DYCP Info Session Weds 20.01.2021

This was the second session for artists to learn more and ask questions about DYCP.

You can download the notes here

20.01.21 DYCP Info Notes (1)
Download PDF • 99KB

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


DYCP Basic Info

Open again! Closes on the 18th February & aiming to have decisions sent by the end of April. So for timeline, be starting your timeline from around May.

Grants are for between £2000 & £10000.

For individuals or small groups only.

Small groups will need a lead artist to apply - won’t be able to do an application each, has to all be under one.

With the focus on personal creative development.

More budget than in pre-covid times.

Technical roles can apply including designers.

You only need one year of professional experience that you can demonstrate - before was three.

You can apply for things to do with COVID-19 impact, as in adapting your work, but not for lost income.

You can apply every single round even if you weren’t successful in the last one. Activity has to be within 12 months from when you received the grant.

What can you apply for?

R&D time to TAKE RISKS.

Building new networks for future work. Not about showing your work but building network.

Professional development - course or learning from someone in industry.

Can still travel, but bare in mind covid restrictions still! So not advisable. Just take into account.

Developing new ways of working ie. Digital. Time & space to do this.

What can’t you apply for?

Continuation of existing work, where there’s no development of work.

No formal training fees ie formal training in Uni or College. Can do training courses.

Not primarily film / tv - but can if this is your secondary.

No R&D for project - that’s more for Project Grants

No loss of earnings

Application form

3 written questions

2 attachments

2 checkboxes

Expenditure budget

Project plan

Qs: 1500 characters each, seems to be around 1700 characters if using Word to copy / paste.

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

HYPE YOURSELF UP. Background, interest, commissions / shows, awards. Don’t be modest. Unless you put it, they don’t know! If your practice is wide, do curate it to lend yourself to your application to show how DYCP will develop you.

  1. Tell us about the developmental opportunity you want to undertake.

The literal activity! What you want to achieve. Don’t write why - this is for description and precision. EG: “I am going to do X to achieve X”. Good to have a couple of aims / goals that are overarching to start it. EG: “I want to develop my producing practice through learning about digital upskilling in co-led models”. Then break it down - HOW are you going to do it? Phases / a process / or chunks to form a narrative on what you need. Writers can just apply for ‘time to write’ but will need to explain what this entails and how it contributes to your overall aim.


“I will have mentoring advice from X and my aim with them is to X”

“I will undergo a period of shadowing organisation X which are relevant to X. With them, I will develop X”

“I will have 5 sessions with X to look at X and develop X”

“I will build on relationships with X to look at X and develop X”

“I will make contacts with X to look at X” - this can extend to seeing work!

“I will look at X to develop new themes of X”

“I will undertake training in X to improve my overall skill set for X”

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

Are you reconnecting with practice to apply for better jobs? Are you offering a new skillset? Will this training expand your practice to meet the requirements of a commission?

This period will allow me to focus on X which is poignant because X.

This will give me the financial stability to and upskill my X.

What networks might you build? What impact might you have?

Attachment 1) EXAMPLE OF YOUR WORK portfolio, video, reviews eg.

Attachment 2) SUPPORTING DOCUMENT from someone else not you eg. endorsement / review / letter of recommendation. Better from someone that knows you well & good to tell them what you’re applying for.

Checkbox - Let’s Create outcomes. Take a look at Arts Council outcomes for Let’s Create so you know what they’re interested in funding etc.

Expenditure funding - don’t need match funding or partners. Can include stuff you need. If it’s something expensive, can be a percentage contribution.

Your own fee is important!

Break down to what you need.

Good to know how much to pay yourself & good to pay yourself properly.

Breakdown into a proper rate - don’t scrimp.

Include fees for mentors / collaborators.

Can include studio time etc.

Project plan - TIMELINE.

Good to demonstrate how you get from point A to point B. Demonstrate the key milestones to get to each place. Doesn’t have to be too precise by the hour! Can be simple eg:

2 months writing with some milestones plotted in

Mentoring sessions plotted in

1 month writing with key milestones


Write the timeline in Excel & copy paste into Grantium. Have slashes between dates - DAIS TOP TIP.


