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At the heart of English folk

Applications open for Alan James Creative Bursary and Residency Programme

The English Folk Dance and Song Society is inviting applications from artists with a track-record as professional creatives, for a total of three bursaries for 2019/20.

In memory of its former chair Alan James, who died suddenly in April, EFDSS has re-named its Creative Bursary and Residency Programme, which is now in its seventh year. The programme supports artists in exploring new creative ideas inspired by and sourced from traditional English folk music, and provides artists with an opportunity to undertake creative exploration without the pressure of a final product. 

In the spirit of Alan James’ eclectic musical tastes, and his ability to foster exciting artistic collaborations, applications are particularly invited for cross-genre or cross-art form collaborations and explorations of English folk music.

Each residency is unique, and may include any or all of:

  • a bursary of up to £2,000, to fund e.g. artists’ fees, travel and accommodation
  • research facilities at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library
  • up to five days of rehearsal space at Cecil Sharp House

Applications are open to ALL artists from ALL genres. The closing date is Sunday 16 June 2019.


Katy Spicer, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, said: ‘In this first year of naming the bursary programme in memory of Alan James, we look forward to receiving proposals for boundary pushing, eclectic ideas for English folk music development that would have excited him’.

Previous awardees have gone on to develop their projects into recordings and shows including  Rowan Rheingans’ Dispatches on the Red Dress; Sam Sweeney’s Made in the Great War; Ben Nicholl’s Kings of the South Seas; Lisa Knapp’s Hunt the Hare; and Tom Moore and Archie Churchill Moss’ Laguna.

 ‘The EFDSS bursary gave me the space and time needed to commit myself to developing something new and creative’
Ian Stephenson, bursary recipient 2018/19

 ‘It has been fantastic to be able to give myself time to develop this project, and I definitely wouldn’t have made this huge progress without it’
Louise Jordan, bursary recipient 2018/19. 


National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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