DYCP Info Session Tues 19th Jan 2021

This was the info session and Q+A from my Tuesday 19th of Jan 2021 ACE DYCP Info session

You can download them here

I do this because I believe in accessible funding info for as many people as possible but if you'd like to support me you can here


DYCP Notes 19_01_21 (1)
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DYCP Notes 19/01/21

Hi I’m Dais, I’m a independent producer who supports Artists with applications and fundraises on behalf of artists and organizations.

I work with NPO’s that offer support so I get invited to ACE’s internal info sessions and I want to share information much as I can.

None of what I say is ACE endorsed or a magic wand, but my experience from having written a fair amount of successful applications over the years.

Dais will go through:

Basic information ---> Q&A

If you want to support Dais to do more of these:



The main DYCP page on our website with guidance, case studies and other info: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/DYCP

The main written applicant guidance docs, including Easy Read: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/developing-your-creative-practice/dycp-how-apply

Intro video for the reopened fund, including BSL & captioning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyt3zGgmvuk&feature=youtu.be

Full BSL guidance (over 4 videos): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHkGwH4c9fQ&list=PLzzBvi5D8s7OLilZd0pdxuA8p8mAbrV-U

White Pube has some good stuff. https://www.thewhitepube.co.uk/fundinglibrary

The Uncultured has a template for the application form on their website. https://www.the-uncultured.com/blog/october-2020-dycp-updated-template

List of Successful Applications + their title and artform




The next round is now open.

Closes on the 18th February.

Decisions by the end of April - 30th April I believe.

Start your timeline from around May.

Activity to take place in the next 12 months from the point you would be receiving the grant.

Grants of between 2k & 10k - for individuals and small collaborative groups only.

Even in groups, someone has to be the lead applicant. Focused around personal creative development.

If you’re awaiting a decision on a project grant, you’d need that to come in before you applied for DYCP, same if you put in a DYCP and need to apply for a PG.

Budget has been increased four-fold & expanded, expecting more people to apply than before. Technical people can apply.

Now only need 1 year experience professionally, before was 3.

Can apply for how to make work more SUSTAINABLE through covid - ie financially or environmentally or socially distanced.

You can now apply every round with no waiting even if you were rejected in a previous round.


Can apply for research & development that isn’t necessarily public facing.

Can apply to work with new partners - aka shadowing people, a new technique, a new network, meeting people & forging new links in order to develop future work.

Professional development aka learning new skills, time on a particular thing. Build on digital producing for eg.

Travel to explore practice. Still eligible (!!) but covid restrictions to be aware of ofc. Just bear in mind 2 weeks of quarantine, are you going to make sure you’re paid? Etc. Bear in mind what the covid restrictions are at the time of application - obvs right now we can’t leave.

Developing new ways of working - including digital or socially distanced.


They can’t fund continuing existing work with no clear development (that won’t develop career or practice).

They can’t fund formal education fees ie. Uni fees.

They can’t fund cinema / tv as the primary form, but this can be a secondary thing to experiment with.

They can’t fund general R&D for a project.

They can’t fund loss of earnings.


3 written questions

2 attachments

2 check boxes

1 expenditure form

1 project plan

Each Q is 1500 characters. Usually about a 10% leeway from Word (so around 1700 in word) - be aware and fiddle!

  1. Please tell us about yourself and your creative background.

Here hype yourself up! Don’t be modest. Achievements, background, everything. Go for it!

If you’ve got wide ranging practice try and pick and choose & do curate to what you want to represent about yourself that will lend itself well to this application - either because it’s enhancing a practice you already have, or it’s a big shift away to make you a more rounded artist etc.

  1. Tell us about the developmental opportunity you want to undertake, what you hope to get out of it, and how you will go about

Be VERY literal with the activity you want to undertake. Detail is your friend here. Being as precise as possible.

It can be a bit like writing a essay -

“I want to X through X in order to achieve X”.

It’s useful to use specific names of people / training / mentors / places if you know you want to / will work / shadow / research with them.

A possible structure is to mention the overarching aim or goal - an overall statement that you can break down into your activity.

EG. I want to investigate working in ‘x’ new way.

This application will allow me to explore a new shift in A to B.

I want to upskill in A, B and C to develop my practice as a ‘X’

I will be investigating ‘X’ whilst also expanding my practice in…

You can then break this down into activity chunks, phases or separate areas that relate back to this.

‘I will undergo a period of shadowing a ‘X’ type of organisations that are ‘x’. I will develop my understand of ‘X’

‘I will have X sessions with X looking at X to develop my X’

‘I will build upon links with..’

‘I will attend… making contacts with…to gain knowledge of…’

‘I will write for X months, exploring X themes to create a new style of…’

‘I will work with this director, exploring this type of practise, upskilling myself in this area’

‘I will undertake training in projection design with ‘X’, expanding my technical knowledge and overall production skill set

  1. Why is this important for your practice at this point. How will this create future opportunities?

You can use the breakdown of your activity in Q2 in order to breakdown how each bit of activity will have future benefit

- how will each phase benefit you?

