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IdeasTap was a UK charitable organisation established to aid people in the creative industry at the start of their careers.[1] The organisation offered a variety of free resources, including showcasing opportunities, workshops, funding, mentoring and advice[2] and membership was free.[3] Despite an outcry from the creative community,[4] the charity closed in 2015 due to a lack of public funding available to support it.

IdeasTap supported young people working in creative disciplines including theatre, film, photography and visual art, illustration, design, dance, performance art, poetry and creative writing. It also managed an online arts magazine, IdeasMag, which offered advice for emerging creatives through interviews and features. Members and their projects were also promoted through the magazine.[5]

In March 2015 it was announced that IdeasTap would close on 2 June 2015 due to lack of funding.[6]


IdeasTap was established in December 2008 by arts philanthropist Peter De Haan.[7][8] Founding partners included Old Vic New Voices, National Youth Theatre and Polka Theatre.

The organisation made its first funding award in April 2009 to young theatre companies going to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. A further £50,000 funding was awarded during that year through the Ideas Fund pilot scheme.[9] In October 2011, membership of the site reached 50,000.[10] In July 2013 membership reached 100,000[11] and it had awarded more than £1.5 million worth of direct funding and accompanying expert mentoring to emerging artists.[12]

IdeasTap awards its funding, mentoring and support through creative briefs.[13] Notable brief winners include HighTide Festival Theatre (Ideas Fund Edinburgh); RashDash (Ideas Fund Edinburgh); Sabrina Mahfouz (OVNV TS Eliot US/ UK Exchange) Folly for a Flyover (Innovators Fund); Pierfrancesco Celada (IdeasTap Photographic Award); Ella Hickson (OVNV 24 Hour Plays); Sarah Solemani (OVNV 24 Hour Plays); Nick Blood (Old Vic New Voices Theatre 503 Award). IdeasTap distributes its core funds through the Ideas Fund scheme, which is divided into five sections: Ideas Fund Innovators, Ideas Fund Shorts, Ideas Fund Green and the Top Up Fund.

Examples of opportunities offered to IdeasTap members include a workshop with the actor Kevin Spacey;[14] a dance performance at the Champions League Final at Wembley Stadium;[15] The IdeasTap and Magnum Photographic Award;[16] the opportunity to participate in The 24 Hour Plays: Old Vic New Voices.[17] Six emerging creative producers were also commissioned to create the Coming Up Festival.[18] In June 2012, IdeasTap launched a scheme trading free office space for creative skills.[19]

In May 2011, IdeasTap and Sky Arts launched the first round of the Sky Arts Ignition: Futures Fund. Through this bursary scheme, opera director Daisy Evans and visual artist Phoebe Boswell were each awarded £30,000 towards their creative development.[20] A further three bursaries of £30,000 each were awarded to director Felix Mortimer, animator Drew Roper and performance artist Laurence Payot in May 2012.[21] Drew Roper later went on to run a crowdfunding campaign for an additional £30,000 which many in the animation community found controversial.


  1. ^ "16 reasons to visit SE16". Evening Standard. 12 October 2011. Archived from the original on 26 January 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Theatre of absurd ageism: why won't theatres support playwrights over 30?". The Guardian Theatre Blog. 1 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Free money for young photographers". British Journal of Photography. 29 October 2010. Archived from the original on 28 May 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Young Creatives Have No Idea Who'll Help Them Now". The Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  5. ^ "IdeasTap Magazine - Editor Interview". Cadaverine Magazine. 22 June 2011.
  6. ^ De Haan, Peter (2015-03-09). "The End of an Era". IdeasTap. Archived from the original on 2017-08-29. Retrieved 2024-01-16.
  7. ^ "Ideas on Tap". The Spectator. London. 5 March 2012. Archived from the original on 15 September 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  8. ^ "The Arts". Bermondsey, London: Peter De Haan Charitable Trust. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  9. ^ " launches £50k pilot Ideas Fund". Youth Music. 29 May 2009.
  10. ^ "IdeasTap: Short Animation Competition Awards". Barbican Centre. 8 September 2011.
  11. ^ "IdeasTap celebrate 100,000 members". Spotlight. 19 July 2013.
  12. ^ "BAFTA winner Andrew Scott to Mentor 10 Aspiring Actors". Spotlight. 17 July 2013.
  13. ^ "IdeasTap's Risky Coming Up LATER". A Younger Theatre. 4 July 2011.
  14. ^ "Old Vic's Kevin Spacey offers free master class". Fourthwall Magazine. 9 November 2010.
  15. ^ "Dance Wembley Stadium". Big Dance 2012. 9 March 2011. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  16. ^ "Young Photographers Win Chance to Embark on Dream Project". Digital Photographer. 1 October 2011.
  17. ^ "Old Vic New Voices – 2012 Season announced". A Younger Theatre. 25 January 2012.
  18. ^ "The £75,000 arts festival experiment". Evening Standard. 17 February 2011.
  19. ^ "Are you conscious? It's the cool new buzzword". Evening Standard. 6 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Sky Arts Ignition: Futures Fund round one winners named". BSkyB.
  21. ^ "Sky Arts fund sparks creative careers". Sky.

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