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Circus has traditionally funded itself in a number of different ways. Companies have got their income through ticket sales at performances or through fees from theatres, festivals or promoters.

Individual artists have made a living from many different means: contracted employment with a circus, fees from festival promoters and cabaret venues; busking or passing the hat at street gigs; performing at corporate events to name just a few!

Another source of income is through commissions. Festivals and Street Arts promoters can often support new circus work. Contact the Independent Street Arts Network - a group of promoters and producers who include amongst their members Zap productions-Brighton, Greenwich and Docklands Festival, Royal National Theatre, Birmingham City Council and Salisbury Festival. [email protected]

Some of the well-established promoters and agencies interested in new circus acts, such as Bhathena-Jancovich and Fools Paradise, are listed on our links page or you can search the database to find individual promoters, venues or organisations that may be able to offer paid work or commissions. Be prepared to send good quality marketing material about yourself or your company.

There are now also possibilities opening up for circus companies and solo performers to get funding to create or tour work from a number of different public funding bodies and charitable trusts.

If you are planning to apply for funding, be aware that it takes a lot of work! The applications that are successful are the ones that satisfy the given criteria (ask to find out what these are - they are different for each fund) and that have a properly researched and presented work plan and budget. If you haven't previously received funding, you are more likely to be successful with a local rather than national body - the exception to this is the various small-scale Lottery funds for new ventures such as the Awards For All scheme.

If you are thinking of applying to a Regional Arts Board (RAB) then the best plan of action is to make contact with the relevant arts officer - if they have heard of you and your work they are far more likely to give their support.

With all funding applications, make sure that the project that you are seeking funding for is relevant to that particular fund: for example - if the fund is for something that benefits the community you will need to show ways that your project does this. If you are applying to the Arts Council or a Regional Arts Board you will need to make sure that anyone working on the project is paid professional rates as determined by agreements such as the ITC/Equity performers contract. There follows a list of organisations that you can approach about funding.

National Funding
Regional Funding
Local Government Funding
International Funding
Grant Making Trusts

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