DYCP Session Notes 17.05.21

Notes from my free DYCP session on the 17th of May.

You can download them here too

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You can have camera on or off, sit anywhere, lie down, walk around etc, but lets stay muted until the Q+A.

If you have questions – hold onto it and ask it at the Question section or put it in the chat when we get there, or send it to Ben and he will say it for you.

Ben is taking notes so you’re welcome to take notes but there will be notes available after.

I’m a independent producer who supports Artists with applications and fundraises on behalf of artists and organizations. In the last 2 rounds I’ve had about 10 successful applications in total so my success rate is pretty high.

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. I focus my one to one support on getting more disabled artists to apply, so I do these sessions to try offer advice to as many people as possible outside of that.

None of what I say is ACE endorsed or a magic wand, but my experience.

Basic Info-

What is it?

Grants 2K-10K

If you have personal access costs – that is on top. So if you had 10K in DYCP costs then needed 2K (for example) of personal access costs, that works.

They have increased the programme budget to £18,000,000 for the next twelve months. This budget is available between October 2020 to October 2021, over four rounds. We are currently in the 3rd round of those 4.

The reapplication process has been changed since the last 2 rounds. Now if you’ve been unsuccessful for 2 rounds or successful in 1 you cannot reapply in round 10 or 11.

Deadline is 27th May

Decisions by 5th August

Who is it for and who can apply?

Individuals and small collaborating groups only – for group one person has to be nominated lead


Focus – personal creative development

The supported ACE disciplines in this fund are-

Music • Theatre • Dance • Visual Arts • Literature • Libraries • Combined Arts • Museums practice

This includes designers, technicians, choreographers, creative practitioners, community practitioners, DJs.

You must have 1 year of professional practice accrued- used to be 3 yrs.


development activities that involve the production of artists’ film, video and/or audio work for galleries, cinemas, the public realm, publishing, broadcast or online exhibition or distribution

• applications that involve work in film, video and audio that is clearly related to practice development in our supported disciplines (eg visual artists’ film, screen dance, poetry film, artists’ creative podcasts, artist-led radio drama, sound art etc.)

We cannot support:

• film-making projects that do not engage creatively with the artforms and disciplines we support

• narrative feature films where film is the artform • television drama

You cannot directly apply for film & TV work but if you’re working with video as part of another discipline – for example you’re a poet and you’re encompassing multimedia, that counts, or if you’re a producer learning more about digital producing of theatre, that counts. But Film & TV as primary artforms are not supported.

What do you do with it?

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.

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

Activity has to be within 12 months from when you received the grant.

You MUST show a clear development plan for your practice, this is the key element of this application.

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

You cannot apply to Project Grants and DYCP at the same time – you need to await a decision from one of them.

SO if you’re eligible on all this, here’s a checklist to prep for your application:-

- Do you know the main things you want to explore or develop and who or what with

- Do you know how long this will take you

- Do you know how much it costs

- Do you know who might offer a supporting document

- After doing this development, what are the key milestone you expect to hit

I would try to bullet point most of these in advance.

So the application form itself.

It’s much smaller than project grants – probably about a third of the size.

Application form

3 written questions

2 attachments

2 checkboxes

Expenditure budget

Project plan

Please tell us about yourself and your creative practice – 1800 Characters

This is your chance to hype yourself the fuck up

I would frame it initially with the main focus of your artistic, cultural or creative activities. Can you summarise your practice in one sentence? Try it out!

Your main creative achievements to date – for example, exhibitions, productions, publications, commissions,

important pieces of work you’ve completed

if you’ve worked with any established creative or cultural partners

any other information relevant to your track record;

whether you’ve shown that you are ready to benefit from a development opportunity

Tip: make a list of everything you’ve done with headings above them and then select the ones that showcase your need for development best.

Tell us about the developmental opportunity you want to undertake.- 1500 Characters

Arts council read everything in activity. So start date, end date and everything that happens in between, that is your activity.

In your checklist

Know what you’d like to upskill in, write, learn, be mentored by,

The literal activity! What you want to achieve.

Don’t write why - this is for description and precision.

This is your chance to show your clear plan of development – that you know exactly what you need to do to achieve the… whatever

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”.

Or you might list some objectives, make it really clear.

Then break it down - HOW are you going to do it? Phases / a process / or chunks to form a narrative on what you need.


“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”

You could break it down into numbered points, or 3 phases. This makes your plan of development really clear.

I will be uploading some example resources of DYCP’s I’ve either been sent with permission or that I wrote on behalf of other people that I have permission to upload these bits to. They’ve been anonymised.

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

what your main aims for the activity are

why this is the right point to take some development time

what you want this development to lead to; and

what will be different about your practice as a result of this development

So practical applications of that might be;

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?

Will you create a new company

Will you make all your future work more accessible?

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.

If it’s something really expensive, can be a percentage contribution.

Your own fee is important!

Break down to what you need for the period of time being covered.

Good to know how much to pay yourself & good to pay yourself properly – you decide your fee, use

Breakdown into a proper rate - don’t scrimp.

Include fees for mentors / collaborators.

Can include studio time, ticket costs, programme costs,

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 but shows that you know how long things will take and what actions you need to take to get there.

Access Support –

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.


Are grants tax deductible is something I’m asked a lot in these sessions – I have some advice from a theatre accountant which I’ll attach to the notes. But in short…


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



I have two disciplines, one dependent and one for others. Is it best in my application to focus on developing just one of these? or is there space to do both?

