C ARTS Spark Fund – supporting creative ingenuity and diversity

Spark Fund has been created by C ARTS to help artists and arts practitioners who have been disadvantaged or are from under-represented backgrounds and communities to show their work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The Edinburgh Fringe – the largest open access arts festival in the world

The Fringe has led the world in establishing an open access forum for all artists, and an important principle of this is that anyone can turn up and perform. However, disadvantaged artists and arts practitioners face more barriers to participation than those from advantaged backgrounds and communities.

C ARTS has developed Spark Fund to help disadvantaged and under-represented artists and arts practitioners to overcome obstacles to participation. We are delighted to have been to be awarded funding by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society to allow us to directly support those facing societal or structural challenges or discrimination in bringing their work to the Fringe.

C ARTS – showcasing creativity, celebrating diversity

For the past thirty years C ARTS and C venues have been home to a myriad of performing companies and artists from all over the world, many of whom might consider themselves as being on the fringe of the Fringe. The C ARTS Edinburgh Fringe programme showcases a wide range of eclectic performance, and highlights many voices from different backgrounds.

C ARTS operates a curated programme within the Fringe, selecting work from an open call applications process, and inviting individual companies and artists to take part. We aim to remain true to the spirit of the Fringe, and our applications process is open to all. We seek to offer opportunities for innovative and interesting work, and look for work that demonstrates creativity, ingenuity, and diversity.

About Spark Fund

Spark Fund is intended to give a little extra help to productions and projects that might not otherwise make it to the Fringe. This initiative has been made possible by a grant from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society's Fringe Artist and Venue Recovery Fund, with additional resources provided by C ARTS and C venues.

Spark Fund applications will be assessed by a panel who will consider the artistic and creative merits of projects applying for the funding, how each project meets the criteria of Spark Fund, and how the composition of each project's leadership and membership reflects the aims of Spark Fund. The members of the panel have experience of the Fringe, and represent some of the diversity of the people that the awards are intended to support.

How does Spark Fund work?

Spark Fund is intended to encourage and to help enable the following people to participate in the Fringe: D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people; people of colour, from ethnic minorities or of first nations heritage; LGBTQ+ people; people from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Projects applying for this support should have applied to the C ARTS programme and should be led by a majority of, or be composed of a majority of members reasonably identifying with one or more of these descriptions. Projects need to be ready to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe (in person or digitally) in 2023.

• We will offer one show a space to perform in the C ARTS programme at the Edinburgh Fringe 2023, with the venue rental guarantee covered by Spark Fund.

• We will offer up to five productions performing live-in person in the C ARTS programme at the Edinburgh Fringe 2023 an award of £500 each towards their venue rental guarantee.

• We will offer up to five pre-recorded digital shows or film or video works a place in the C ARTS digital programme, with the set-up fees covered by Spark Fund.

We will offer guidance and mentoring to Spark Fund award recipients, including on identifying and overcoming any challenges that each project faces.

Application considerations

Successful Spark Fund applicants will be offered an in-person or digital performance slot with C ARTS. Applicants will need to accept the performance slot, and bring their show to the C ARTS programme, in order to be eligible to receive the award. Recipients of the awards are responsible for any costs of their project beyond the contribution made by Spark Fund, including but not limited to Edinburgh Fringe registration fees and commissions, venue rental guarantee and box office split, accommodation, transport, production costs, marketing and admin costs and fees, salaries or other payments to those taking part in of the project. After assessment of the applications, the panel may decide to vary the number and amount of awards to be offered. Should an offer of an award be made to a project, but the project fails to meet the criteria or requirements of the award at any time, the award will be withdrawn and any award monies paid to that project shall be returned by the project. All decisions of the panel shall be final.

We have limited funding and can only support a small number of projects with a Spark Fund award. Applicants whose Spark Fund application is not successful will still be considered for a place in the C ARTS programme, and will be able to receive the guidance and support we offer all companies and artists performing with us, subject to their application for a performance slot in the programme being successful.

Spark Fund applications are open until 28 February 2023 (closing at 00:00 UK time on 1 March).

Please ensure you complete a C ARTS show application form before applying for Spark Fund.

The Spark Fund application form is here.