The news I had been waiting for this past six months finally came, but I’m afraid it was not the answer I was hoping for. The Canada Council for the Arts has turned down my request for $14,000 to cover travelling costs to Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Korea and Japan. I had hoped to do this in order to deepen my research into international musical theatre. Somebody had suggested that I make a proposal to Kickstarter.com, but I learned that only US residents/taxpayers are eligible. The Arts Council England had also previously turned me down.
To date, I have spent over £4,000 of my own money on this project. This includes a trip to Australia and Singapore, as well as to a conference in Canada, as well as purchasing research materials. To complete the project in the way I would like, I would need another £6,000. This is money that I simply don’t have.
I’ve always had a “Plan B”, which is to deliver the manuscript more or less as it stands at present, writing about these places without actually going there. (Even with Australia, most of my actual research was done from London.) It’s not my first preference, but it is a reasonable, practical consideration.
I have applied to Access Copyright Foundation for a grant of $7,500 which would cover Argentina, Brazil and South Africa only. I should hear from them in about three months. I am also going to approach the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation as well. However, realistically, I am now aiming towards Plan B. I have held off on approaching a publisher because I was unsure of the scale of project I would be able to deliver. I can’t hold off much longer. Therefore, I’m going to give it until the end of June. If I haven’t raised the extra money by that time, I will then consider my research to be completed and deliver a final draft.
Of course, if I go with Plan B, that will make me even more reliant on the support of my colleagues in the places in question – for which I am extremely grateful. Also, the growing network of educational institutions that have shown interest in using the finished product will be vital in persuading a publisher to come on board.
I’m not giving up – far from it. I’ll let you know what happens.