SCAN Sparks Seed Fund

SCAN Sparks Seed Fund 

A seed fund for collaborative, self-initiated visual arts activity led by Black people and People of Colour in Scotland. 

What is the fund for? 

As a seed fund, SCAN Sparks will support developing a new project or trying to do something a bit differently.  

We want to support the kind of creative activity with collaboration at its core that Covid-19 hindered, or that is not always supported by existing funding routes. This could be: 

  • An event or screening 
  • A publication 
  • Creative activity such as workshops 
  • Collaborative research 
  • Group training 

Activity should have an outcome, that you can tell us about. Your outcome doesn’t need to be public, but it should support group activities or collaborative work. This fund is not intended to support individual research or activity. 

 How much can I apply for? 

We will be awarding four grants of £2000 each. Additional funding will be used to support recipients to attend meetings at the start and end of the process to share their experiences. 

If you are successful we will ask you to:  

  • Begin activity after 1st July 2022 and complete activity by 31st January 2023. 
  • Attend two meetings with other seed fund recipients and members of the SCAN team at the beginning and end of the process, to discuss your plans and to share your experiences. 
  • To support Fair Work, for example by paying those involved the Living Wage or Scottish Artist Union Rates where appropriate. 
  • To provide details of your plans.  
  • Complete a short feedback form to help us share your activities and to further develop our ongoing advocacy work. 


How do I apply? 

  • Please complete an application form and email to [email protected], please use the subject line SCAN Sparks Seed Fund application. 
  • The deadline for applications is Tuesday 31st May at 12 noon. We will be holding an online meeting on Thursday 5th May at 11am to chat through the fund with people who might be interested in applying. You can register here.

Why has SCAN created this fund? 

We worked with artist Sekai Machache as our Artist Policy Officer to understand the impact of Covid-19 on BPOC creative practitioners in Scotland and to speak in depth with cultural workers across Scotland about what they needed to thrive. You can read her report here and you can listen to her podcasts here. Working with a focus group, SCAN explored models of grassroots and collaborative working and the needs of BPOC cultural workers. The SCAN Sparks fund is a pilot seed fund to support grassroots events and activities as the contemporary art sector rebuilds after the impacts of the Covid pandemic. It sits alongside our SCAN Sparks programme which explores ways in which the cultural community can support grassroots activism and equalities-focused working. 


Who can apply?  

To apply for this fund you should identify as Black or as a Person of Colour, as this is a targeted fund to address the impact of Covid-19 and barriers to support in these communities. You must be an artist or creative practitioner and based in Scotland. We are looking for proposals both from people who are established in their creative practice and those that are newer. Full time students are not eligible for this fund. Priority for this fund is for freelancers or for people working together in unfunded or informal groups. We will ask you to apply in the name of an individual but to tell us about the group of people you want to work with. 


How will applications be assessed?  

SCAN Staff will check applications are eligible and meet the stated criteria. An independent panel, consisting of: artist Ashanti Harris, artist Sekai Machache, Director of ArtNight Helen Nisbet, artist and educator Ranjana Thapalyal will select recipients.

In the event of us receiving more applications than we can fund priority will be given to applicants working in an independent or freelance capacity. 


SCAN Sparks Seed Fund Important dates 

Find out more – online meeting 5th May 2022 at 11am. Register here. 

Deadline for applications – noon 31st May 2022 

We’ll tell you our decision by 15th June 2022 

Your project should be complete 31st January 2023 


Need help or want to talk through your application?  

As well as our online information session on Thursday 5th May, you can also write to us if you need help with your application. Please email [email protected] for any queries or to arrange a time to chat.  

Listen to this page in audio format.

Download application form here: SCAN Sparks Seed Fund Application Form