities at North Edinburgh Arts (NEA) in Muirhouse, North Edinburgh, between March 2021 and March 2022.  

Selected artists will each be awarded a grant of £5,000 which will go towards their own fee, project materials and fees to engage further freelance creative practitioners in their project.  

Artists will be supported through mentoring, advice and training, and will have access to a regular peer forum, giving selected artists the opportunity to try out an idea as part of new or longer-term research and development.  

The programme will ensure accessible creative opportunities continue to exist, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, for children and young people living in Muirhouse – a community facing substantial socio-economic challenges. In addition, it aims to empower freelance artists, and strengthen and broaden NEA and IAPs longer-term connections with these practitioners. 

The programme is funded by Creative Scotland through the Youth Arts Fund Small Grants Scheme. 

About the Small Grants Fund 

The programme will support five (5) freelance artists and creative practitioners, who will each receive:  

  • A £5,000 grant to go towards the lead artist’s fee, project materials and fees to engage additional freelance collaborator/s in the project. We ask that you work with at least one collaborator to deliver your project. 
  • Access to North Edinburgh Arts spaces, the Community Garden and/or alternative community spaces for c. 10 days (or equivalent) to try out ideas and deliver accessible creative activities for local children and young people between April 2021 and February 2022.* 
  • Mentoring, advice and training, including project delivery and producing support from NEA and IAP. 
  • Lead artists and collaborators will be invited to attend an introductory/training session, an evaluation session and three (3) Peer Forums held throughout the year. The Peer Forum will act as a space for sharing, training, mentoring, advice and evaluation between the artists and an experienced facilitator. A fee will be paid to artists for attendance at each of these sessions. 

*Due to Covid-19 and NEA’s upcoming capital development, availability and access to space/s at NEA will vary throughout 2021/22. NEA is committed to working closely with selected artists in order to identify suitable spaces for each residency, either at NEA or suitable alternative community spaces and partner venues located within the immediate Muirhouse / North Edinburgh area. 

Who can apply? 

The fund is open to freelance artists and creative practitioners, based in Scotland, who are able to contribute to the local community in Muirhouse, North Edinburgh, through delivery of high-quality arts and cultural experiences for children and young people. 

The fund sets out to support youth arts practitioners who have both strong and appropriate skills in their artform and in working with children and young people. We invite applications across a range of artforms, including (but not limited to) music; dance; drama; visual arts; screen and literature. 

Priority will be given to applications from freelance artists and creative practitioners that demonstrate capacity to work with children and young people living in poverty or residing in areas of social and economic deprivation. For more information on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) please visit the Scottish Government website. We would particularly encourage applications from artists living in North Edinburgh and those with experience working with children and/or young people living in the Muirhouse / North Edinburgh area. 

A key aim of the fund is to support as broad a range of freelancer artists and creative practitioners as possible. Therefore, we ask all applicants to engage at least one (1) additional freelance collaborator in their project. 

Proposed projects may incorporate in-person or digital delivery approaches but should take into account the challenges and opportunities of these models in relation to the local community and the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Artists will be supported through mentoring, advice and training, and will have access to a regular peer forum throughout the year; trying out ideas as part of a new or longer-term piece of research and development, whilst strengthening and broadening longer-term connections with the individuals and organisations involved. 

Funds will be available for awarded artists to help cover additional access costs which would otherwise create increased financial barriers, hardship and/or exclusions. Funds will be calculated and allocated against individual need. 

How to apply 

Applicants must submit a completed application with supporting information via email by no later than 11.59pm on Wednesday 10 March 2021. Before submitting an application, please read through the Guidance notes.  

We held an information session on Monday 15th February at 12pm. It was recorded, captioned and is available here to view. An FAQ is also being produced from the session and will be shared here when ready.

In the weeks commencing 15th & 22nd February we are holding bookable 1-2-1 surgeries, for anyone looking for support or advice with their application. Freelance artists who would like to attend should email admin@northedinburgharts.co.uk to register their interest with a bit about their availability during those weeks and key questions they’d like to ask.

Fund opens for applications:   Tuesday 2 February 2021  
Information session (Zoom): 12pm, Monday 15 February 2021 
Bookable 1-2-1 surgeries:   w/c 15 & w/c 22 February 2021 
Fund closes for applications:  11.59pm, Wednesday 10 March 2021 
Decisions communicated to applicants: by 6pm, 31 March 2021 
Funds distributed to awardees: 6pm, 30 April 2021 
Final reporting due: 28 February 2022
Key dates for applicants

Further details on the launch can be found on the NEA website: https://northedinburgharts.co.uk/about-us-2/work-with-us/