Sky Arts Ignition: Futures Fund

Posted on 16 June 2011

Sky has opened applications for Sky Arts Ignition: Futures Fund

A new bursary which will offer five young artists £30,000 each to fund their work for a full year. The Sky Arts Ignition: Futures Fund is open to applications from young artists aged 18-30 living in the UK and Ireland. The fund is designed to bridge the gap between formal education and becoming a working artist.

The fund is run in association with IdeasTap, an arts charity, funding body and network of nearly 40,000 young creative people at the start of their careers. The scheme will also provide each artist with a mentor from Sky, who will help develop their skills and knowledge in the arts and commercial sector.

The Futures Fund is part of the Sky Arts Ignition Series, Sky’s recently announced initiative which will see Sky Arts collaborate with six arts organisations over the next two years to create brand new works, and expands on Sky’s commitment to developing and nurturing young talent.

“Talent and creativity is thriving in the arts today, but we recognise that people can’t fulfil their potential and pursue their artistic ambitions without support,” comments James Hunt, Director of Sky Arts. “Sky has long been one of the UK’s biggest investors in the arts, both on and off screen, but we think it’s vital to uphold that commitment right across the board – individuals who are just starting out are equally as important as organisations with a wealth of experience behind them. This is why we’ve launched Futures Fund as part of Sky Arts Ignition – we’re hoping that we will be able to support and nurture the next generation of Bussells, Kennedys, Emins and Cumberbatches.”

“IdeasTap is delighted to be partnering with Sky Arts on the Ignition Futures Fund, which epitomises IdeasTap’s ethos of investing in talented young people at the start of their careers to launch them into the professional world,” adds Peter De Haan, Chief Executive of IdeasTap. “At IdeasTap we’re reimagining the way that emerging creative talent is funded, nurtured and showcased in the digital age and we’re thrilled to have Sky Arts on board.“

The Sky Arts Ignition: Futures Fund is open to individual artists working in visual art, theatre, performance art, music, film, dance or literature. Applicants must be aged 18-30 on 19 September 2011 and be based in either the UK or Ireland. To apply, applicants need to explain how the bursary would help support their career and enhance and extend their work. For details click on the Futures Fund tab at To download an application, visit Applications will close on Wednesday 19 September 2011.

Sky has a heritage of supporting young talent and developing skills in the creative industries with existing schemes such as Fast Forward, which offers 16-18-year-olds paid, year-long placements to gain experience in a major broadcaster, and Sky Futures, an annual two day workshop that offers students taster lessons in all aspects of production, marketing and scheduling, as well as a host of traditional work experience opportunities, internships and a formal graduate scheme.

The Futures Fund was unveiled at the Hay Festival, which Sky Arts has partnered with for five years. The channel’s flagship book programme The Book Show, presented by Mariella Frostup, will have a daily live show from the first weekend of the festival, and will screen over 20 of the Hay sessions for the duration of the festival.

The Book Show at Hay is central to Sky Arts’ commitment to books, which has seen The Book Show recorded live at four other literary festivals this year, including the Dublin Literary, Way with Words Festival in Cumbria, the Bath Festival of Literature and the Cheltenham Literary Festival. Sky’s activity on the ground includes the recent launch of a ‘Get Creative Fund’ which offers visitors to each festival the opportunity to win £1000 to explore their creative passion.

For more information on the Sky Arts Ignition Series: Futures Fund, please visit the website at

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