The Dorset Performing Arts Fund (DPAF) emerged from a large-scale community theatre project in Bridport called “FLEA!” in 2017. Inspired by the community benefit that the show generated, a local donor set up the Fund with Dorset Community Foundation (DCF), to allow other communities across Dorset to develop, participate in and benefit from similar projects. 

We are managing the individual bursary scheme on behalf of DCF. This is for professional, creative practitioners working in the arts and with communities in performance, including physical theatre, dance, music, mime, circus and comedy, especially socially engaged, community or participatory arts practice. You must be living or working in Dorset (excl Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole areas). 

This is an opportunity for you to do some personal professional development or training. You can also use the bursary for research and development to aid you in planning a change or new direction in practice.

The bursary can be used on whatever is useful to your career – e.g. ‘go and see’; attending a conference; travel; a piece of equipment; mentoring; research and development time to re-think your direction or develop your practice, care or access costs to enable you to do something.  Whatever it is that you identify that you need to help progress your career.  

There are ca.10 bursaries available. The majority are in the region of £100-£150; if your training or needs cost more you should talk to us about this.  The bursaries will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


Application process

Send us no more than 1 page of A4 or up to a 3 minute video / audio clip saying:
What you want to do
How it will benefit you and who you work with – i.e. your community

Please include your name, address with postcode and website/social media details if you have this.


When to submit

This is a rolling programme until end of October 2022; applications will be considered within 3 weeks of receipt.
However, the programme will finish early if the available funding has been allocated before October.
NB applications cannot be funded retrospectively.  

Please send any submissions / queries to


In return for your bursary

In return for a bursary you will be asked to produce relevant receipts and submit a small blog (up to 500 words or an interview) which we can put on our website and share with Dorset Community Foundation e.g. photos/ blog/ feedback about what you did and how it’s helped you.

Download a pdf version of the brief here.
View the document in google docs here.