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Connecting People & Places Fund – Collaborative Commissions 2023

Aim

Foundation for Future London believes that arts, creativity and place offer unique opportunities to expand creative learning, connect communities and create positive social, economic and environmental change. Extending the focus of our Connecting People & Places Fund, we are launching a new call for proposals to support the development of collaborative culture-led creative learning projects.

Collaborative Commissions aim to give organisations an opportunity to embed collaborative approach into their work in order to kickstart and support building long-term change. We want to work with creatives as artists, practitioners, producers, educators, curators, innovators and community connectors to support the development of new audiences, ideas and collaborations, building on the strong work produced by our partners and the wider London arts and cultural sector.

At the heart of our work is a commitment to equality, diversity and sustainability. It’s with this in mind that we are inviting proposals from creatives who are driven by these principles to co-develop and create work collaboratively.

The Commission

Foundation for Future London would like to commission the development of a cohort of collaboratively focused creative learning projects that will contribute to further understanding the role creativity can play to deliver arts, education, employment programming that provides creative learning opportunities, employment and leadership roles, training and fusion skills development for residents and young people across Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

We are looking to support proposals for a range of events and activities to be delivered between February and July 2023 that enable more young people to benefit from creative learning opportunities. Whilst we have left the focus of this brief open, we are particularly interested to hear from different approaches to developing equity and by that we mean supporting underrepresented people’s ideas and visibility.

Expressions of Interest for this commission could be for a new project or extension of a current programme/platform, either way the role of collaboration, partnership and shared learnings should be key to your submission and projects impact.

Successful applicants will work collaboratively with the Foundation and other funded organisations to maximize their projects legacy, opportunities for shared learning and knowledge with wider partners.

Proposals should demonstrate the following:

  • Delivery of arts and culture activity that develops creative learning, fusion skills and education activities for children, young people, their families and schools.
  • Work in collaboration with local arts organisations, artists/creative freelancers, community groups and schools with a focus on sustainable networked growth.
  • Alignment with other pan-London initiatives and funded work being delivered by the Foundation. Particularly interested in proposals that build on our commitment to the Fusion Futures programmes which we have been delivering in partnership with City of London.
  • NOTE: A portion of funding has been ringfenced to support projects which aim to build on the learnings from Fusion Futures.

We have a range of case studies and videos from projects we have funded previously that will help demonstrate the kind of projects we support: future.london/projects

Target Audience and Accessibility

Proposals should have the following essential attributes:

  • Work with the local communities and residents across Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
  • An engagement plan that supports commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity including outreach with new audiences and participants, who may not be regular users or members to your organisation.
  • Delivery across a range of local spaces to ensure projects reach a wide community audience and removes barriers to participation.
  • Programme recruitment and content delivery should demonstrate an approach that is inclusive and accessible to a wide and diverse audience.

Budget

This fund has allocated up to £125k to commission innovative & collaborative culture-led creative learning projects.

We expect to fund between eight to 10 projects.

Your proposed projects total cost can be up to a total of £15,000.

Your production and delivery budget should be inclusive of all expenses and must cover all fees, travel, materials, de-installation, taxes and other project-related expenses.

Your budget will need to cover the following items:

  • Project management and fees
  • Engagement and programme development
  • All production and delivery costs
  • Project monitoring and reporting

Additionally, successful organisations will be required to join approximately five 2-hour knowledge sharing/networking workshops which will be delivered by the Foundation to support your project’s development (see ‘Further Information’ below). There will be some additional access costs provision but please ensure to budget for this process as needed.

Who can submit an Expression of Interest?

We are seeking to appoint creative organisations and/or arts/community-led collaborations with an innovative response to the brief.

Applicants should:

  • Be a small socially engaged, not-for-profit organisation with less than £250k annual turnover (priority will be given to grass root organisations and “diverse-led” organisations).
  • Have a proposal that is strongly collaborative and participatory.
  • Demonstrate a strong understanding and commitment to equity, inclusion, sustainability and the environment.
  • Be connected with the local communities in the London Boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest
  • Have a commitment to, or are working towards, London Living Wage.

The larger grants are likely to be for projects which clearly demonstrate an approach to build out collaborative capacity rather than delivery by a single organisation. We encourage applications from partnerships and consortiums, with one organisation acting as a “lead” responsible for overseeing the grant.

Please also read ‘Collaborative Cohort Development’ as this will also be a key part of your proposal and project — see below.

Further Info: Collaborative Cohort Development (Post Award)

Recognising that the social challenges/issues we face are too big for any funder, community, organisation to tackle alone the Connecting People and Places programme aims to support organisations to lead and develop sustainable collaborative projects/approaches.

Commissioned organisations will receive ongoing support, advocacy and advice from the Foundation post award to ensure project delivery is aligned with work of all grantees who may be funded via this programme and that we are collectively building relevant synergies and shared learnings across wider cross-district and Borough initiatives.

Delivery of your project will include working with us (staff, communities, local networks, partners and other grantees) to co-develop an accessible and relevant programme of work. To support this the Foundation will co-ordinate a series of co-design sessions/activities including workshops, learning resources, skills sharing, 1:1 support and bespoke resources.

Commissioned projects will be required to attend five sessions (lasting one to two hours) to discuss their ideas further, gain an understanding of the context, constraints, and expectations in advance of project delivery.

