Applications now open for Sky Academy Arts Scholarship 2015

€38k fund for an emerging Irish artist

The Sky Academy Arts Scholarships, now open for applications, are designed to support emerging artistic talent and will give an artist aged 18-30 living in Ireland the opportunity to receive €38,000 and high level mentoring, allowing them to focus exclusively on their creative practice for a year.

Applications are accepted in the categories of Visual Art, Music, Dance, Theatre, Creative Producing and Creative Writing.

In total, Sky Academy Arts Scholarships 2015 will give five talented artists across the UK and Ireland, aged 18-30, the time and support to develop their creative practice and take their career to the next level.  Since 2011, the Scholarships – formerly known as the Sky Arts Futures Fund – have supported fifteen young artists. Each scholar receives £30,000 (€38,000) towards the development of an artistic project and living costs for one year, as well as mentoring from Sky and the Arts industry, giving access to new skills and networks.  In addition, each artist receives a short film about their project and practice, and wider developmental support from Sky and IdeasTap. As part of the initiative, one scholarship will be awarded to an artist living in Ireland.

Sky Academy Arts Scholarships are part of Sky Academy, a ground-breaking set of initiatives using the power of television, sport and creativity to create a million opportunities for young people across the UK and Ireland by 2020.

Business to Arts is supporting the selection of an Irish artist. A briefing event will be held in January in Dublin. If you would like to attend, please email. For more information, visit

Applicants can submit either a written or filmed application in the categories of visual art, theatre, dance, music, creative writing (excluding film or TV scripts) and creative producing. Applications will then be assessed by industry professionals as well as individuals from Sky and IdeasTap, with winners announced at the South Bank Awards in June 2015.

Sky Academy Arts Scholarships are open to individuals working in the following fields:

  • Performing arts: theatremakers including directors, spoken word artists, puppeteers and live artists
    • Dance: dancers and choreographers
    • Music: musicians, composers, songwriters and conductors
    • Visual arts: including painters, sculptors, photographers, animators and digital artists
    • Creative producing: do you bring together disparate parts of culture in exciting and innovative ways? This category is open to creative producers working in visual arts, theatre, film and performance/dance
    • Creative writing: including playwrights, novelists, graphic novelists and poets – but not film or TV scripts

About Sky Academy & Sky

The Sky Academy Arts Scholarships are part of a set of initiatives that use the power of television, creativity and sport to inspire young people and help them reach their potential. Now in its tenth year, one-third of British secondary schools are taking part in Sky Sports Living for Sport, and it’s been launched in Ireland, with over 50,000 young people to benefit this year alone. Sky Academy Scholarships have helped almost 60 talented artists and athletes achieve their goals.

Sky is increasingly engaged in grass roots activities across Ireland: it is the title sponsor of the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny where it holds premieres of some of its latest entertainment content; following a rigorous application process involving 100’s of organisations, the Sky Arts Ignition series saw a €230,000 fund exclusively allocated to Dublin-based theatre group Rough Magic for their unique production in the Olympia Theatre in June 2014 of The Rise and Fall of The City of Mahagonny in association with Opera Theatre Company; and the Sky Sports Living for Sport Programme, which launched in 2013 and has already seen 100 secondary schools across Ireland participate in life skills initiatives aimed at 11-16 year olds.

About IdeasTap

IdeasTap is an arts charity that helps creative people get to where they want to be. IdeasTap works with leading arts organisations to create industry opportunities for its members as well as providing access to funding, competitions, jobs, training and advice. Since launching in December 2008, IdeasTap has awarded more than £1.8 million worth of direct funding and accompanying expert mentoring to emerging artists. Its membership currently stands at 175,000+ and its partners include BAFTA, Magnum Photos, Mother London, The National Theatre, Rambert and Sky Academy.

Application process

  • Sky will award four scholarships to UK artists and one Scholarship to an Irish artist. There will be a separate Irish shortlist who will be interviewed in Ireland by an Irish ambassador.
  • Artists apply by signing up to IdeasTap – it’s free ( Applications close on 26 February.
  • This year artists are invited to apply by submitting either a written or filmed application, allowing applicants to choose the format they feel most comfortable with.
  • Applications will be assessed by individuals from Sky and IdeasTap, and industry professionals.
  • 4 successful UK applicants and 1 successful Irish applicant are announced at the Sky Arts Southbank Awards in June.

For more details go to and see a promo made by previous Arts Scholar Sisi Lu here


To apply, you must be an IdeasTap member aged 18-30 on the closing date (26 Feb 2015) and either be a citizen of the UK or ROI or have been resident in the UK or ROI for the last five years. Either way, you must currently be living in the UK or Ireland and be able to remain living in the UK or ROI for the duration of the scholarship to be eligible to apply.

You must only apply in one category – choose whichever category you think best suits your work – and please select either a written OR filmed application when filling out the application form.

If you would like to reserve a place at the Dublin briefing event in January (date and venue TBC) please email:

Rowena Nevilleon

@businesstoarts / @rowenaneville / @fund_it