BARN is a three-year theatre initiative (2017-19) that supports Somerset’s emerging theatre-making sector to develop, test and showcase new work in a predominantly rural context.

Why is BARN needed?

Historically, Somerset’s theatre infrastructure is both idiosyncratic and fragile. Real, grassroots issues have often hindered individuals and companies from remaining resilient, fed, connected and supported.

BARN is the first stage of a long-term development process, offering a programme of interventions that are needed now. We have rigorously tested our plans with theatre-makers and other professional colleagues across the county to ensure those needs are met.

What does BARN do?

BARN resources theatre-makers to take risks, build resilience and sustain your practice, artistically and financially. It does this by nurturing emerging work, providing support and safe places for ideas to incubate, grow and flourish. It should give you confidence to make choices about what your work looks like. This ownership, we hope, will help to drive sustainability.

How does BARN do this?

BARN features several activity strands that include:

  • an Ideas Fund
  • Research and Development residencies
  • Work in Progress events
  • Showcase platforms
  • Annual BARNFest
  • Access and business support
  • Progression and signposting to other opportunities

BARN Ideas Fund

The Ideas Fund aims to support

  1. ideas and projects that create the potential for new work and
  2. professional skills development. 

The fund acts as a stepping-stone to enable you to benefit from other BARN activities.

We anticipate offering £50 to £250 to successful applications with the intention that this modest sum may be able to match, or unlock, other resources. As we know that the outcomes of trying out new ideas and developing work can be unpredictable, we want to support risk-taking too.

One key change we’ve made is that there are no deadlines for the Ideas Fund this year. In other words, you can make a request at a time that’s right for you.  This is an experiment, and a risk, on our part. One of our challenges is to ensure that we allocate the finite resources equitably. So in the interests of being fair, we’re going to advise that we can support one request per individual/company this year i.e. until December 2019. 

If your request is unsuccessful, though, you can apply again.  We will do our best to spread out the funds throughout the year and review the process in December. In other words, there is no advantage to submitting an application straightaway. We advise you to think about what might be most useful to you.

Click here to apply for the BARN Ideas Fund. 

Please also bear in mind that the Ideas Fund is only one, relatively small, activity strand among several others: refer to the current BARN Handbook for more info, particularly the FAQs on page 10.

For further information about BARN, contact:

Mark Helyar or Sarah Peterkin – Co-Directors of Theatre, Take Art Email: Email: Tel: 01460 249450