Cultural Investment Fund

Financial support for creatives and cultural organisations, who want to create cultural initiatives, test new ideas and develop concepts

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The Cultural Investment Fund is designed to seed fund cultural initiatives through an open call, grant making process.

It is not simply about commissioning artwork, but instead looks to fund time and opportunity for testing new ideas and developing concepts that will help improve and advance the creative and cultural sector.

We value the process as much as the output and so this funding gives time to think, test, research and pilot. The fund is built on the principle that if we want a different future we need to invest and work differently.

The fund is not a project grant or an art commission, but rather a research and development fund designed to support the testing and development phase of initiatives, that will lead to recommendations and shared learning.

Background

Objectives

What?

Money

Support

Definitions

2021/22 Projects

The selected projects below had the opportunity to go through a development phase from November 2021 until February 2022 where they worked closely with Plymouth Culture to explore the theme of “togetherness”, their research question, and the dissemination of learning further to their initial application. They were encouraged to explore the support available to undertake their proposed activity and incorporate this into the project, as well as to extend the project’s timeline until December 2022.

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

Beyond Face

Awarded: £12,500

Beyond Face will be focusing on asking “How will a specific, bespoke audience development campaign help to engage more black and global majority audiences?” With a focus on those who currently do not engage with the arts in the city. We will be working with a focus group of individuals to examine how current people feel about theatre and what can be done to use theatre differently. 

OUR CITY, OUR STORIES: MOVING IMAGES TOGETHER

Cine Sisters

Awarded: £10,570

As an established creative organisation, Cine Sisters SW want to know how we can and should support diverse communities in the city. Can creative practice get people together to collaborate as active participants in the city’s cultural offer, and raise the city’s profile as diverse and inclusive and a genuinely welcoming city? 

DECAMP/RECAMP

CAMP

Awarded: £11,996

DECAMP/RECAMP is an active research and co-learning project on how to embed care activism and racial justice within arts institutions.

The project (taking place over a mix of ten un/facilitated sessions) aims to listen deeply and pay attention to the existing harms and exclusions experienced by artists/artworkers of colour present in current organizational practices, using CAMP as a case study. The project will engage CAMP artists of colour and current CAMP leadership who are committed to doing personal and care work to continually dismantle racism (unconscious or explicit) in the arts and cultural sector.

Some key questions are: whether/how CAMP (and other arts institutions) may be a less harmful and less exclusive space for the continued engagement of artists/artworkers of colour; and what personal, interrogative, and introspective work needs to be done by members/CAMP leadership that are prerequisites for creating meaningful strategies of de-exclusion, holding differences, and attentive care.

At its conclusion, the project will confer with Plymouth Culture to consider how to share what was learned with the arts and cultural sector in Devon and Cornwall.

Definitions

Togetherness

Togetherness is a broad theme that links inclusivity with diversity and in turn to a sense of belonging thus bringing people, organisations and communities together. Now more than ever, we need to come together in communities and in partnerships to help address the inequalities we see in the sector and society. A sense of togetherness is about building genuinely inclusive and diverse sector.

Research & Development

The idea of starting with a theory, question, line of enquiry of concept that you investigate and interrogate through research and phased development. This is normally the first phase of building an idea into a reality and may involve desk research, interviews, workshops, prototypes, feedback and other ways of testing and idea. 

Shared Learning

Findings and recommendations that come out of the funded proposal which can be applied to other organisations and initiatives. These may be thematically based and can be disseminated in different ways.

Seed funding

This is initial funding that enables the first phase of a proposal to take place. It does not necessarily fund the full project but is a key component in catalysing work on the initiative.

Creative Industries

For the purposes of this fund we will apply the definition set out in the Culture Plan which takes the DCMS definition of the creative industries to include publishing, computer games, software publishing, computer programming, computer consultancy activities, Film, TV, music, radio, Heritage, retail of music and video recordings, manufacture of musical instruments, reproduction of recorded media, Heritage, Arts, museum activities. It excludes sport, gambling and telecoms.

Investment

The reason we are calling it an investment is because we are prepared to take some risks, in that we will be buying into a cultural initiative rather than a guaranteed artistic output. It is an investment because we are also looking for long term, scalable impact.