Rapid Response CDPL Bursaries

Bridging the Gap was a key component of Curious Minds' response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

These fast turnaround CPDL bursaries were aimed at cultural education freelancers and small or community-based arts organisations that had been affected by the Coronavirus shutdown, and whose main work is with schools or children and young people.

Our Approach

As the country entered it's first lockdown, in 2020, our immediate priority, as the North West’s sector support organisation, was to ensure that the cultural education sector should be able to emerge from the Covid–19 crisis in as strong a position as possible. It was immediately apparent that some national-level initiatives would prove either inaccessible or arrive too late for many grassroots and freelance workers.

‘Bridging the Gap’ was our first response.

Curious Minds offered bursaries to freelancers and small or community-based arts organisations outside the Arts Council England National Portfolio. This money aimed to allow those in the cultural education community the space for their own development, and a small financial incentive that ‘bridged the gap’ between crisis point and the receipt of any emergency grants or funding.

We provided every successful applicant with a ‘coach’ to support them and curated an online catalogue of free continuing professional development and learning (CDPL) opportunities.

In total, we received bursary applications from 184 freelancers and 51 small organisations – over 170 of which were received on the very first day.

Thanks to the generous support of Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, we were able to rapidly allocate £100,000 on support through 96 Bridging the Gap bursaries.
The bursary... allowed us to develop ourselves in discovering new ways of working which, in turn, meant the work we have done since the beginning of the pandemic has been of better quality and has reached more young people and families.

Clem - BtG Recipient

The bursary afforded me a moment to take a breath. I’ve been able to invest in CPD that will stand me in good stead moving forwards and will impact and shape my future projects. Thank you.

Lisa - BtG Recipient

Looking for our CPDL Webinars?

The webinar recordings and supporting documents are available on our Bridging the Gap CPDL page.