Artists' Space

Photo Susan Davis

Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards: Fife

There will be 2 rounds of  VACMA: Fife grants in 2019-20 with deadlines in October and February.

Creative Scotland partners with a range of local authorities across Scotland, including Fife Council, to offer these small grants to visual artists and craft makers for their creative development at all stages of their career.

In Fife they are administered by Fife Contemporary and Fife Cultural Trust. The Panel consists of representatives of Fife Contemporary (Diana Sykes & Susan Davis), Fife Cultural Trust (Gillian Parsons), a craft and a visual artist (currently Michael Craik & Jeanette Sendler/Claire Heminsley) and may also have representation from Creative Scotland.

Project grants of between £500 and £1,500 are available in Fife. This year also sees the introduction of a New Graduate / Emerging Artist Bursary of £500. Fife will award 2 of these over the 2 deadlines.

All applicants should read the guidance document and application form first. These will explain what the grants can be awarded for and what kind of application you should write. There is one application form which covers both types of application.

Equalities’ Monitoring Form

In addition to the application form, applicants are also asked to fill in an Equalities’ Monitoring Form. Creative Scotland, as a National Lottery Distributor and an NDPB of the Scottish government, require this useful statistical information about who they are funding.  Please note it is anonymous and is not part of the application process itself.

All application forms are destroyed at the end of the financial year the application was made in; data is shared only with panel members in the first instance, and anonymised statistical data with funders. Personal data is stored in accordance with GDPR and Fife Contemporary’s Privacy Policy.

DEADLINES Tues 8 Oct 2019 & Tues 4 Feb 2020, both at 5pm

To apply:
1    Download & read the Guidance document.
2    Download & read the application form.
3    Contact Fife Contemporary to check that your proposed project fits the scheme guidelines ( / / 01334 474610) & to have any queries you may have answered
4   Complete the application form.
5    Download & complete the Equalities’ Monitoring Form.
6    Email the completed application form  & Equalities’ Monitoring Form, plus other requested information/material to Susan Davis at Fife Contemporary by one of the above deadlines. You may also use Dropbox or WeTransfer.

If successful, you will also be asked to complete an End of Project Monitoring Form (once you’ve completed your project) which you can download here.

Artists’ News & Opportunities’ Newsflash

If you have not already done so, you may well find it useful to sign up to our Artists’ mailing list to receive an opportunities & news Newsflash every 2 weeks.

Here’s why some recent recipients of a VACMA grant found it useful:

Carolyn Scott, photographer & filmmaker: “Applying for a #VACMAScotland grant is straightforward and not onerous. Staff at Fife Contemporary are available, encouraging and very happy to guide and advise. Applying for a grant helps the artist to focus, question and justify the project in mind. Receiving a grant is reassuring, gives confidence and relieves some of the financial pressure. Accounting for the grant is straightforward and not challenging. ”

Marion Smith, sculptor:

Ceramicist Camilla Garrett-Jones of Culross Pottery : “I am going to Japan as part of a Scottish Potters Association trip to visit various pottery areas and museums in the country.  I have been awarded a VACMA grant towards my trip in October as I will be staying on to visit and work with a renowned potter and national treasure.  This would not have been possible without the funding. The planning for this trip has taken a year to happen, therefore there has been much to organise, including the grant which was applied for last Spring.  There is a multitude of ways to use VACMA’s funding, though it’s important to leave plenty of time to apply if you are keen to be considered. ”

Textile artist, Claire Heminsley gave us 3 short sound clips about why she found a VACMA grant useful:

Photographer Scott Hunter: “Having reached a crossover point in my work, I was keen to explore new printing techniques to help refine my practice.  Applying for a VACMA project grant provided me with a clearer focus and helped to streamline my proposal and look at my work more objectively. Being successful gave me confidence and really kickstarted the project which has culminated in a 6 month travelling solo show and an opportunity to exhibit in Japan. The grant helped cushion the cost of materials and enabled me to explore alternative processes such as the Cyanotype prints that were included in the recent shows in Fife.”

Textile artist Claire Christie:

Visual artist Caroline McGonigal: “My experience with the VACMA grant application has been an extremely positive one. Most artists I know dislike writing about their practice and completing forms, however most artists I know, myself included, benefit greatly from receiving funding. My advice is not to be put off by funding applications! They are only daunting initially and I personally found it helpful to have to summarise my thoughts and intentions concisely and the Fife Contemporary team are always on hand if you need advice. The grant I received helped me to experiment and develop techniques such as printmaking and video and this allowed me to move my work forward in a new direction. Receiving the funding gave me the impetus I needed to work towards a solo exhibition and I am now looking forward to an exhibition in Kyoto, Japan this October.  Please don’t deliberate, just apply and good luck!”

To view a series of short films about other past recipients of the Fife artists’ grants, please go to our YouTube channel, or click on the links below:

Jeanette Sendler –
Lindsay Brown –
Lorraine Smith –
Sheena Watson –
Steve Ratomski –

Further Opportunities

  • Potential Scottish Enterprise Funding

    – By Design Grant Looking to improve design, innovation and productivity in your workplace? Our By Design grant could help you succeed. Small improvements to products, services and environments can create increased efficiency, big savings and huge opportunities for your… Read More

  • Creative Scotland

    Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.