We will also use this as a chance to explore potential for commissioned projects to network and collaborate to reach wider audiences, share resources/costs (e.g. venues, recruitment platforms, marketing), share skills and expand impact work and partnerships both in short term and longer term.

The Foundation will also be providing additional support to the grantee cohort to support a collaborative approach to project reporting and evaluation.

Background

Funding provided by City of London Corporation has supported the development of programming with the communities of East Bank and Culture Mile. This four-year partnership (2019-2023) seeks to utilize creativity to support the development of new models of practice and collaboration around education, life-long learning, employment opportunities, health & wellbeing and inclusive public realm.

Our aim has been to re-engage with local audiences, demonstrate our commitment to funding local cultural infrastructure, support diverse new creative talent and to develop longer term synergies and shared learnings between the two emerging cultural districts of East Bank and Culture Mile and the wider value they bring to London.

The Foundations Programme was the first phase of work co-funded via this four-year partnership with City of London. As part of this programme the Foundation has co-commissioned a range of activities which have sought to listen and test new collaborative and inclusive approaches to amplify local individual, organisation and community ambitions and ideas such as Connecting People & Places (51 place-based grants), Fusion Prize, Fusion Futures, Creative Schools, STEP into the Smithsonian alongside a number of creative partnership development projects (V&A East Storehouse Co-Production, East Summer School, The People’s Pavilion, UCL’s New Curators, Co-designing Equity in the Public Realm).

In 2022, we awarded 10 projects for the first round of the Connecting People and Places Fund Collaborative Commissions scheme, which explores the value of creativity on learning and skills.

For more information on the first round, see Collaborative Commissions 2022 scheme.

At a glance

Open to

Small socially engaged, not-for-profit organisations with less than £250k annual turnover

Funding

Up to £15,000

Apply by

23/01/2013 12:00 pm

Duration

Events and activities to be delivered between February and July 2023

Outcomes

N/A - see brief

Categories

Arts, Culture, Heritage
Collaboration
Community
Creative ideas
Education
Diversity & Inclusion
Intergenerational
Creative, Inclusive Public Realm and/or Placemaking
Covid-19 Recovery
Digital
Health, wellbeing & environment
Skills & Jobs
Business & Start Up

Activities

We are looking to support proposals for a range of events and activities to be delivered between February and July 2023 that enable more young people to benefit from creative learning opportunities. Whilst we have left the focus of this brief open, we are particularly interested to hear from different approaches to developing equity and by that we mean supporting underrepresented people’s ideas and visibility.

Expressions of interest for this commission could be for a new project or extension of a current programme/platform, either way the role of collaboration, partnership and shared learnings should be key to your submission and projects impact.

Successful applicants will work collaboratively with the Foundation and other funded organisations to maximize their projects legacy, opportunities for shared learning and knowledge with wider partners.

Proposals should demonstrate the following:

  • Delivery of arts and culture activity that develops creative learning, fusion skills and education activities for children, young people, their families and schools.
  • Work in collaboration with local arts organisations, artists/creative freelancers, community groups and schools with a focus on sustainable networked growth.
  • Alignment with other pan-London initiatives and funded work being delivered by the Foundation. We are particularly interested in proposals that build on our commitment to the Fusion Futures programmes which we have been delivering in partnership with City of London.
  • NOTE: A portion of funding has been ringfenced to support projects which aim to build on the learnings from Fusion Futures.

We have a range of case studies and videos from projects we have funded previously that will help demonstrate the kind of projects we support.

Audiences

Black, Asian or ethnically diverse
Disabled people
Men
LGBTQ+
Older people
People with mental health or long term health issues
Refugees
Young people
Unemployed
Vulnerably Housed
Women
Working class

How to apply

We are now using our grant management software Flexigrant for online applications.

APPLY NOW

The deadline to apply is noon on Monday 23 January 2023.

For further information, please download the Call for Proposals and Guidelines, which also includes frequently asked questions and further information once you receive the award.

To see the Flexigrant application questions before registering on the system, you can also download them here — Flexigrant Application Questions.

Timeline of Process

  • Online application portal opens on Wednesday 16 November 2022
  • Application Workshop: 10am Friday 2 December 2022
  • Further session in January 2023 to be confirmed
  • Online application portal closes at noon on Monday 23 January 2023
  • Awarded – Early Feb 2023
  • Projects Delivery – February to July 2023
  • Grant Reporting/Evaluation – July 2023

Review Process 

We expect to shortlist approximately 25-20 projects at which stage we may request further information to help us determine the outcome of your application.

We will not be able to provide feedback on your application if it has not been shortlisted at this stage.

Final awarding will then be decided by the Foundation’s Team and Grants Assessment Panel.

All applications will be carefully reviewed and evaluated against the funds intended outcomes. Assessment will take place internally via our online system and funding decision will be based on the merit of your application. The process will utilise a scoring matric to assess applications to a consistent and fair standard.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion are at the forefront of the Foundation’s grant giving. We actively encourage applications from all communities including Black, Asian and ethnically diverse, disabled, learning disabled, unemployed and/or low waged, people without qualifications, vulnerably housed, Gypsies and Travellers, LGBTQ+, children and young people, older people and people with mental health issues or health issues.

Grassroots and diverse-led applications will be prioritised for this funding but all applications will need to be able to demonstrate that principles of equity and social justice are at the centre of their approach and that you are actively taking steps to ensure that local communities are able to participate in your work.

Partners

City of London

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Foundations Programme

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