Frequently asked questions
Q. Is there a grant for artists?
A. Although access is free, unfortunately we cannot provide universal grants to artists. However we expect to be able to provide expenses of up to 300 from a Hardship Fund for artists on benefits associated with low income, to help with the costs of childcare, travel and in some cases, materials. Applications from artists on low income but not in receipt of benefits may also be considered but payments to this group will not be made until December. Artists needing this support will be asked to submit a simple form to the national AA2A team. Artists who need help to cover additional expenses associated with a disability can fill in the same form but can apply for more than 300.
Q. Where can I get an application form for AA2A ?
A. Send your request (preferably by email) with your full contact details to the email (or phone number) from the list on the Colleges pages. Application Packs are only available directly from the Colleges because they adapt a standard form to suit their scheme. Some packs may not be ready until the end of July but you can start to plan your application using the How to Apply webpage. You can get more information about each scheme by clicking on the college name in the College list.
Q. When are the deadlines for applications ?
A. They vary between Colleges but all deadlines are in September. As soon as they are available you will see the deadlines on each College's individual webpage. Occasionally deadlines are extended, particularly if application numbers are low. You can be alerted to these extensions if you follow us on Twitter and Facebook
Q. Can I apply if I haven't got a degree or even been to college ?
A. Yes. AA2A is aimed at all artists who want to make art their career, even if its not earning them much money. A number of our artists don't have any formal qualifications in Art or Design. If you're in doubt about what sort of work gets accepted, have a look at the variety of work artists are making on our networking site 'Dotbiz'
Q. What are my chances of being accepted ?
A. Overall there are about three applications per place, but in some areas, such as larger cities, this is much higher and in some (often rural) areas they accept most applications they receive
Q. Can I apply to more than one College or University ?
A. Yes. You can apply to several institutions, although you will need to declare which you would prefer as your 1st, 2nd choice etc on your application forms. Although the timescales for the application processes of different institutions run roughly parallel to each other, you may find that you are asked to accept an offer at one institution before having heard back from another
Q. I haven't received an application pack and I can't get through to the institution on the phone. Can you help ?
A. Yes. Contact the AA2A national team and they will chase it up and ensure you get a pack. Meanwhile, you can start planning your application using the information in the How to Apply section of our website.
Q. Can Artists from abroad apply?
A. Although Artists from outside England are not specifically excluded from applying, AA2A has been set up to suit artists living near the college they are applying to. Also, there is no money or help available for travel from abroad, Visas, accommodation or living costs, making it impractical for most artists from abroad to apply.
A. No. The scheme is for professional Artists to develop their work not for students as there is no teaching or training provided.
Q. I have a disability - is there a financial help ?
A. If you have financial needs directly as a result of your disability, AA2A has a small budget which can be used to help. We would suggest that applicants first ask the institution what practical help they can offer and then apply to us using the online Hardship Fund form. If applying for costs associated with a disability there is not a maximum claim. In the past we have paid for a support worker for an artist with cerebral palsy, a communicator for a deaf artist, taxis for a wheelchair user etc.
Q. Who do I contact to find out if the facilities are accessible ?
A. First ask the College by email or phone. You will probably be put through to an appropriate member of staff or a technician, or you may be routed through to dedicated 'Access' staff (if they have them). If you can't get an answer from the College, contact the AA2A national team and we will try and find out for you.
Q. Does AA2A really want disabled artists ?
A. AA2A have an amazing record of attracting artists with disabilities, with an average of 16% accepted onto the schemes over the last few years. This is both because of our real desire to promote artists with a variety of backgrounds and because AA2A schemes are flexible enough to accommodate artists' differing needs. AA2A never 'labels' artists as disabled but aims to promote the excellent work produced by the wide variety of artists we support. You can read artists' stories (including many from disabled artists) in AA2A's digital publication 'Time and Space'
Q. Can I apply to any institution or does it have to be one near me ?
A. Yes. You can apply to any institution although travel and accommodation are obviously a consideration. If you cannot afford the travel you can apply for help towards these costs from the Artists Hardship Fund if you are on benefits associated with low income or earn less than 10,000.
Q. When can I use my hours and can I use them in blocks ?
A. Artists are offered at least 100 hours access between October and April. Many institutions will allow you to use more and some offer extensions beyond April. In the application form you can propose to use the hours in blocks or spread across the period. Your final access arrangements will depend on what the institution can offer and whether this suits you, so if you can be flexible it may help your application.