If you are a disabled artist you can add in person access costs. Sits separately from the 10k threshold. Included as a SEPARATE amount.

You can also apply for access support to have a support worker guide you through the application and they are PAID by the Arts Council so a great scheme.


Can you apply for money to cover childcare costs in your application? Yes but in your budget, and not in personal access. It’s a point of contention and being worked on.

Should you include a contingency budget as you would in Project Grants? You can - if you’re able to demonstrate WHY. Is it because you may need more time as things may overrun

How long would you recommend setting aside to plan and write an application? Tricky - as depends on writing / thinking speed! More time was getting together ideas than writing so maybe a couple days (16 hours) planning total - including talking to people and researching - followed by writing which may take around a day (8 hours). And editing probably takes a bit longer to make it all fit in the character count.

What is the best way to approach potential mentors/collaborators prior to writing the application? You can put people down in theory but courteous to tell them if you know them! If you don’t know them, just good to email someone explaining you’re applying and are you happy to put them down as a mentor. It’s OK if it changes as people drop out! Can explain after the activity period and not a stain on application at all.

I’m looking to complete my BSL Level 1 Training through my DYCP funding. I was wondering if you have any courses you would recommend, and how long they run? If it ends after my activity log will this be okay? Needs to fall into activity timeline. Just say you’re getting to this point by the end of the time. If it falls out of the activity time then that isn’t ACE funded time so you need to say you’ll be getting to a certain point by the end of the timeline. Potentially over budget for yourself. Coursewise: City Lit Dais found. Dais prefers one-to-one and found someone for that but Unis do night school type things etc. If you know BSL interpreters ask where they trained etc, it’s a close knit community and they’ll be able to recommend someone.

Hello, in terms of the access costs, are these separate to the budget if they are for someone you want to work with (i.e. not for me, for someone I want to talk to about a play I want to write!) Depends on if they’re integral collaborator to your activity - if so, yes that’s access costs, but if not it’s budget costs. Err on the side of caution - unless it’s someone involved in the activity it’s separate from the access cost.

Can you apply for DYCP and a project grant at the same time? No. Need to wait from the decision from one before you go for the next one. Plan ahead is the best advice!

How does ACE view developing another practice, i.e. someone who is primarily a director/producer wanting to write their first full length play? Would this be eligible or should you have a proven track record in that exact art form? Yep, that’s fine! If you’re wanting to demonstrate a shift that’s a valid and great case for DYCP, as long as you have a year’s worth of professional experience in the supported artforms. Wanting to upskill to X & move into this space because X.

I’ve had two hours of mentoring with an artist covered by a charity, I’d like to expand it to a year long program, would that count as an existing project? Don’t think so as there’ll be demonstrable development happening. What milestones will this hit? How will expanding this help? Is there more you need to do.

I have interest from a literary agent and I would like to apply for time to write to develop my work and send them a new piece of writing they have asked for. Would it be wise to ask them for the letter of endorsement or would someone else be a better option? They have seen my work. Yeah, if you want to spend time writing so that you can access this opportunity! Makes sense.

If you want to build and write about original research would you say it needs an end result e.g publishing or can that be an aim without having connections to yet take it forward? Doesn’t need. Could just say ‘in the future’ the result could be this but not necessary. If you need time to get it to a certain point that’s fine.

On having to have one year of experience – if you’re at the start of your career and haven’t spent a solid year freelancing, can you add up the weeks/months you’ve spent working on your career? (So I have done several months of unpaid facilitation in schools part time, a training scheme over a few months, participated in short courses, writing in free time, developing ideas etc etc over the last 3+ years whilst working full time in a non arts role for most of that period – I think I’m probably not likely to be eligible at this stage) Yes. About demonstrating your professional experience. Doesn’t have to be back to back!

Support in kind? No place for it but could articulate it in your application to show it doesn’t need a fee attached.

can your goal be developing the skills required for a specific piece of work that you want to make (would be new ground for me) and would that justify a wider set of activities? Yep, makes sense, as long as they’re skills and not the work.

