Artist Support

Cloudscapes by Gobbledegook Theatre, photo Brendan Buesnel. Inside Out Dorset Festival 2016


Artist Support

Activate supports artists, producers and creatives working in dance, theatre and outdoor arts who are based in or making work in Dorset. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re more experienced; developing a big idea, or you just don’t know where to start, get in touch and come and have a chat over a cuppa with us.

These are just some of the ways we can support you:

  • A free one-to-one advice session with one of our friendly producers

  • Funding advice and support for you to make applications e.g. written letters of support

  • Introducing you to presenters, venues and our wide network of partners

  • Opportunities to present your work in unusual locations

  • The free loan of kit from our event store

  • Connecting you to experts, other artists and producers

  • Access to our professional development (CPD) events

  • Free resources and toolkits

  • Space to feature news about your work online in our E-newsletter and E-bulletins (see below)

  • Bespoke Co-Commission and Co-Presenting Funds (see below)

  • Support Funds (see below)


If you’re looking for help or advice, please do get in touch.

Stay up to date with opportunities by subscribing to our DanceNet, TheatreNet, or OutdoorNet E-bulletins. These often include commission call-outs, special offers and bursary opportunities from across the UK.

To subscribe please email stating which art form E-bulletin you’d like to sign up to (you can sign up to all three!).

We recommend reading our Artistic Policy before getting in touch.



  • Our ‘Co-Commission Funds’ are small amounts, usually allocated 6 months – 1 year in advance. Normally the projects we support are fairly well developed. In the past some of this work has gone on to be commissioned as part of our Inside Out Dorset festival.
  • Our ‘Co-Presenting Funds’ help us to bring exciting new work to Dorset in partnership with our local venues and other festivals. Usually these funds are allocated 6 months – 1 year in advance.

If you have a project you would like us to support, please contact one of our Producers.


Support Funds

In light of the current Covid-19 crisis, we will be launching a small funds support scheme shortly for artists to develop new work – digital or non-digital.  Sign up to our E-newsletter and check our Jobs and Opportunities page for updates.


Meet Our Associate Artist


Lorna Rees, a Dorset based artist, leads Gobbledegook Theatre and is now beginning to create work under her own name.  Activate commissioned Gobbledegook Theatre to create and present new work in our Inside Out Dorset 2014 and 2016 festivals and supported her in touring the work Nationally and Internationally. We have also supported Lorna’s artistic development, through visiting Oerol Festival in the Netherlands and taking part in Sura Medura - the International Artist Residency and mentoring programme. Since 2019 we have been supporting Lorna in making a new work which will be presented at the Inside Out Dorset festival 2020.