Ideas Fund

Ideas Fund Summit, 2016. Photo: Jeremy Freedman

The Ideas Fund is an East London Dance initiative. Ideas Fund partners for 2021-22 are Dancer’s Career Development, East London Dance, English National Ballet, One Dance UK, Redbridge Drama Centre, Sadler’s Wells, Stratford Circus, Studio 3 Arts and Studio Wayne McGregor.

The Ideas Fund brings together an eclectic mix of both creative and commercial organisations to co-invest in the newest creative talent in east London. The fund is designed to enable dance creatives to research, test and/or launch new artistic and entrepreneurial ideas. Since its launch in 2016 a total of £75,000 plus in-kind support has been awarded across four rounds.  

The 2021 Ideas Fund pitching event took place online on Thursday 22 July, 2021. The following independent artists and producers pitched their ideas:

The 2021 fund recipients were Alex Aina & Iain Bleakley (#Unity), Chisato Minamimura, Esme Benjamin (KWAM Collective), Shashamani Jackson & Ophelia O’Sullivan (A LOOK INTO) & tyroneisaacstuart. Many of the shortlisted pitching artists also received in-kind support from the Ideas Fund partners including mentoring, producing support and free space hire.

You can find full details of the 2021 Ideas Fund awarded projects here 

Between 2016-19 three Ideas Fund rounds supported a further 20 artists and their creative projects to reach over 111,000 audiences, work with over 3000 participants and fundraise an additional £247,000!

  • In 2019 funds and/or in-kind support were awarded to Kasia Truefitt, Kate Scanlan, Kloé Dean, Michael Simon, Joel O’Donoghue, Grace Okereke

You can find full details of the 2019 Ideas Fund awarded projects here

“The connections and relationships built from the Ideas Fund was really key to the growth of our project. We really needed a wealth of dance organisations involved and I feel like this fund really gave us that!” Ideas Fund Award recipient

  • In 2017 funds and/or in-kind support were awarded to Emma Houston, Jo Rhodes, Mars El Brogy, Rashmi Becker, Sharon Davis, Tom Rowlands-Rees & Clint St Clair, Carolina Adewale, Joe Garbett, Lisa Hood

You can find full details of the 2017 Ideas Fund awarded projects here 

“Without the Ideas Fund Boiled Heads would still just be an idea. Now we’ve been able to make it real, try it out, make mistakes, find out what works and we now have a model we can bring to commercial partners.” Ideas Fund Award Recipient

  • In 2016 funds and/or in-kind support were awarded to Anna Buonomo, Cindy Claes, Lee Griffiths, Lanre Malaolu, Wayne Parsons, Joanna Rhodes, Jade Shaw, Cathy Waller

You can find full details of 2016 Ideas Fund awarded projects here

“The Ideas Fund is a great example of an opportunity to see what is possible. I want to say a huge thank you for this amazing opportunity and support.” Ideas Fund Award Recipient

If you’re interested and would like to get involved as a partner please contact Gemma Griffiths at

The Ideas Fund has been supported by a range of leading UK organisations across its first 3 years:



The Ideas Fund offers dance creatives the chance to pitch for financial, mentoring and in-kind support to research, test, or launch new artistic and entrepreneurial ideas