Writing applications for new projects is an essential part of the process of being an artist. As applications are unavoidable, they should be used as a tool in your creative process as much as any other resource. Writing an application can help to clarify ideas and thoughts, identify your real priorities, and tease out any potential feasibility issues.
Each application procedure will be different (unfortunately there is no ‘magic formula’!) but we have collected the following general advice below, to assist you if and when you need it.
Read the application guidelines carefully. Sometimes they are strict and clear, other times they are vague, which gives you space to define the guidelines in a way that suits you and your project.
If a contact is given for further advice or information, use it! The funder wants to hear from you and is most of the time willing and interested to meet up. Try to gather all of your questions and ask them in only one or two communications – the funder will likely be overstretched with their time and many different communications can be distracting.
In your writing, make sure to focus on the specifics of your practice (choreographic methods, development process, movement language, visuals, collaborators etc.). This will give the funder a better idea of how you will approach your chosen subject, an insight into your artistic fingerprint. It also highlights that your idea has a more long term integration with your regular practice and trajectory as an artist. A funder wants the opportunity to see that they can be part of that bigger vision.
Make sure your application tells a story. Not in the traditional, narrative sense, but in the artistic sense. Stories help to sell ideas and thoughts because by their nature they take you on a journey and lead you to a specific point.
ALWAYS ask someone to review your work. Not just proof-reading, but more importantly whether your proposal really responds to the guidelines and aims of the funding opportunity, and the current priorities of the funder.