Operating grants: The ‘development’ function in the arts

Development, it goes without saying, involves setting up an artistic practice. Coaching talent. Developing an oeuvre. Experimenting. Where precisely does the emphasis on the development function lie in the decree? And (how) can you combine it with other functions?

The process, not the product

Only when you compare the development function to production, does it really become clear. “Research and artistic experimentation take precedence over concrete output.” In other words: development is about the process, not the product. The emphasis is on developing talent and deepening a practice/oeuvre.

Or is this not still production?

Artistic research often takes place in the process of preparing art. Is your goal from the start to eventually generate concrete output? Do you have a work of art, exhibition, recording, performance… in mind from the start? Then choose production

Note, the function chosen determines the minimum and maximum percentages. If you stick only to development, you have to contribute 7.5 percent of your own resources. If you combine development with production, this becomes 20 percent.

Specific criteria for development

If you opt for development, the assessment committee will look at a number of specific sub-criteria:

  • The quality of your artistic research/experimentation
  • Your proposal for guidance: How will you support the development of an artistic practice or career, how will you help develop an artistic talent or body of work?
  • Your vision of the intended result or end goal

The assessment committee reviews this entire list. It also links the criteria to other elements in your application. So make sure your budget reflects your artistic plans. Think of strong partnerships

Practical examples

Some organisations resolutely opt for one discipline. They don’t mix. Other organisations do combine multiple disciplines under development. These include, for example, alternative management agencies that assist artists on a business and communication level. Or organisations that offer residencies, time and guidance in an artistic trajectory. Sometimes even with an artistic budget. 

Of course there are also organisations that combine development with other functions. Think of specific companies, ensembles or art centres and production platforms. They develop by providing artistic support to individual artists across various projects and partnerships.