Because you’ll have connections with people you didn’t know before?

Better understanding because better training?

Training to help you accommodate or work with new people?

Training in order to meet the requirements for a commission or application you couldn’t apply to before?

Financial stability - eg. “this will give me the financial stability to write in a sustained way for the first time”.

Time to explore with different materials.

Sustainable ongoing of your practice. “I rarely have support to …” “This will give me the financial stability to…” “I will be in a unique position from this activity to…”

More work, bigger work, smaller work, long term work. The opportunity to do more! Create a new model of working?

Creating national / international relationships?

Future partners meaning sustainable practice?

Are you switching to covid friendly / digital practice?

Transitioning in your career?



  1. Attachment 1: Example of your work in a file or link.

Your website? Portfolio? Review? Photos? Good example of your work.

  1. Supporting document of your work.

WRITTEN BY ANYONE BUT YOU. Collection of reviews? Letter of recommendation? Endorsement?

Ofc, endorsement better if someone knows you personally that can directly refer to the things you’re trying to build on. Tell them what you want them to refer to in the letter to help them write it!

Checkboxes. Which of the Let’s Create outcomes do you believe you’re hitting?

It’s the Arts Council’s strategy. Would recommend reading it!

Expenditure budget.

What is your budget? How much you pay yourself is variable. Always pay yourself properly - don’t scrimp! - pay yourself what you need. You need to show that you know how to develop from one place to the other and actually costing effectively for that time.

E.G You can pay yourself for 3 months of writing time, ie £1000 a month. Shadowing, workshopping, writing etc. You can use it to pay for things but be CAREFUL.

ACE are less keen on funding lots of equipment - if worried you can put a percentage contribution.

Training fees, travel fees, paying for tickets - paying yourself throughout your timeline- all good.

Fees for mentors good.

  1. Timeline.

How do you progress a personal development project from start to finish? When would you like to be achieving milestones by? Pre determined dates, workshops, etc. Make this an Excel when you’re drafting it as it’s easier to copy paste into Grantium!


If you identify as disabled can get a personal access cost - in the eligibility Questionnaire as a SEPARATE COST. So if your activity takes you up to 10K limit but need 2K more on personal access costs - thats ok.

If you identify as someone that needs access support - the Arts Council can pay someone to help you through that process. £300 day rate, up to £600. If you don’t know anyone that can do this, you can contact Arts Council - there’s a trial w/ NPOs to access relevant people.

Other people that offer support include Dais, Laura + Ash at The Uncultured, Rafia Hussein, Thomas Ryalls, Reece McMahon, Tilly Bungard to name a few off the top of my head!


How do you go about asking ACE for a support worker, and how long does it take to be signed one?

Email enquiries at Arts Council England. Put ACCESS SUPPORT in caps in the subject of the email, helps them see it quicker! Just say who you are, that you need a support worker to complete DYCP application. It’s an availability thing but there should be someone. They’ll ask you main art form, area, difficulties, breakdown of time (just a couple sentences, you don’t need to prove anything). Should be a few days max

thanks Daisy! this has been great! one question - does childcare costs come into the application budget, or is it access? Big point of contention. Unfortunately, unless it’s to do with a disabled person it’s not in the access budget. Right now it’s part of your App budget.

Sarah Griffin Q Looking to develop multiple strands at the same time. Fine to break it down into a few areas. EG: Dais’ was around investigating producing models, fundraising and digital access to make me a better overall producer

Q Was rejected previously and wondering how much to change. Hard without seeing application - but 6 months is still a good timeline - make it as future opportunities. Think about how you show it’s a very precise

Should if have practice in collab development is focus on shifting to solo practice a good basis for application? Great to show you’re doing a shift towards solo making! Perfect basis for a application.

I want to work with an established producer to enhance my music. Sure that’s fine, perfectly valid collab. Show how much this will benefit your career.

Listing fees for other people in your budget - what percentage of the expenditure do you recommend limiting this to? You want to be representing a fair fee / fair contribution. EG: 6 sessions, fair fee for each session. It’s showing how much you know that things cost. Again, demonstrating you need these things - totally valid cost!

Is studio space hire an acceptable cost to include in your budget? Yes. If integral to the development activity.

It'd be really great to hear about access costs for people with a longstanding mental health condition. Can’t speak on behalf of everyone but if you mean what’s the upper limit - not entirely sure & i’d send an email to enquiries. Figure out what percentage of cost is against the expenditure budget. Dais asked for £2k in access support, a day a week, to help be organised. Other people, Dais has seen up to £6k. Arts Council are helpful. Just make sure it’s directly linked to DYCP activity and not general life around that.

hello! that was fab advice! thank you so much, if you’re struggling to find mentorship for specific things, is it ok to write that you’re aiming to find a mentor, and if not have you found that it’s been easy to find mentors for previous DYCP applications? Try and use names if there’s people you want. Fine to say you’re going to work with someone in particular, ACE know they can change. Ask around other people, see who they recommend, etc. etc. Always courteous to tell someone you’re naming them on a app. Don’t ask them to block off loads of time until you know you’ve got it.

