The Fenton Arts Trust was founded in 1986 by Shu-Yao Fenton in memory of her husband Colin, a collector of antiques and pictures and a dedicated supporter of the arts. Following her death in 2000 the substantial part of her estate passed to the Trust. This generous gift provided the Trust with an endowment large enough to expand its work considerably. A recent bequest from Alastair Graham-Bryce has made him the second principal benefactor of the Trust.
The Trust’s overall aim is to give encouragement and financial support to those actively contributing to the creative arts in the U.K. It seeks to assist individuals and organisations who are making a worthwhile contribution to the artistic and cultural life of this country. In particular it wishes to support artists at the beginning of their careers, the often expressed desire of our founder.
The objectives of the Trust include:
- the provision of grants which will support or reward work or performance by individuals early in their careers
- the provision of grants for institutions or organisations that share these aims.
Grants are available to support individual works, activities, performances or prizes in the fields of drama, painting, sculpture, ballet, music, poetry and architecture.
An application may come from a group, company or institution, or from an individual so long as the application does not involve support of an individual’s initial professional training.
The Trust has also funded educational institutions so that they may award scholarships and bursaries to final year and postgraduate students. This funding may continue where the Trust considers that its support will aid those who have already made a professional entry into the arts rather than those who are still seeking that entry.
Trustees meet three times a year to consider applications. A minimum of 6 months normally elapses before the Trust both makes a decision and has sufficient funds in its budget. In most financial years (April-March) almost all funds in the current budget are committed by July, so it is advisable to think at least half a year ahead when putting together applications.