• We support the huge artistic talent that exists in Essex across all sectors and all ages. We actively invite contributions of ideas and knowledge shared from the local arts community.

  • We seek to facilitate long term change. Our bursary supports young people with their career in the arts, and we believe financial support is an effective way to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • We encourage and inspire, as locally we have found low levels of aspiration and lack of information on  careers choices for young people wanting to study the arts. 

  • We campaign to combat further cutbacks to arts provision in schools.  

  • We work within the local community by establishing cultural seeding projects, these are in an early stage but we plan to expand this aspect of our work.


TFEA operates with our partners in five strategic activity areas in response to local and national needs, read more below on how you can support our work and get involved.

1) Fundraising

Our fundraising programme aims to raise funds to cover three main areas:

  1. TFEA's basic running costs (including care of the BAT Collection)

  2. Project specific costs (Education Outreach, Exhibitions, Events)

  3. Additions to the UAL bursary fund

The interest earned each year on the funds held in trust forms the Bursary.  Students from deprived backgrounds in Essex (Basildon in particular) have not traditionally sought to go to these internationally outstanding arts colleges and this is a long term attempt to change that situation.


2) BAT Bursary 

The Foundation for Essex Arts Bursary is offered annually to new intakes of students from Essex who come from challenging backgrounds.  It provides £1000 per year for three years of study on any UAL course.  We are unique benefactors to UAL in that we do not support any particular course, but the choice of the student is paramount. So far we have supported students to pursue studies in Graphic Design, Illustration and Public Relations.

3) Education Outreach

In the past three academic years we have held Creative Industries Careers Fairs where approximately 500 pupils have attended from South Essex.  We work with UAL to make sure our offer is of relevance and impacts positively on career choices.  We are supported in this by local schools and colleges.

We are also working on developing an education programme using the BAT Collection artworks as a starting point.

4) Campaigning 

Wherever possible we participate in discussions regarding the arts education on offer and the creative industries sector at every level including nationally.  Two of our Trustees are members of The Creative Industries Federation (CIF) one of whom is on the CIF  HE/FE Skills Committee. The new Creative Industries Deal whilst welcome because of the funds to be allocated from Government has focussed on the digital economy and games development but sadly has left fine arts, sculpture and many other subjects out in the cold.  This means limiting careers guidance and subject choice for pupils to follow their dreams and talent.

5) Facilitate 

Support ideas which give creatives opportunities to collaborate with others and support ongoing creative projects.  Poetry has taken off in Essex with the help of out monthly night 'Poetry in Commotion' and we hope to set a similar trend with female playwrights who are under-represented on the stages of this country