Arts and creativity making change

Graeae Theatre

We believe culture and creativity can be a powerful force for making change.

We are focusing our support on two ways in which culture and creativity can build a fairer future:

  • Creating a cultural workforce that is more reflective of UK society, by enabling more people to progress in their career in the arts who identify as D/deaf, disabled or neurodivergent, are from communities experiencing racial inequity, or who are economically disadvantaged.
  • Supporting young people to build their own creative lives and to use arts and creativity to influence the world around them.

What we want to achieve

Impact goals
  • Improved systems, policy and practice
  • Organisations are strengthened to use their power to tackle systemic injustice and inequity
  • Organisations work together and build movements to tackle systemic injustice and inequity
Long-term outcomes

A representative cultural workforce led by a new and diverse generation of cultural leaders.

Targeting our support: We make 8-12 grants a year towards a more representative cultural workforce. As demand is very high, we encourage applicants to consider how closely their work fits what we want to support as this informs our decision-making. Read our guidance to learn more.

We will prioritise funding organisations that:

  • Are led by and for underrepresented groups that need support to grow their work
  • Have strong networks and evidence of contributing to long-term change and share power with underrepresented groups.

We also want to allocate more of our funding outside London, and to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Youth-led creativity builds on young people's power to make change, using creativity to enhance their lives, develop their careers, and influence the world around them.

Working closely with Esmée's Involving Young People Collective, we have reimagined the guidance and application process for funding towards Youth-Led Creativity. In 2024, we will make 8 to 12 grants, totalling £1m. Please note that applications towards Youth-Led Creativity have now closed.

Poetic Unity-Young People at Poetic Unity event. Picture taken by Ruma Film (2)

Latest grants

In 2023, we made 19 grants, totalling £2.8m, in our Arts and creativity making change funding priority. On this page, you can find the latest grants awarded.

Find out more
Unlocking change


  • Youth-Led Creativity funding-wide

    Youth-Led Creativity funding

    We're excited to share our plans for our Youth-Led Creativity funding. Co-designed with Esmée's Involving Young People Collective, we reopen to applications from 14 February.

    Read more
  • Company Three: When This Is Over

    Company Three

    Company Three is a youth theatre company based in Islington, making transformative theatre through long-term collaboration between young people and professional theatre-makers.

    Read more
  • The Music Works

    The Music Works

    The Music Works is a youth-led charity working to transform young lives through music. Based in Gloucestershire, they are specialists in working with young people in challenging circumstances to help them reach their full potential in music, learning and in life.

    Read more

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