2 people in carnival costume (1 predominantly red the other white) pose in front of the camera
Alegria Samba School - VIVA costume performers Catherine and Wayne

What’s Next for new Unlimited Awardees?

On Tuesday, we announced the brand new commissions and awards for this round of Unlimited! Clara Giraud explains what’s next for the artists…

Unlimited Allies are already in touch with the team about how they might support some projects, and Unlimited team members are continuing to support any unsuccessful artists in identifying further opportunities. As for awardees, once they have scraped themselves off the ‘celebratory ceiling’ and tidied up the last of their party poppers, it’s time to knuckle down and commence work on that awarded project they successfully applied for.

Artists’ development

Over the coming years, Unlimited will be providing training opportunities for the artists it supports (this includes all shortlisted artists). These will be responsive to artists’ needs and interests, so we’re keen to hear what they would like, whether it be marketing, technical skills, audience development, or anything else that we’ve not thought of! We’ll also be developing our resources for artists, provide tools to increase their works accessibility and guide on specific areas of producing, such as our Nailing It: How To Write a Strong Funding Application blog series released earlier this year. Got an itch, something you’d like more support with? Let us know by emailing sarah@artsadmin.co.uk. We’ll also be kicking off this conversation in person, with all shortlisted artists, at a Welcome Day on 15th May.

Establishing a relationship

The first step for awardees will be to meet their Key Contact. This is the person at Unlimited that’s going to be focusing on their project, their go-to point for any questions regarding their relationship with us. Shortlisted applicants had Key Contacts for their full application process, these may or may not remain the same person going forward. Key Contacts are there to get to know the artists and their projects, in order to keep track of and document their successes. Their role also includes providing support with any challenges faced in the project delivery. On a day to day basis, the Key Contacts work as part of the wider Unlimited team to provide answers and support when necessary, bringing all their skills and knowledge together as one – keeping conversations streamlined so they don’t involve too many cooks for one pot!

From idea to commitment

April is about contracts. Panels have awarded artists and companies based on their project proposals, and these will be the basis of the conversation to identify the contracts’ timelines, deliverables and key outputs. Rather than one-size-fits-all, Unlimited Key Contacts and artists/companies work together to define the best way to structure the grant giving procedures, and to confirm the details of what they will create within the Unlimited framework.

Fuelling the work – money and partnerships

We aim to sign off all contracts by the end of April in order to make the first grant payments in May, so that artists can start working on their projects. The conversations about the project may have highlighted gaps that require support – such as searching for a mentor to provide guidance with certain aspects of the project, seeking an organisation that can facilitate project management support or initiating practical elements like acquiring rehearsal space and resources during the production period. Unlimited has a huge network of allies, and Key Contacts will be initiating links between artists and allies as and when relevant to the projects. Beyond funding the artistic project, we hope to support its development within the cultural sector, stretching the artists’ network and audience reach.

We’re looking forward to hearing from all of you, awarded or not, and continuing a conversation about your work and how we might support you.