If you are a multi-disciplinary artist and wanting to spend time exploring the viability of staying broad vs. specialising … would you advise describing the activity as exploring all threads of your work? or framing it as working on one in particular? Either works! More about being precise. I need to do X in order to X. What will this bring you?

Would is be acceptable to apply for a grant to undertake music theory and instrument lessons over the year? Yes - but a tricky one! Dais was writing one last round, and it was viable, but you need to be precise in what it will do for your career. May want to balance it out with career development opportunities.

If you want to do a workshop with a DJ and movement director do you have to name them in your application Don’t have to, but think it helps. The more detail the better is Dais’ approach! Dais will find one that’s relevant even if it changes after the application. Better to show your knowledge!

I have ADHD (and little access to decent treatment lol). Let’s say I applied at a time when it seemed unlikely I’d be able to complete/achieve/develop as much as they might expect in the one year activity timeline – I wouldn’t want this to harm my chances so where would be the place to make this clear/justify this in an application? Just has to fall within 12 months. Plan it for 12 months - if you think it takes longer you can talk with grant management to extend espesh as it relates to disability.

As part of application, wants to hold a workshop via Zoom, free for participant. Should you give a fee? Nice to do espesh if they’re becoming collaborators in your development.

Can you say "I will spend x amount of hours applying myself to this development", or does it need to become a full-time undertaking? Doesn’t need to be full time, more about showing cumulatively across a period of time you know how to progress to that place.

can commercial producers apply for DYCP funding or it’s the same as for project grants (cannot support activities which aim to make a profit ) Hard to turn a profit from DYCP as developing practice. As long as you are developing practice and not public facing in order to make money. Good for commercial producers to apply, especially if you’ve never done Arts Council before!

Wants to spend time with different buildings / companies but may take time to work on. Include the time but under the guise of ‘confirming dates / placement’. Can mention the orgs you want to approach as examples.

Is it possible to access previous DYCP applications as you can project grant and NPO examples? Dais thinks so! Good to email people first before doing a Freedom of Information request. The White Pube have a bank of successful grant applications.

If you’re mixing an ACE art form with digital work/exploration, is this possible with a DYCP? (apologies if I missed this from earlier) Yep! Fine. If you mean film - as long as the PRIMARY FORM is one of the ACE ones, fine.

Hiyaa - would you recomend that the activity started in e.g. May (e.g. quite soon after hearing back) or would it be ok to apply for activity starting in, for example, September? Or would ACE just then be like - why don't you apply in the next round? Yes, fine - as we don’t know when next deadline is. Can be anytime from the hearback deadline (May). Takes a few weeks to get the grant too!

Can you send more than one supporting document from different artists or companies? Yes you can! It’s one upload but as long as it’s in one document. Someone’s done loads before and was accepted!

Is there a benefit to submitting early? Don’t know! Had this Q before, lots of myths, but no idea. They try and distribute fairly between arts forms / geography so must do it over time too, surely…! More important to spend more time on a good application than rush.

Is it good to dedicate time to self evaluation within the application? Yes! Dais thinks so. Would demonstrate an understanding of oneself.

I think you went over this but can you get money for a course AND ask for money to pay yourself for your time on the course? Yes!

How easy is it to differentiate between R&Ds that are and aren’t eligible? Just what isn’t Project Grant narrative - if public facing, probably project grant.

Someone Im helping on theirs wants to put therapy in as an access cost, is that allowed? Yes but it has to fit in the DYCP time. Working out a percentage?

Is there a reporting you have to do after your application? Yep, and evaluation. Certain amount (80-90% upfront) final bit after evaluation.

Is it ok if you wanted to do a scratch performance of something at the end of your timeline? Yes, if its about assessing your process and needing feedback on how much you’ve developed / testing the experimentation - and not about going for public facing work.

Can you apply to do work THROUGH an organisation e.g. if I wanted to develop my work as a fascilitator with young people - could I ask for money to pay me both for training and to set up a platform where I could work with young people (e.g. offering free workshops)with our company ?

Yes but maybe make it about getting to you the point of being able to develop yourself to the point of being equipped to make that platform - rather than about making a public facing platform as that strays into PG territory.