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New funding opportunities from the English Folk Dance and Song Society

10th May 2017

English Folk Dance and Song Society

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) – the national development agency for the folk arts – has opened applications for new funding opportunities for artists.

The Creative Seed Funding Programme will make three awards of £750 to new and emerging musicians to fund the research and development of new work linked to English folk music.

More established artists are invited to apply for a Creative Bursary to support creative research and development. The award is for up to £2,000, together with use of rehearsal space at Cecil Sharp House and access to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Applications are invited from artists of any art form or genre who wish to explore new creative ideas working with English folk music.

Both schemes come under the umbrella of EFDSS’ Artists’ Development Programme that provides professional development support, both creative and business, to artists at all levels of their career.

Katy Spicer, EFDSS Chief Executive and Artistic Director, said:

“These funding programmes offer an exciting opportunity to creative artists and emerging folk musicians who may be looking to develop a creative idea or take a major step forward in developing their own career.

“As well as the financial support, successful applicants gain access to a wealth of advice and support from within EFDSS. We are always inundated with high quality applications and we’re look forward to hearing for people who have interested ideas they wish to develop.”

Creative Seed Funding Programme application information:

The EFDSS Creative Seed Funding is an award of £750 to be given to three artists/groups of artists who wish to explore new creative ideas in the genre of English folk music.

The award is aimed at artists in the early stages of their professional career and for whom this support will to enable them to undertake a creative exploration that will help foster their career develop as a professional folk musician working in the English folk idiom.

For detailed guidelines and an application form, go to

The deadline for submitted applications is Friday June 23 for projects to be delivered between 1 September 2017 and 28 February 2018. Completed applications should be sent via email to Katy Spicer, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, at

Creative Bursary application information:

The Creative Bursary scheme is open to established artists who are interested in exploring the potential of the English folk arts from a cross-genre, cross-arts, or cross-culture creative view point with the ability to create a touring show.

For detailed guidelines and an application form, go to

The deadline for submitted applications is Monday 26 June for projects to be delivered between 1 September 2017 and 28 March 2018. Completed applications should be sent via email to Katy Spicer, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, at

For more information on EFDSS’ Artist Development programme, go to EFDSS is a PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development Partner and is funded by Arts Council England.

For further press information please contact: Jo Cunningham (Press Manager, part time) or 07815 913887


1. The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) was established in 1932 by the merger of the Folk-Song Society, founded in 1898, and the English Folk Dance Society, founded by Cecil Sharp in 1911. As the national development agency for the folk arts, EFDSS aims to place the traditional arts of England at the heart of our cultural life – preserving, protecting, disseminating and promoting English traditional folk arts. A member based organisation, EFDSS delivers a dynamic education programme, providing a national and local education programme, enabling and increasing access to the folk arts, celebrating diversity and promoting equality – as well as supporting folk artists through a flourishing artists development programme. EFDSS’ library, the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library – the national folk music library and archive – which contains a vast collection of books, manuscripts, films and audio-visual materials, serving as a touchstone for anybody working in the folk arts.

2. EFDSS is supported by Arts Council England. Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

3. PRS for Music Foundation is the UK’s leading funder of new music across all genres. Since 2000 PRS for Music Foundation has given more than £19.5 million to over 4,600 new music initiatives by awarding grants and leading partnership programmes that support music sector development. Widely respected as an adventurous and proactive funding body, PRS for Music Foundation supports an exceptional range of new music activity – from composer residencies and commissions to festivals and showcases in the UK and overseas. | @PRSFoundation

4. EFDSS Artist Development current and recent projects include:

Theatre Ballads – a new music/theatre commission devised by Horse and Bamboo Theatre Company (2017)

Sweet Liberties – a new music commission celebrating 800 years of the pursuit of democracy in partnership with Folk by the Oak and the Houses of Parliament’s 2015 anniversaries programme Parliament in the Making (2015/16)

Beyond the Marches / Dros y Ffin – a multi artist project with Welsh folk development agency trac, exploring the shared heritage of English and Welsh music (2015)
English Folk Expo – founding partner in this English folk music showcase

5. Join The Conversation
Facebook: @theEFDSS  / @cecilsharphouse
Twitter: @EFDSS / @cecilsharphouse
Instagram: @cecilsharphouse


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