Vital Spark- working together to shift the landscape of theatre and dance for children

Vital Spark is an ambitious four-year programme which aims to address the gap of diverse work for children by harnessing the talent of BAME, D/deaf and Disabled artists. As a result, we hope to realise our vision of a sector that is representative of all children.

The four-year programme consists of;

  • Vital Spark Development Programme: a yearly programme inviting artists to develop themselves and the sector by interrogating their practice and the environment within which it sits;
  • Ideas Fund: commissioning two new, bold and exciting ideas per year, and supporting them through research and development stages;
  • Vital Spark Productions: producing two new pieces of high quality work that have the potential to tour nationally and internationally.

As well as these three areas of work, we will be engaging with artists and organisations beyond the programme to widen and elevate the discussion throughout the wider arts sector.

You can follow this discussion on the Vital Spark blog; where we'll be sharing the learning from us and the artists, and invite guests from the sector to contribute their thoughts.

If you would like to receive email updates and latest news about the Vital Spark programme please join our mailing list or email

Please note: Applications are now closed for the Development Programme and Ideas Fund for 2018-19. They will re-open in May 2019, check back here then for details.

Jargon Buster:

Across this site, we use a number of words and acronyms which we hope make life easier but in case they add confusion, here is a breakdown of what they mean...

BAME - Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. This is used to refer to members of non-white communities in the UK.

PoC - Person of Colour. This is an alternate term used to refer to members of non-white communities in the UK.

D/deaf - In deaf culture, there are two separate spellings of the word "deaf." We use deaf to describe or identify anyone who has a severe hearing problem. Sometimes it's used to refer to people who are severely hard of hearing too. Deaf with a capital D refers to people who have been deaf all their lives, or since before they started to learn to talk. They are pre-lingually deaf ( By using both capital and lower case 'd' we are referring to both groups of people.