Dorset Rural Fund (1992 - 2012)
The Dorset Rural Fund offers grants of between £100 and £500 to support new creative arts projects/activities in rural areas of Dorset, and is supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
For the Dorset Rural Fund, Artsreach is advised by a locally based independent panel, which takes a very broad view of creative activity, but is particularly keen to assist projects which reflect the concerns, interests and identity of the community applying.
This is a fund for people living in rural areas, which aims to touch upon rural issues and experiences: the things about rural life that matter to community members.
Applicants may choose any way to express their own project, from the written and spoken word, to performance or video production, or perhaps the making of lasting objects. Any group may apply, though the panel is particularly interested in reaching Dorset-born families and occupational groups within the rural community, e.g. those in the farming, fishing and stone industries.
Applicants do not have to have previous experience of the arts, crafts, or of applying for grants, though might have some of these skills, know someone in the area who does, or wish to invite an artist, craftsman or company in to work with their community.
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is a charitable foundation established in Portugal in 1956 with cultural, educational, social and scientific interests. The Foundation’s headquarters are in Lisbon with offices in London and Paris. The UK Branch’s main purpose is to help enrich and connect the experiences of people in the UK and Ireland, and secure lasting and beneficial change in their lives.
Successful applications in the past have included a wide variety of projects. To name a few:
• The Portland choir ‘Island Voices’ commissioned a local musician to compose and work with them on a new piece of music for them to add to their repertoire.
• To mark the millennium, Drimpton’s community development group ‘Village Voices’ commissioned an artist to paint portraits of members of the community, combined with local oral history, to create a lasting record of the village’s inhabitants of that time.
• To put an end to an unwanted echo affecting performances in its village hall, Cranborne set about involving its community groups of all ages to create a very large sound-absorbing wall hanging to run the length of the hall, depicting the beautiful countryside, flora and fauna of the Cranborne Estate.
• Powerstock held a historic pageant/community play, charting the 2000-year history of the village, which involved local actors, writers, musicians, villagers and families.
• Artist Serena de la Hey was commissioned by the community of Frampton to create with them a willow sculpture for the village’s Millennium Green. She also led workshops in the community for making willow sculptures.
Your community’s project could be next! For a Dorset Rural Fund application form please contact the Artsreach office: 01305 269512.