The Bridge Awards is a philanthropic venture that provides funding for the arts. This support is given in the form of annual awards and regular micro-funding opportunities. Details of current projects and future opportunities can be found on this website.
Who and what we fund
Individuals and organisations involved in the fields of literature, film, visual arts, theatre, dance and music. We also fund selected cultural heritage, conservation and community projects, both in the UK and abroad.
Emerging Writer Award 2017
We’re delighted to announce Rue Baldry as the winner of the 2017 Emerging Writer Award. Rue wins a tailor-made package of writing support, which includes writing retreats at Moniack Mhor and one-to-one mentoring.
Having been raised in Essex and Dar Es Salaam, Rue is now a mother of five living in York, England. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of York and an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds University. Her short stories have appeared in Mslexia, The Broken City, The Honest Ulsterman and on the Reader Berlin online showcase. Her scripts have had amateur and Youth theatre productions and professional workshops. Her website is ruebaldry.wordpress.com and her Twitter account is @R_E_Baldry.
Rue’s winning entry was an extract from the work-in-progress novel Uncle Raymond, which tells the life story of an ex-alcoholic trans woman stage magician, now working as a children’s entertainer, recollected as she performs at a party on the Saturday after the EU referendum.
Rue had this to say: ‘I’m incredibly pleased and proud to have won this award, both because of the tremendous opportunities offered by the prize, which will be hugely helpful to me in getting this novel completed, but also because of the recognition. Having prestigious, knowledgeable people like those at The Bridge Awards and Moniack Mhor telling me that my writing is worthwhile, and worth supporting, helps me to assure myself that it really is.’
Applications are closed.
Pyromania Bursary Programme 2017
The Bridge Awards is proud to support Pyromania, a new bursary programme developed by Fire Exit, the award winning theatre company set up in 2002 by artistic director David Leddy.
The bursary will enable playwrights based in Scotland to develop their skills in experimental writing. Highly-acclaimed writer and director David Leddy will mentor two playwrights over the course of a year, supporting them to develop a new script.
The recipients of the 2017 bursaries are Amy Conway and Maryam Hamidi.
Amy Conway is a theatre maker and performer based in Glasgow. She trained at the University of Glasgow and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
In the past 18 months, I-Happy-I-Good, her immersive one-to-one performance about deafblindness, toured to On The Verge, Liverpool in associaton with Conflux. 30:60:80, a verbatim show exploring maternal histories and intergenerational difference, toured Scottish theatres with support from Creative Scotland. Super Awesome World, an interactive show that invites the audience to become Amy’s fellow adventurers in her quest for good mental health, completed a second stage of development with support from the Tron and Platform, culminating in a work-in-progress performance at the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Super Awesome World will premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017. Amy has just finished working with Catherine Wheels Theatre Company supported by a Federation of Scottish Theatre Assistant Director Bursary. She assisted Gill Robertson on Pondlife and Bed, a new development with National Theatre Scotland.
Maryam Hamidi trained as an actor at Queen Margaret University College and for over 10 years she has followed a multidisciplinary path as a writer, director and actor on stage, screen and radio.
As an actor she has worked with the National Theatre of Scotland, 7:84, Tron Theatre, The Paper Birds and BBC Scotland, to name a few. She is an associate of A Moment’s Peace Theatre company with whom she co-created the Amnesty Award nominated The Chronicles of Irania. Most recently, her play The Builders has had readings at Tron Theatre and Theatre 503 and she was awarded a TronLab bursary to develop Archaeology, a simulated archaeological dig unearthing the otherness of the diasporic experience. She is also in post-production with her first short film as Writer/Director, Bloody Love, funded through the SFTN 5@Five scheme.
Maryam co-founded Boost, a grassroots iniative to promote ethnically diverse voices across the stage and screen industries.
Pyromania will reopen for applications in 2018.
More information about Pyromania and Fire Exit can be found here
Applications are closed.
Emerging Artist Residency at Cove Park 2017
The Bridge Awards and Cove Park are delighted to announce Florrie James as the winner of the 2017 Emerging Visual Artist Residency. This residency enables an emerging visual artist based in Scotland to develop new work at an important point in their career.
Florrie James is a painter and film-maker based in Glasgow. She has been working with experimental film and loosely defined narrative for several years, occasionally working alone but often in the context of collaborative projects with other writers or film-makers. Her recent film works have included Mountaintop Administration (2014), Brighthouse (2014), O.k. Rick (2015) and new works filmed in Havana, Cuba, with Ross Little.