Is there any expectation to pay someone who you shadow? No. If they have a salary, maybe not, but if you’re taking up more of their time. Just got to see what the shadowee / their organisation thinks. Anyone who is a freelancer or doing anything ‘extra’ should be paid IMO.

Business venture thing (upskilling to add more income streams to them). Word it well to show it can offer you financial sustainability. May need to flesh it out with more things it can offer you - just money to attend a course may not be the most compelling application.

is it better to apply for less money? will that make it more likely to come through show that every cost is completely valid. Not ‘more’ or less’ - it’s about impact. If you’re scrimping on your own fee, it’s not a good demonstration on knowing how to do & plan a project. Paying yourself well shows you understand.

A question about mentoring. If you’re approaching someone who works full time at a building, would you usually factor in a fee for that person? Appreciate it depends on person/building/situation, but would be good to have any advice on expectations! bare in mind that if you offer people a fee, you’re more likely to get their attention as they have a reason to remain engaged - it’s mutually beneficial

Producer - £100 to put towards seeing emerging artist work. Totally fine!

I want to apply to DCYP to develop digital skills, however the digital project I’m working on the director is applying for a project grant - can we do both? Yes if they’re on separate grantium accounts.

Can it be over multiple things? Sure, how how it’ll all make things more sustainable.

thanks so much for this, can I ask, if you're looking to be mentored by someone in a specific skill, do you have to have this person named and confirmed on the application ? Good to let them know, or put down orgs you’d like to approach!

Hola Benjamin! Anon question please - I was recently referred to ASD / ADHD by docs and it has shaped a lot of my reasoning for applying to DYCP (made a lot of things make sense! 😂) but without an official diagnosis I feel like a bit of a fraud mentioning this in the application, even though it’s a big part of the reasoning… do you have any advice about how to write about this type of situation? I hope that makes sense. Thank you xx Lots of neurodivergent people are self-diagnosed. If you know that about yourself it’s completely valid as a statement of fact. Don’t need to prove anything! The social model of disability is what ACE follow.

can I ask for an access support worker to work with me in shorter bursts of time over say a week? and are there any common mistakes that people always make/supposed 'common sense' tips that I might miss? thank you YES to Q1 (but dais doesn’t decide who gets money so no idea on Q2)

If we have a person we would like to do mentoring work with, is it wise for that person to write our second attachment? (Basically, if part of my budget would go to paying for their mentoring time, is that conflict of interest?) Not a requirement but would be nice in your application narrative

If successful with a DYCP, would ACE then not look favourably on a project grant application submitted within the grant timeline of your DYCP? No doesn’t matter.

Thanks again for this Dais. You are a superstar. From being in a building - I get asked to write a lot of supporting letters including breakdowns on in-kind support. Sometimes its a little tricky to pitch them when I know the artist but not the piece of work that they applying for. Is it ok to focus on their past practice? Or any tips for a banging support letter? Xx Dais can send an example - usually asks what they want them to include as it’ll help you write it. Three bullet points they want you to hit. Good to say you know them from XYZ etc. and you are confident in their ability to do A,B,C next, for a narrative.

Q - How far along does your activity have to be developed? Can I apply for funding for the first part of a process which I can forsee eventually resulting in public performance? Yes, if it’s about experimenting with a NEW approach.

With the letter of recommendation/endorsement can it be from the person you’re going to shadow/have mentorship from if you already know them? Yes.

Is it risky to apply for funding in a new area? YES PERFECT APPLY FOR DYCP

question: In terms of eligibility, I am currently still in training (due to graduate this year) but have done work externally for over a year, will I have to wait until next year to apply seeing as though I’ll be a 2021 graduate? Also thank you so much for this knowledge, so so useful! No, as long as you can demonstrate you’ve had a year of professional experience they don’t need to know ur still at uni.

Does it make a difference if you hand it in early? Don’t know - lots of myths! Get it in whenever.

Just for clarification. I am looking to submit a Project Grant application for an organisation I run after I have done my DYCP application. This will be submitted through the organisations applicant profile not my personal applicant profile. Will this be ok even if I’m filing the application using my own user account? Yes that’s fine. Different applicant profile.

If the majority of what I'm looking for is stability funding to maintain me while I work on my skills (rather than formal training) is there an way I can make that more specific or forensic in my breakdown? One of the benefits is being financially stable. Good to have an outcome from it. Remember: I need to do this in order to do this.

Dais could you repeat that bit about using Excel & then transferring onto ACE form? Activity timeline, do in Excel with date slashes. Because Grantium’s calender is … hm.