Starcatchers announces round two of Play Fund for early years artists in Scotland

12 November 2021

The Play Fund is an award for two artists or artist collectives of up to £4,000 each to explore their practice and develop new works suitable for an early years audience and their grown-ups. The first round saw four artist teams awarded for a range of work including performances, community engagement projects and development time for exploring a new idea.

Starcatchers’ 15thBirthday campaign #15Actions is a series of steps that Scotland’s arts and early years organisation is taking to highlight their advocacy work to ensure all Scotland’s youngest children can freely access the arts and cultural life. The Play Fund is part of the pledge to seed new work for young audiences and ensure that artists are supported to develop their practice with space and time to create new work.

Starcatchers’ Playspace programme is delivering the fund, among a range of other training and development opportunities for the artist community. Over the past 15 years Starcatchers has supported around 195 early years artists with paid opportunities and the Play Fund seeks to reach out to and engage with artists they have never worked with before. Starcatchers hopes to build new relationships through the fund to ensure that Scotland’s young children have access to creative works that explore a diversity of lived experience.

Starcatchers’ Head of Artist Development, Jennifer Phillips said:
The Play Fund is an exciting 15thBirthday project, which really highlights our aim to seed new work and create space for the artist community in Scotland so they can create, play and develop work with financial support behind them. We supported some incredible artists the first round of The Play Fund and we have enjoyed watching new works grow, and especially the diversity of experiences that are explored through the works. We are excited to share more information on these works as they develop and support a new cohort of artists in their development.”

Early Years Artist, Kirsty Pennycook, said:
“Being Play Fund recipients gave us space and time to begin a project I’d been brewing for a while that didn’t take the usual shape of shows I make. We could take risks and give ideas time and attention, with no pressure of an outcome. It’s given Sign of The Treedirection and momentum for our next steps.”

The Play Fund is now open and will be available for applications until 5pm on Tuesday 30thNovember. Visit our opportunities page to find out more about the fund and how to apply.

BSL Interpreted video, by Play Fund recipient, Brooklyn Melvin