We’ve partnered with the Jerwood Charitable Foundation to deliver the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries - a nationwide programme challenging the socio-economic barriers faced by outstanding, skilled graduates entering the workplace.

The diversity and vibrancy of our future arts workforce is threatened by unpaid internships and poor recruitment practice. This programme will work with organisations to increase diversity in their recruitment practice and develop talent, by pairing 40 talented recent graduates from low-income backgrounds with 40 arts organisations in paid 12 month placements. 


The 12 month placements are paid in line with the Living Wage Foundation's guidance and have been recruited through open application, according to financial and academic eligibility criteria between October 2017 - February 2018. 80% of placements are outside of London, ensuring that recent graduates and organisations nationally can thrive.

On the ground training

Alongside placements we are running a development programme for all participants to ground their on-the-job experience with invaluable training, developing a strong peer network and legacy for the programme. Bringing an international element to the project for the first time, we are offering 15 international placements for selected participants, and an international training trip for all 40 participants.

Festival d’Avignon, Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Programme and the British Council announce a new partnership to encourage more opportunities in the arts for young people from low-income backgrounds. 40 talented graduates from across the UK, beneficiaries of Weston Jerwood's Creative Bursaries Programme, will attend a three day conference curated by the Festival and the British Council, designed to offer insights into the workings of an international festival, the chance to see new artistic creations and exchange with artists in a European context.

Creating links with tomorrow's creative professionals and addressing the socio-economic barriers that skilled graduates entering the arts workplace are facing are objectives shared by all three partners.

An opportunity for mutual exchange in dialogue with a next generation of cultural professionals from different backgrounds, bringing new experiences and perspectives, helps to build to a cultural sector in both countries that is more representative of the societies in which we live, contributing to its relevance and resilience in the future.


To date, the Creative Bursaries programme has worked with 75 of the UK’s leading cultural  producers across art forms to kick-start the careers of 84 talented creatives from lower socio-economic backgrounds; in Truro, Wakefield, Belfast, Leeds, London, Margate, Cardiff, Birmingham, Glasgow and beyond. Critically, it allows organisations to develop new year-long job roles which close skills gaps in their greatest areas of need.

The programme has raised the profile of the debate around diversity. The initiative was included as a case study in DCMS’ Culture White Paper and referred to as exemplary in Arts Council England’s commissioned report Analysis of Theatre in England.

Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries has been made possible through the combined support of Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, CHK Charities Limited and PRS Foundation. Initiated in 2017 and running until 2019, the programme is open to graduates from low-income backgrounds who received a full maintenance grant throughout university.

External links