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.

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.

What we fund

We are interested in applications which describe clearly how a period of focused time-limited research and exploration would enable you to begin to realise a brilliant creative idea, or how developing new technical understanding and confidence would help 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.

In addition, 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:

  • 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.

How to apply

We will award a total of £6,000 for 2023-2024. You can apply for any amount, up to a maximum of £3,000. 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 –

Please send your application as a pdf. 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:

Application Form & Example Budget Downloads: 

D&GAF Application form SfA CREATIVE PRACTITIONERS 12Sep2023

D&GAF Specimen budget SfA CREATIVE PRACTITIONERS 12Sep2023


  • SFA submissions’ deadline Monday 30th October, 12.00pm
  • SFA awards announced Friday 17th November, 12.00pm

Projects should not start before Monday 4th December and should be completed by Friday 30th August 2024.

Successful applicants will receive 80% of their award up front. The balance of 20% will be provided at the end of the project on our receipt of a short report from the applicant. An end of project report template will be provided to successful applicants.

If requested, we will provide feedback to those applicants who have not been successful. There will also be an opportunity for applicants to provide us with feedback, to help us refine the SfA and its processes.

Our selection process

Our selection panel will consist of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival’s Director & CEO, a member of the organisation’s board of trustees and an independent performing arts practitioner and/or programmer from out with Dumfries & Galloway. Based on the information an applicant provides, we will discuss each submission in detail and assess them on the following criteria with a points-based system:

The merit of the proposal – given a practitioner’s track record to date, how successfully will they be able to deliver it, and/or how beneficial to their working practice will a request for funds to develop skills be?

How realistic is the proposal’s timeframe and what the applicant wishes to achieve?

Is the budget realistic and is everyone paid appropriately?

If relevant, at the end of a proposal’s timeframe, what is its potential for future development, both for the applicant and potentially for the wider performing arts sector?