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November 4, 2015

Celebrating some EPIC performances

There are reckoned to be over 10,000 voluntary arts and crafts groups and events taking place in Scotland’s communities. It’s a massive cultural movement that thrives under the radar of the more formal, professional arts world. It all makes a huge contribution to the social, cultural and economic health of our communities. It’s about having fun. And once a year this vast and diverse sector from right across the UK have a celebration of all the very best it has to offer. The Epic Awards are open for nominations

Voluntary Arts Scotland

Who can enter the Epic Awards?

The Epic Awards are for creative projects that involve citizens, artists and creative people who participate for the love of it and on an amateur basis.

You can be based anywhere in the UK or Republic of Ireland, practise any kind of art form or craft and work with any age group. Your nominated project can be long or short-term, as long as some or all of it took place in the twelve months prior to the deadline of Monday 7 December 2015

A winner and runner-up will be chosen for each of the four awards: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Our judging panel features Voluntary Arts staff, advisory group and board members, as well as representatives of national arts councils.

All shortlisted groups will be eligible for the People’s Choice Award, voted for online by members of the public. Shortlisted groups can also vote for each other to win the Peer Award for Excellence and put themselves forward for additional awards for Excellent Work with Young People and Disabled People.

What we’re looking for:

Groups or projects that show just how engaging, collaborative, innovative and creative amateur arts and crafts can be. ‘EPIC’ stands for Engagement, Partnerships, Innovation and Creativity and entries need to demonstrate one or more of these qualities:

       Engagement: Reaching out and attracting an audience. Do you work with participants from a different background to yourself? Participate in recruitment drives? Or perhaps reach out to younger people or people with disabilities? How do you ensure your group thrives in terms of numbers and diversity?

       Partnerships: Do you work with organisations allowing both groups to function more effectively by sharing information and skills or pooling resources? This could be a local authority, voluntary or community group, arts organisation or commercial company.

       Innovation: Fresh thinking that creates new value. What new ideas and approaches have impacted your group? This could be with technology and media, i,e, TV, film, radio or web or changing how you present your art with unusual venues or audience participation.

       Creative development: Has your group developed significantly in terms of skill levels? How did you achieve this? Did they attend conferences, courses, work with professionals or another art form, read books or share skills with one another? How have you approached the learning element within your group?

Why you should nominate your group for an Epic Award

• To stand out from the crowd – Whether you’re trying to get coverage in your local paper, or shine in a funding application, saying you’ve been shortlisted for – or have won – an Epic Award will let everyone know you’ve got something special to offer.

• To celebrate your achievements – Previous winners have been treated to an all-expenses paid trip to the Winners’ Reception, an occasion one winner called ‘the highlight of our year ’.

• To win prizes – Each year, we award a range of prizes to winners and runners-up. Previous winners have walked away with gift vouchers, free mentoring, art supplies and cash prizes.

Step One

Look at the rules and criteria below to make sure that your group is eligible to apply.

Download an application form and fill it out.

Step Two

Upload completed entries using the form on this site or email to your national office (contact details at top of application form), making sure you have included any supplementary material (photos, press cuttings etc), between 9am on Monday 19 October 2015 and 5pm on Monday 7 December 2015

Step Three

Wait for news of the shortlist to be unveiled in February 2016. If you’re on the shortlist, join us in publicising your group far and wide for the People’s Choice Award.