Arts Grants Scheme

About the scheme

The Arts Grants Scheme welcomes applications from individuals and organisations looking to produce innovative and engaging art projects across the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and offers grants of up to £3,000. There is a large demand on this fund, so unfortunately not all applications will be successful. 

The Arts Grant Scheme has been running for more than 15 years, funding over 350 excellent and engaging arts projects. 

The fund is open across 2 rounds each year and we welcome projects reflecting a wide range of arts based activities within in the borough from participatory arts based projects, tours, artist-based talks, research and development, theatre, dance etc.  

Please note that in light of the on-going restrictions imposed due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) we welcome digital projects to be run online. We are equally keen to receive proposals for in-person activity, and will require you to describe what measures you are taking in order to conduct your project safely. Please email us with any questions at:

How to apply

We advise all applicants to read carefully the Guidance Document before making an application.

Guidance Document Arts Grants 2020-21

All applicants must use the online application form below, and submit completed applications by 10am Friday 16 October.

Start Arts Grants Application


Frequently Asked Questions

I work for an organisation in Kensington and Chelsea, but live in a different Borough, can I be a panel member?

Unfortunately not, as we want our decision-making panel for Arts Grants to reflect the voices of residents who live in Kensington and Chelsea.

I’m interested in community decision-making and would like to apply, but I don’t have any experience of working in the arts

We welcome applications from residents with an interest in community-decision making and/or arts and culture, no matter what their professional background. In your application, please include any relevant experience as an audience member or participant in creative or community-based activity.

I would like to sit on the panel, but I’m a freelance practitioner. Will I be compensated for my time?

Freelance and self-employed panel members are entitled to reimbursement for their time spent attending meetings online or in-person, up to a total of eight hours, or £86 in a 12-month period. This reflects the London Living Wage of £10.75 per hour. We regret that we are not able to provide compensation for time spent reading and assessing applications prior to meetings, and therefore this is in-part a voluntary role.

Will there be any training for new panel members?

Yes. We will contact successful applicants in the week beginning Monday 5 October with further details for this session, which will be held online via Teams in October, and last between 1-2 hours outside of normal working hours.

When do the Panel meetings take place?

Panel meetings take place quarterly and will typically fall on a weekday Monday to Friday, between 5-7pm. The first meeting of the new panel will take place on Thursday 12 November, 5-7pm, online via Teams unless communicated otherwise.

What happens at each meeting?

Meetings will run up to two hours each and include a couple of short comfort breaks. If they are conducted in person, they include light refreshments. The meetings are facilitated by the Culture Service Team. Decision meetings with the panel involve discussion of the applications based on each members assessment scores and agree the grant awards up to £30,000 in each decision meeting. Review meetings will support the Culture Service to report and evaluate the scheme.

How much time is involved in the role?

Per round we anticipate panel members spending a maximum of 10 hours conducting assessments and attending meetings. This is based on receiving between 40-50 applications per round, and a two hour decision meeting. It may take between 5-10 minutes to read and assess each application.

Is there any access support for residents with disabilities?

We can assist with transport where you are required to attend meetings in person and will always host meetings in accessible venues. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide equipment or assistant support to panel members to read and assess applications. Please be aware that the role requires a high volume of reading and access to a private computer in order to conduct assessments and attend meetings held online.


Projects funded April 2020

Chloe Cooper: Diagnosis: Drifting, Dreaming, Waiting

Working with young people at visual artist Chloe Cooper and composer and performer Jackie will create interlinked artworks and musical compositions, to be shared in the waiting rooms of local health care settings.

General Release: General Release Solo Art Exhibitions

A twelve-month programme of solo emerging artist shows in the vacant Victoria former Post Office, Chelsea, providing exposure to these early career artists, and a contemporary art experience unique to the Borough. Dates to be announced.

Kamitan Arts CIC: ‘VAP’ (Virtual Acoustic Poetry Sessions)

Funding supports the initial stages of three months of virtual creative poetry sessions for children and families in North Kensington, in response to the physical isolation imposed by Coronavirus.

Kensington and Chelsea Art Week: KCAW Spoken Word Culture Map

Re-interpreting the original bus-tours planned for the Art Week 2020, a digital map with geolocation features will connect residents with local venues and specially created digital content in partnership with Muse Film London, The Galleries Association, Portobello Radio and GoJauntly Walking App.

Maya Sanbar: ‘Open Doors’

Co-ordinated by a group of local artists, Open Doors will produce a series of interviews with artists from their studios. The resulting series of film shorts will give the artists of Kensington and Chelsea a platform during lockdown, in partnership with Kensington and Chelsea Art Week. Film making credits:

Metronomes : Metronomes Memory Project

An oral history project recording the memories of the older generation of steelpan enthusiasts. Recalling a forgotten time when steelpan was seen in the way that drill music is seen today, the project will chart how steelpan became a much-loved art form.

Portobello Film Festival: 25th Anniversary Online

Celebrating 25 years of Portobello Film Festival (3 – 20 September) in the North of the Borough, for the first time the festival will go online, including live streamed talks and screenings. This year’s edition offers local residents who are out of education and employment the chance to volunteer to support the festival and gain specialist training in event management and digital skills.

Renegade Theatre: Messages from the Green

In response to Covid19, Messages From The Green is a three stranded digital technology, theatre and audio project to run a new children’s drama project, develop a local adult’s drama/creative writing group and to produce a site-specific monologue professionally performed and livestreamed outside on The Wornington Green Estate. Funding supports the children’s drama workshops and performance.