At Cove Park, James will focus upon a new film, Four Day Weekend Underground, developed with writer Sam Bellacosa. The film concerns the journey of a young traveller from Glasgow to the Isle of Eigg in the year 2044. James and Bellacosa have described the work as ‘…a travelogue regarding the kindness of strangers. It is a road movie in the absence of money (and) sets out to depict, through a speculative alter-future, conditions of migration, individualism, corporatism,and land use, as well as the romantic appeal of WROL (Without Rule of Law) in popular imagination.’
The residency will provide time for James to edit and reflect upon the footage produced to date, in order to formulate new ideas and filming techniques. Throughout the research and pre-production process, it has been important for James to continually re-assess the work in development and allow improvisation to occur within the making of the film, a requirement this residency can support.
Florrie says: I am very excited to have been awarded the Bridge Awards residency at Cove Park. It is perfect timing for me to have access to film locations on the west coast, and I will spend much of the time on an extended focused edit of footage I will have recently shot for my new film Four Day Weekend Underground. I am sure the environment and calm surroundings will enter into the work itself during the edit.
More about Florrie’s work here
To learn more about Cove Park, please click here
Applications are closed.
Community workshop by Do It Outdoors.
This summer, The Bridge Awards were delighted to fund a workshop in outdoor skills and bushcraft for the women attending OWLS—the Onestop Women’s Learning service in Perth. OWLS provides a safe, welcoming space for women who have been referred through the Community Justice System.
‘Our workshop took place on a beautiful summer’s day. Before we got on with the activties, I introduced the ladies to the camp. The composting toilet inspired both laughter and heated discussion—one participant thought it a great idea, another made it very clear she had no intention of using it!
Once we were all familiar with the camp, I took the group into the nearby woods. During our walk, we had fun identifying some useful healing plants such as elder leaf, which we rubbed on our faces to ward off the midges. We also picked common sorrel, which can be used as an addition to salad. I explained that sorrel has also been used in the treatment of spasms and skin ailments. Pineapple weed was another plant we came across—it has lovely tasting flower heads and can be used as a calmative when steeped in hot water.
We carried some supplies of wood back to the camp, where the group agreed coffee was an imperative. A flurry of activity ensued—chopping and sawing wood. I then showed the women how to use fire steels, which they quickly grasped and we soon had a fire going.
The next stage of the process was a surprise to the participants. I handed them green beans, which they had to roast over the fire in a sieve. Having done that, they ground the coffee beans in a pestle and mortar before finally putting the ground mixture into a cafetiere. We enjoyed the coffee with a biscuit around the fire, the birch trees swaying above.
Coffee break over, the group then had a bake-off, each member attempting to create the best bannock bread. We finished up by making shelters, weaving together hazel and birch branches to make the frames and then padding these out with bracken and other foliage to create waterproof roofs. Not an easy task but the women tackled it well.
All in all, a really successful day and a good time had by all. It was a pleasure to have the women at the camp and to share my knowledge of the outdoors with them.’
Lucy Mulvenna, the OWLS co-ordinator, gave this feedback:
‘I would like to say a huge thank you on behalf of the women that attended the workshop. They all had an amazing experience and thoroughly enjoyed the fun, educational experience. They were astounded with Ian’s expertise and knowledge of nature at its best.
OWLS aims to encompass learning and social acceptance as part of our service for women in the Perthshire area, and I have to say you allowed us to practise this first hand.’
10 Sep 2017
Heather Parry and Jenni Fagan : 2016 Emerging Writer Award
Heather Parry recently concluded the year-long programme of writing retreats and mentoring that she received as the winner of the 2016 Emerging Writer Award. Here’s what she had to say about the process:
‘I was stunned and thrilled in equal measure to win the Bridge Award for an Emerging Writer in 2016, especially when I realised that one of my favourite novelists, Michel Faber, was running a novel-writing course at Moniack Mhor shortly after I was notified. The two tutored retreats at Moniack allowed me to spend time, and learn from, some incredibly talented authors and to establish a network of wonderful writers in Scotland. In addition to this, my one-on-one mentoring with Jenni Fagan has allowed me to look at my work in a whole new way, and to make the changes necessary to make my writing what I want it to be. In short, winning this award gave me the inspiration, confidence and means to finish my first novel and to consider myself a real writer. I recommend it to anyone.’
About her experience of mentoring on the award, Jenni said:
‘It is important to offer mentorship for talented young writers early on in their careers. It is hard for writers to know how they might develop their voice fully, or find a route into publication. Encouragement and positivity is vital at this time.
