Expert Advice: What Makes a Good Creative Project

Feral Productions, Ledbury, 2017

Feral Productions, Ledbury, 2017

We asked Estelle van Warmelo, Artistic Director of site-inspired theatre company Feral Productions, to share some thoughts on what's really important when applying for funding for a creative project.

Here's what she said:

Applications for creative projects should ideally demonstrate excellent artistic quality and a healthy track record of delivery, likewise with any partners or collaborators you're working with.

The creative project should:

  • Respect, reflect and enliven the sites, bringing a contemporary creativity to the essence of the past
  • Be accessible to all, physically, viscerally and/or digitally
  • Have an intergenerational element therefore echoing the nature of the scheme ie combining historical elements with contemporary interpretation
  • Could be single discipline or multidiscipline but should demonstrate clearly how existing audiences can be built on in order to attract fresh profile and ideally participants, some of whom have not engaged in either heritage or arts projects previously
  • Show legacy – what will be recognisable as a result of the project 10, 20, 30 years further down the line?

It’s always a good idea, when applying for funding, to say who the target audience will be as well as the potential participants. 

The cost of creative projects can be tricky because as artists we’re used to working to the budget we have as opposed to the budget we’d choose.

However… budgets should be set by industry rates (refer to ITC/equity guidelines) and where necessary match funding should be shown if required for the project delivery.

For example, £12,000 could only finance a full production if all the performers were volunteers whereas if match funding could be shown up to a £40,000 budget then full scale performance would be possible.

£2,000 could safely generate a wonderful sound installation in a small building but you’d be hard pushed to cover the costs of all the trees on Bishop’s Meadow having a voice that’s triggered by someone passing by.

The lovely new Hereford Labyrinth cost £12,000 to put together for example and that was with significant contribution from volunteers.