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Arts, Culture and Heritage

The Earley Charity is keen to promote all aspects of cultural life within our area of benefit.

Earley Charity Map

To enable this, the Arts, Culture and Heritage category of grant-making has been set up to fund group activities.  Through this programme we aim to:

  • promote all aspects of art, culture and heritage within our area of benefit;
  • bring people together;
  • promote the sharing of skills and knowledge;
  • encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to try new things.

What do we want to fund?

There are many ways in which The Earley Charity can contribute to enriching the arts, culture and heritage activities of our area of benefit.

  • Supporting existing organisations: choirs; orchestras; theatre groups; U3A; the various local craft guilds.
  • Building on existing events: National Poetry Day; Black History Month; World Book Day; The Big Draw; Open House; The Water Fest; The Green Fair, Caversham Festival and Earley Carnival.  And creating new ones.
  • Bringing in expertise: soloists; actors specialising in school work; hip hop experts; story tellers; guides to historical sites.
  • Assisting with the renting of venues.
  • Funding internships, scholarships and residencies.
  • Funding ‘go see - go hear’ activities and assisting with transport to venues.
  • Helping with the advertising of all these activities.

Who do we want to work with?

Applications from all types of groups and organisations, whether they are formal registered charities or informal groups, will be welcome.  For groups that do not have charity status or a formal constitution the application will need to be supported by two appropriate sponsors.

This grant programme will not fund requests from an individual artist or performer.

What type of activities does this programme support?

There are four key elements to this programme:

  • sounds;
  • words;
  • shows;
  • objects and places.

Here are some examples of how we might work with you.


This element involves music and singing in all sorts of settings both formal and informal.  For example:

  • the support of choirs and orchestras;
  • schools masterclass programmes to cover the cost of visiting professionals to share their expertise;
  • instrument loans to encourage people to experiment without incurring heavy expense;
  • pub singing or rap competitions, choir or school concerts, street busking activities.


Here we have brought together literature, poetry, story telling, oral history and documentary heritage.  Some examples might include:

  • story telling illustrating the diverse traditions of the people of the area of benefit or the natural features of our local landscape;
  • oral history projects to capture the experiences of the generations which are beginning to disappear such as the second world war generation and the first generation migrants to the area after the war;
  • residencies – poets, readers and historians;
  • supporting local participation in nationally promoted events around literature and reading such as National Poetry Day and World Book Day;
  • supporting projects around family and local history or interpreting documentary evidence about our area through creative writing and research.


This element includes dance, film and video making, comedy and the theatre. Examples here might be:

  • break dancing or hip hop street displays and competitions, supporting shows put on by local groups;
  • parades, fairs and displays celebrating such events as Diwali, Easter, Guy Fawkes Day, May Day, St Patrick’s Day;
  • food festivals  including food tasting and food history events (for instance what the Romans in Silchester ate or what Earley labourers in the eighteenth century ate);
  • video making around our area of benefit;
  • support for amateur theatre groups ranging from assisting with venues or advertising to perhaps commissioning new plays of relevance to our area.

Objects and places:

Under this heading we cover art, painting, crafts, ceramics, textiles, quilting, glass making, street art and murals, the conservation of paintings and historical artifacts and the preservation of special places in the area of benefit.  For example:

  • street art displays and competitions from chalk drawings to public art features and murals;
  • art displays and exhibitions;
  • internships in the conservation of historical artifacts, paintings, drawings and art on paper in local collections;
  • craft activities including opportunities for display, in some cases including support from the commercial sector (eg glass making), demonstrations in schools or the fitting out of craft workshops and studios;
  • facilitating the transfer of practical skills like embroidery, dressmaking, wood and metalwork;
  • support for local involvement in national promotions such as the Big Draw;
  • history walks around the area of benefit – The Biscuit Walk, The Reading Gaol Walk, Tree Walks;
  • support for local festivals such as the Water Fest in East Reading or the Caversham Festival and Earley Carnival;
  • volunteer clean ups around the area of benefit;
  • helping with the development and training of local guides to conduct tours around the area of benefit to include open spaces or significant features;
  • supporting local participation in national promotions such as Open House.

For further information

If you would like to discuss making an application please contact the Clerk to the Trustees by telephone on 0118 926 1068.  Alternatively you can email an enquiry to or complete the enquiry form on the Contact Us page of this website. Guidance on how to make a grant application can be found on the Applying for a Grant page.

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