Mentoring before publishing your first novel is great because it allows writers to really hone their skills in private. They can challenge any weaker areas in prose, characterisation, pacing or setting. A mentor is there to recognise potential and push towards achieving the highest quality of work possible. I enjoy mentoring and make it a point to do so with at least one or two writers each year. The Bridge Awards are a brilliant opportunity for young writers and mentors to work together.’
We’re delighted that the award has provided such a positive experience for all involved and we wish Heather every success in her writing career.
30 Jul 2017
Art Workshop at Saheliya
This year, the Bridge Awards has once again funded art workshops at Saheliya, the winner of Scottish Charity of the Year 2016.
Saheliya is a mental health and well-being organisation for black and minority ethnic women in Scotland.
The workshop was led by artist Fiona Gardiner, who also works at Saheliya as a complementary therapist, providing massage, aromatherapy and reflexology to the woman attending Saheliya’s centre in Edinburgh.
Fiona said: ‘I did two workshops with the women attending Saheliya in May and June of this year. The first day we went out to forage for wild flowers near Carlton Hill in Edinburgh, collecting daisies, bluebells, cow parsley and other specimens. Afterwards, we discussed our haul with the aid of wild flower books and plenty of tea and cake!
I then took the flowers home to press them between books until the next workshop a few weeks later. During this session, the women became engrossed in creating some beautiful cards. They were surprised how easy it had been for me to press the flowers and thought this would be a good activity to do with their kids as it was both educational and fun. This was a very successful project that the women really enjoyed.’
More information about Saheliya can be found here
30 Jul 2017
Hands-On Cove Park
The Bridge Awards are proud to support Hands-On Cove Park, a programme of creative events, workshops and talks for people in Argyll & Bute led by current and former residents of Cove Park, Scotland’s international artists residency centre.
Helen Voce, the Hands-On Programme Producer at Cove Park, had this to say about Pier to Pier, a recent Hands-On project:
‘Pier to Pier, a partnership project, mobilised young people in three areas of Argyll & Bute through and to a variety of quality creative experiences. The Bridge Awards’ support of Hands-On enables artist-led creative excursions for young people in the vicinity of Cove Park and thus made Pier to Pier possible.
Circling the Firth of Clyde, at the southern reaches of Argyll & Bute, are three of Scotland’s arts and cultural centres – Cove Park, Dunoon Burgh Hall and Rothesay Pavilion. Goings on at Cove Park can be very different and distant to those at Dunoon Burgh Hall, which in turn are different again from Rothesay Pavilion. And so on.
All former partners in Argyll Youth Arts, the venues are committed to providing opportunities for children and young people in our local and regional community to engage in, explore and develop their creative, cultural and heritage interests through high quality, appropriate experiences.
What also connects us is the Clyde Firth. But this stretch of water also presents the challenges of geography and time. Pier to Pier faced these challenges head on through creativity to connect and bring together young people from our three locations.
Taking as its starting point the historical piers of Kilcreggan, Dunoon and Rothesay, participants travelled primarily by ferry to each centre on three consecutive days to create, experiment and, most importantly, to collaborate, whether en route to or at their destination.
The activity at each venue was appropriate to the arts centre and was led by a locally based professional artist. At Dunoon Burgh Hall, an Andy Warhol inspired workshop – to coincide with the exhibition of his work opening in June 2017 – prompted multimedia artworks. At Cove Park, a collaborative installation explored journey and place through the senses. At Rothesay Pavilion, on the stage of the auditorium currently closed for refurbishment, scenes of colour bombing were choreographed and filmed for a soon to be produced music video.
Funds from The Bridge Awards will support future artist-led creative excursions within the Hands-On Cove Park programme, including the Beach Combing Holiday Art Club with artist Celia Pym. The funds also contributed to a recent residential visit for members of our National Art and Design Saturday Club to see their work exhibited at the Summer Show in Somerset House, London. More about their visit here
Hands On Cove Park is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and The Robertson Trust. Pier to Pier was made possible with additional funds from Argyll Youth Arts and partners Dunoon Burgh Hall and Rothesay Pavilion.’
19 May 2017
Arts and Business Scotland
Cultural Enterprise Office
Edinburgh City of Literature
Edinburgh College of Art
Glasgow Visual Arts and Craft Award Scheme
Lust and the Apple
Playwrights’ Studio Scotland
Scottish Book Trust
Scottish Film Talent Network
Scottish Poetry Library
Skriva Writing School
The Creative Retreat Scotland
The WoMentoring Project
Wellcome Trust Arts Awards
If you would like to contribute your expertise or make a donation to help us develop more micro-funding opportunities, please contact us at:
Do not use this contact form to apply for awards or submit direct requests for funding.