The Thea Barnes Legacy Fund (TBLF) is a donor supported independent fund established in 2019 and launched on 12 August 2019 to support individuals in creative areas that reflect Thea’s interest in arts and academia. Interests include:


  • Dance & Performing Arts 

  • Academic researchers in arts and creative industries 

  • Mentoring / guidance for those in arts and creative industries 


The fund is established with donations given in memory and in support of Thea Barnes’ legacy, by people known to Thea and advocates of the creative industries. 

Who can apply

Those seeking formal and informal education to further artistic practice or make a career transition across the arts and creative industries. Applicants must be over 18. There is no upper age limit. Applicants must be resident in the UK or United States of America.

Applications will be for

Support with formal education*; a candidate accepted into an arts and creative industries education programme (*excluding fees).


Support with informal education; a candidate planning to widen their knowledge or skills. Applicants to this strand must show a clear plan of activity that demonstrates how they will be gaining knowledge in their informed chosen activity.



Artists and scholars in the arts and creative Industries (e.g. dancers, performing artists, choreographers, researchers). Bursaries and mentoring is expected to:


  • Help to sustain

  • Help to deliver 

  • Guide and mentor

There are three strands under which people can apply: 

  1. Dance & Performing Arts

  2. Academic researchers in arts and creative industries: Research is considered to be both written and / or practical. 

  3. Mentoring Guidance for those in arts and creative industries:



Please note that we do not support:

  • Applications from companies.

  • Applications for fees for formal educational courses and gap year programs.


Application expectations
An application must include: a written proposal, a timeline of activity, a budget.

Applicants should think carefully about the specific artistic aims and outcomes of their proposed activity and clearly explain how the main aims of the activity are clearly related to artistic development, the wider sector and Ms Barnes’ legacy.


Applicants must provide a letter in support of their application from 2 referees; a referee should be someone in a position of professional responsibility who can comment on the applicant’s work, competence and voluntary / artistic / academic experience. References from family members or friends are not considered appropriate, thus will not be accepted.


Successful applications
Applicants funded by TBLF must submit a detailed report on their chosen activities and their use of the award/fund.


To support individuals through bursary funding and/or mentoring. The fund aims to support those who fall within the specified areas of dance, performing arts and academia. The TBLF will award small bursaries (approx £500 to £2,000) every 2 years.


Executive Team

Cheryl Barnes, Akosua Boakye BEM, Kamilah Cummings, Dr. Adesola Akinleye  

Dates and Deadlines

August 15th to October 15th – application period (application submission open).

January - Shortlisted applicants interviewed.

February 2nd - Applicants will be notified and awards will be announced.


The application deadlines are non-negotiable. TBLF will not process an application that: has not been submitted within the set deadline; does not contain the necessary evidence and supporting documentation.

How to apply
Application form can be downloaded here. 

The executive committee will select by short-listing applications, which will then be put forward to a vote. Shortlisted applicants will be required to attend an interview (in-person or via Skype or similar on-line communication platform).


How applicants will be chosen

The panel’s decision is final: they will make their decision based on the information an applicant provides. This includes all necessary evidence and supporting documentation.



Application form can be downloaded here