Why did you apply to the Benevolent Fund?
I applied to the Benevolent Fund because the independent museum I was working for was very badly financially affected by Covid, and was not able to support my AMA in the way it had originally committed to doing. The funding for my AMA project and the contribution to my AMA fees from my museum disappeared overnight, and the Benevolent Fund filled that gap and stopped me going into debt to finish my AMA.
How did you spend the money?
I used the Benevolent Fund money to purchase research resources for my AMA project and to pay half my yearly AMA fee. My AMA project involved research using a lot of specific books, and as the British Library wasn’t open to researchers because of the pandemic I had to purchase these.
What did you learn?
This was the first time I had ever had to apply for funding for something, which is such an important skill to have when working in museums, so how to write a funding application was probably the biggest thing I learned. How to ask for money when you need it is such a hard thing to do, and I learned so much about it from the Benevolent Fund application process. I also learned how to be a more resilient project manager, and a great deal about 19th century wallpaper!
How have you applied your learning?
Receiving the Benevolent Fund grant has made me more confident about applying for funding for projects, and I was recently awarded an Arts Council England Developing Your Creative Practice Grant. I have also completed my AMA, and I am in the process of publishing the research from my AMA project.
The Benevolent Fund is a great resource, and a very accessible one. I would encourage anyone thinking of applying to go for it!