The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) has launched a new scheme offering creative residencies at its London base.

The initiative is open to individuals or groups who want to explore their creative potential and the English traditions by undertaking a residency at Cecil Sharp House to research and develop new work.

The creative residencies are open to professional artists across all sectors – from classical composers and contemporary dancers to poets, musicians or visual artists – not just those working within the folk arts.

EFDSS is keen to hear from artists who are interested in exploring the potential of working cross-genre, cross-arts, or cross-culture to create work that has the potential to go on tour.

Successful applicants will be offered bursaries in the region of £2,000 to cover fees and expenses, together with rehearsal space and the opportunity to share the outcome of their work at Cecil Sharp House, as well as support and guidance for the future development of their work.

Applications opened on May 1 and must be submitted by June 30. The residencies will run from September 2012 to March 2013. It is envisaged that three awards will be made.

Neil Pearson, EFDSS’ Artist Development and Programming Manager, said: “We hope to attract applications from artists working within all art forms who wish to explore the creative potential of the English folk arts.

“Our funding decision will focus on the quality of the application and how well it meets our main criteria, which are strength of the artistic vision, impact on the artists’ professional development and the potential for future performances and development.

“We know that there is a wealth of talent out there and sometimes artists need the support of a scheme like this to bring their ideas to life. We would be interested in hearing from both emerging and established artists.”

For more information or to apply for a creative residency, go to

Completed application forms can be returned to via email to or to Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent’s Park Road, London, NW1 7AY.

For more information or images please contact or Sophia Linehan (Director of Marketing and Communications) E: / T: 020 7485 2206 ext.39

For over 100 years the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), and its parent organisations, have been preserving, protecting, disseminating and promoting the English folk arts. EFDSS is the national folk arts development organisation for England, aiming to place the indigenous folk arts of England at the heart of our cultural life. Through programmes of performance, outreach and education at its headquarters, Cecil Sharp House in north London, and around the country, EFDSS seeks to support folk artists’ and practitioners’ development. EFDSS aims to promote the best of folk arts through a range of mediums including dance, music, song, film, exhibitions, and publications. Cecil Sharp House is also home to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library – the national folk music library and archive – which contains a vast collection of books, manuscripts, films and audio-visual materials, serving as a touchstone for anybody working in the folk arts.

In March 2011 EFDSS received confirmation of Arts Council England National portfolio funding. Additional support for the Vaughan Williams Library is provided by the RVW Trust and, for EFDSS’ Education programme, by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. EFDSS is a charity registered in England and Wales, no. 305999. For more information, visit

Recent EFDSS Artist Development projects include:

Funding for creative research and development to artists including Laurel Swift, Debs Newbold, Hazel and Emily Askew, and Karen Wimhurst.

The Cecil Sharp Project

Bursaries to help with areas of professional development including marketing, touring opportunities, international showcases and material for a CD and concert.

Support to Jon Boden’s inspirational internet project A Folk Song a Day.

Associate Artist status given to Laurel Swift, Jackie Oates, Lisa Knapp and Tim Van Eyken as artists developing new and innovative work rooted in a traditional English folk repertoire.

Folk Rising, giving a platform to 115 new and emerging artists some of whom are now becoming familiar faces on the folk music circuit including Walsh and Pound, The Staves, Blair Dunlop, Ewan McClennan, Emily Barker, Sam Sweeney and Hannah James, Sam Carter.

Folk Rising performances in London (CSH/Nest Collective) and at Keith Summers Festival, Beverley and Hull (Beverley Folk Festival), The Sage Gateshead, Derby Music Month, Fylde Folk Festival, Bright Phoebus Sheffield.