Royal College of Music: Mini Sparks

Teaching children aged 0-3 from hard to reach backgrounds, their parents and carers to listen and learn with each other through music. Funding supports ten music-making sessions for members of the North Kensington Magic Mums group at Rugby Portobello Trust.

The Playground Theatre: Well Written

Well Written is an online playwriting and storytelling project, developed with patients at St Charles Hospital’s mental health centre, and delivered by professional artists from The Playground Theatre in partnership with Central North West London Hospital Trust.

Truefitt Collective: Mindful Movement for Primary Schools

Returning to work with three local primary schools, , Truefitt Collective will develop Mindful Movement in partnership with teachers and students in order to support pupil’s mental health and wellbeing through the principles of dance.


Projects funded November 2019

Sheila Hill - The Power Project

The Power Project builds on a series of interviews made 20 years ago with Israeli PM Shimon Peres; Polish nuclear physicist Joseph Rotblat, Nazi escapee, and Los Alamos atom bomb architect, fighting its use post Hiroshima; Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani, whose controversial images were used to sell Benetton clothing; and New England Journal editor Arnold Relman. A further series of interviews with those in positions of power in 2020 will inform the development of a script and new theatrical work which will engage with young people in the Borough.

Find out more on Sheila Hill's website.

Marie Klimis - A Love Letter

Whether you’re 15 or 50, love stories inspire us all. A Love Letter, focusses on and celebrates love after 50, while the media, advertising and film industries overload us with images of young love. Exploring love stories in older age, shared by residents in North Kensington as part of the West Way’s POP Festival, March 2020, Marie will devise a site specific piece of work which engages audiences through audio and performance art.

Find out more on the Westway Arts & Culture website

Key Changes Ltd - Key Changes Studio Discovery

Key Changes will work with musicians experiencing mental health challenges to produce new music, develop their creative practices, and build confidence and skills in partnership with Pirate Studios. Artists receive 1:1 mentoring over five weeks, and will subsequently be sign-posted to opportunities to further their own creative practice within the local community.

Find out more on the Key Changes website. Email:  or tel: 020 7549 8172

DanceWest - Bolder Not Older

DanceWest are expanding the Bolder Not Older programme to the Reed Centre in North Kensington. The programme has proven its success in reducing social isolation for elderly residents through its programme at the St Charles Centre, and will engage new audiences with this new programme of classes, which are free at point of access.

Find out more on the DanceWest website.

Emma Dennis-Edwards - BRICKS

Playwright Emma Dennis-Edwards developed the script for BRICKS through conversation and time spent with the community in North Kensington; BRICKS will go through R&D at the Bush Theatre, working with a dedicated outreach lead  (Yasmeen Arden, resident and founder of Small Truth Theatre) to identify 6 local young people from Kensington and Chelsea to take part in a mentoring scheme, giving them the chance to work with professional artists and gain creative industry experience.

Find out more on Emma Dennis-Edwards' webpage.

Migrants Organise - Voices and Portraits

20 participants will each produce a piece of written, spoken or recorded work drawn from their lived experience. Over a series of meetings between January to June 2020 participants will develop their narratives in collaboration with artists, resulting in a multi-faceted reflection on the migrant experience. The project will culminate in an exhibition showcase on Thorpe Close, W10 during International Refugee Week, 15-21 June 2020.

Find out more on the Migrants Organise website.

Earl’s Court Film Festival - ECFF Spring Season

A series of screenings of the best selected short films from the 2019 festival including preliminary outreach opportunities for young people to shape the programme of activity and get involved in the production of short films.

Find out more on the Film Earls Court website.

Camilla Brendon - Phytoplankton in the City

Artist Camilla Brendon will run workshops targeting children and families taking place at the Meanwhile Gardens beside the Union Canal. In partnership with the Floating Class Room, Camilla will teach participants about phytoplankton and their importance to the aquatic environment, which will inspire the creation of giant sculptures to be displayed in an outdoor exhibition in the gardens in Summer 2020.

Find out more on Camilla Brendon's website.

Portobello Radio CIC - Carnival Radio

A new season of radio broadcasts focusing on the build up to Carnival, interviewing key figures, and shining a light on the culture and heritage of Notting Hill Carnival. The project will include skills development for locals in radio production, and will seek to engage London-wide audiences with the local stories which underpin Carnival.

Stay tuned for updates on Portobello Radio.

Potential Difference Theatre - Fragments

Fragments is a new play which is coming to the Playhouse Theatre on Lancaster road in North Kensington in May 2020. Fragments is inspired by recently discovered papyrus fragments of a ‘lost play’, as well as by recent research in neuroscience, and explores themes of memory and perception. The funding granted will support local outreach and a paid, mentored position for a young person from RBKC during production.

Find out more on the Potential Difference website.

Nathaniel McBride - Dictating to the Estate

Dictating to the Estate has been through many iterations and has been developed using verbatim accounts from residents of Kensington and Chelsea following Grenfell Tower Fire. The play is now moving towards it’s first full production in Autumn 2020 at the Playground Theatre, and will include outreach activity engaging with residents, and including paid roles on the production for young people living in the Borough.

Find out more on the Dictating to the Estate website.

Carnival School Band - Sign My Soca

The Carnival School Band recognise that carnival music is not accessible to the deaf and hearing impaired so they will work with a signing tutor to learn to sign their Soca standards and make their performances more inclusive! You’ll be able to see them in action at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival, 2020.

Find out more on the KCS Carnival Band website.