Absolutely fine to do both, most of us are across multiple disciplines. The key thing is to make your objectives clear. If you are focussing separately, then why? Do you also have two separate goals? If so can you show clear development of both.

visual artist- is a website link sufficient for supporting documents?

yes but ensure it goes to a specific page. Chose one page that best demonstrates your work and send link to that page only.

Is the creation of website eligible?

YES always valid - it will allow showcasing and sharing of your work and a portfolio etc

I have the intention of collaborating with people in other countries, is this ok?

YES as long as you are in England, that’s all that matters.

Make sure you include payment for yourself. ITC and equity rates are still a minimum wage, so set your own rate you would expect and be honest about how many hours/days you are expecting to work.

If you upload a document and a link, they will just look at link.

How did you become support worker?

I was a disability equality trainer and then when working at Stratford East I was trained by Michelle Taylor . With lived experience alongside work with disabled communities, when I started to meet with organisations they would turn to me for information. I also have background in fundraising so it kind of just fit.

I had a DYCP that was stopped in 2020 - is it worth mentioning?

Only if you have the space.

If it shows the path and shows how you’re hitting a wall then yes.

Originally I had planned to have peer learning, but circumstances have changed and I’m now having to do a course, is it worth putting in?


Is it best to have one supporting letter or multiple?

One is absolutely valid. There is a limit to the size of uploads, so as long as the multiple are coming within that restriction that’s fine. But don’t stretch to get multiple with time restraints etc, because one is absolutely sufficient.

Do you think ACE will remove design and more tech based disciplines from DYCP in the future?

I highly doubt ACE will narrow disciplines. They are reshuffling a few things, and project grants are changing, but I think they will be keeping it as open as it is now. So don’t stress to get your application in for this round and rush it.

Would an r&d for a commercial business idea be accepted?

Not if the commercial business is looking to make profit.

If you’re using DYCP to develop a new model that’s fine - it’s about your practice (even if that’s to look at alternate funding models) so as long as you can create the narrative of how it will develop your practice that’s fine.

Is it possible to do a quick turnaround? I am dyslexic so would need support. Also, do i need to create a profile first?

Create account ASAP regardless - you are always going to need it and it’s not going to be monitored. Best to just have it. The applicant profile takes longer, but definitely just set it up now.

Regarding support

- ACE will pay to support you in the writing of your application. It can be anyone who can help you write down your ideas. Producers often offer, but there is a fine line between just writing down and enhancing your application. So definitely make that distinction.

If you know someone, add this information to the email to ACE. If you don’t, then ask ACE and they will go to NPOs and where they have capacity in staff base you will be assigned support.





‘Hi my name is BLANK,

I’m wanting to complete a DYCP application and due to dyslexia etc I need support in writing my application.’

ACE will fund a maximum of £600 - they do £300 per day so assume it should take two days

They might ask where you are based

They use the social model of disability, so will not ask you to prove anything

Payment to support worker will vary depending on who it is, but max £600

As part of my DYCP I am wanting to have an informal sharing, is this ok? Or would that make it a project grant?

If for development of practice you need to share/test/bring people in - maybe for a new way of working or testing - ABSOLUTELY FINE

‘i will make this piece and then i will share it’ = project

theatre and tv actress but moving into writing. so extending practice to writer/performer. But have no evidence of writing. would showreels etc be ok?

yes, just demonstration of experience in artistic world. Doesn’t have be same discipline.

I am wanting to bring other actors on board

In practices which naturally bring others in that’s fine.

Can I include asset purchase of computer and camera?

yes should think so

I am a writer with a background in community engagement. I have some credits but am looking for time and space.

Is it legitimate to ask for time and mentoring and to meet collaborators?

Yes. One of the examples on website is a writing application. Most writing based applications are about time to write. It might be about marking a shift in style of writing - scale (who would mentor) and screen (style and mentors) techniques.

For the supporting document, is it best to have an example of writing or a writers cv?

Either is fine, but if you are using and extract make sure it is SHORT.

Would I be able to include funding for training to teach?

only if not a degree

-I am getting mentoring from movement teacher in actor teaching

This fits absolutely. Mentoring and shadowing to learn about blah absolutely fine.

My work is within an organisation, is this ok?

funding can’t go to an organisation, but the benefits can effect company or directly develop your individual role within the organisation that’s fine. Just focus on your individual development.

Can my application be about networking?

Yes, you don’t have to be specific and say a specific project you will be shadowing or the people you with meet.

‘Expanding network will mean I’ll be able to collaborate with or serve people I work with better’ absolutely fine.

Increase opportunities to work in this style/people/context.

I have been a project manager, does this count towards ’accrued professional practice’

Yes. Professional practice varies and doesnt always sit within what is always seen as creative roles. But PM does count.

Do the people I look to collaborate with have to be in the arts too?

Mentors and collaborators can be in any field, science etc, but specificity is good. Name the person.

Are childcare costs valid?

Yes, unfortunately they don’t yet count as a personal access cost, so still comes in main budget, but hopefully will change. You could do breakdown of your fee as £500 for self and £100 for childcare.

My practice is as a director. When headlining my application I am thinking of several aspects. Is that ok? or is it best to go in with one headline?

Absolutely fine to have several strands. Most of us are multi disciplinary. Things to be clear on:

Is it a shift to developing the other thing more?

Do they come under a couple of unified goals?

- if not how they are both benefitting overall career

As long as you are crafting it around developing your practice it’s fine.

A support worker must be requested before DYCP application. If you will need support for your evaluation, then put that in personal access support section.