Performing Arts Development Opportunities

Here at the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, we are dedicated to improving performing arts development. With the release of our Support for Ambition programme and new partnership with Magnetic North and Rough Mix, significant steps are being made to improve artist development across the region.  

Support for Ambition

Are you, or someone you know, a creative practitioner based in Dumfries & Galloway working in theatre, music, dance, film, comedy or spoken word? Then, you can apply for our Support for Ambition funding to begin developing your new project, develop new relevant skills or further hone your existing expertise. We are here to support your artistic vision, technical skills and working practices.

Are you a venue in Dumfries & Galloway with a programme of events in theatre, music, dance, film, comedy or spoken word? Then, you can apply for our Support for Ambition funding now. We are here to support applications from performing arts venues that show how inclusion of a production, event or series of workshops that otherwise you could not afford safely will significantly benefit your audiences or participants in your local community.

Support for Ambition is our initiative that enables creative practitioners, venues or promoters to fulfil their creative potential within the region by providing financial, promotional, and advisory support. Through its Support for Ambition (SfA) scheme, Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival supports regionally based creative performing arts practitioners to develop their artistic vision, and technical skills and working practices. This scheme also supports regionally based performing arts venues to programme productions or events for the benefit of the audiences in their communities. Venues can apply for a maximum of £1000, with Creative Practitioners allowance set at £3000.

Creative practitioners based in Dumfries & Galloway and working in the following disciplines – theatre, music, dance, film, spoken word and comedy – can apply for SfA seed funding to begin the development of new projects, and/or to develop new relevant skills, or to hone existing expertise. Performing arts venues in Dumfries and Galloway should be programming events in similar disciplines if they are looking to apply, with successful venues being eligible for financial, promotional and advisory support.

Creative Practitioners

SfA will support the following costs:

  • Fees for your time and that of your collaborators (All personnel involved in your application, including yourself, should be remunerated at the least at minimum ITC/Equity/Musicians Union, or other relevant trade bodies’ rates)
  • Relevant technical costs
  • Rehearsal venue, studio or equipment hire
  • Masterclass, training and/or workshop fees
  • Relevant travel, accommodation and per diem expenditure.

What we do not fund

  • Costs which in any way relate to the latter developmental stages of a full production
  • A practitioner’s or organisation’s ongoing running costs
  • Submissions which form part of a larger application to any of Creative Scotland’s funding schemes.

We are interested in helping you to advance your performing arts career further! You may want to work with a dramaturg or writer, or a musician or choreographer; you may want to attend a summer school or training course; you may wish to shadow a fellow practitioner whose methods and output you have always admired – this fund exists to provide support for specific, defined stages of your creative journey.

If a successful applicant requests it, we also offer informal bespoke mentorship and wellbeing support, as well as tickets to attend events our organisation presents. This assistance might, for example, help an emerging or early career performing arts practitioner develop their understanding of and engagement with the cultural sector, or facilitate an established artist to make a significant step change in their working practice.


SfA will support the following costs:

  • Production’s performance or workshop leader’s fees (All personnel involved in your application should be remunerated at the least at minimum ITC/Equity/Musicians Union, or other relevant trade bodies’ rates)
  • Relevant technical costs
  • Relevant travel, accommodation and per diem expenditure for contracted artists
  • Venue hire.

What we do not fund

  • Promoters’ or venues’ staff time
  • Catering for the public
  • Cancellation charges
  • Increases in event expenditure once an SfA award has been made
  • Rented items which are not returned.

You may want to programme work which enables you to reach out to a potential new audience or re-establish links with one you have engaged with successfully in the past. You may wish to try something which is a bit more ambitious and carries a potential financial risk your venue cannot support.

The previous success of the Support for Ambition programme has provided an excellent platform for the organisation to re-launch in 2023. The team received many fantastic applications to be part of their programme in 2022, highlighting the high calibre of work that takes place in every corner of our region.

How to apply

To apply, you must complete the application form which you will find on our website – – as well as the accompanying confidential anonymised equalities and diversity monitoring form – 

All applications submitted will be acknowledged and each applicant will be informed of the outcome of their submission. If you require the application form in another format, or require support or assistance, please contact us:

The deadline for applications for this year’s SfA scheme, for both Venues and Creative Practitioners, is Monday the 30th of October at 12.00pm. Further information, including how to apply, can be found here.

Creative Practitioners: