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Say hello to our Associate and Innovate Artists.

Lincoln Arts Centre announce the four Associate Companies and six Innovate Artists benefitting from the biggest support offering for early and mid-career artists in its history.

Contemporary dance companies Casson & Friends and Joss Arnott Dance join Zest Theatre and Proto-type as the four Associate Companies that will create premier mid-scale commissions alongside boundary-pushing participatory arts activities in Lincoln over the next three years.  

Ben Anderson, Creative and Executive Director of Lincoln Arts Centre said: “This is our biggest commitment to artists, with hundreds of thousands of pounds to support brand new and transformative arts projects and commissions in Lincoln, both with home grown talent and artists from across the country; putting Lincoln on the map and unlocking Lincoln’s creative renaissance.” 

Kickstarting these Lincoln-made works will be Zest Theatre’s Camp Phoenix, a show packed with adventure, new music and vital life lessons featuring a dynamic cast of professional performers and local young people. After showcasing at the Arts Centre, the show will tour nationally. 

The Associate Companies were recruited following an open call and interview process, which attracted 76 applicants from across the world. The projects which have been commissioned over the three years range from contemporary re-imagined classics for families to performances in allotments and sheds.

Three of the successful companies are rooted in Lincolnshire alongside six local early career artists, or Innovate Artists, who are all based within the East Midlands. The Innovate Artists are individuals and companies that Lincoln Arts Centre will be supporting as part of their mission to be a home for new artistic ideas. 

The Innovate Artists joining the Arts Centre are: Haptiv, Sugar Theatre, Tanya Akrofi, Under the Bed Theatre, Mouth House, and Mishap Theatre. These artists will be awarded a £2500 seed commission while Associate Companies are granted £20,000 over a three-year association with the Centre. 

Alongside funding, the Associate Artists will have access to a wealth of valuable resources which could include a marketing or technical assistant, touring support and paid opportunities to share practice in partnership with the new Barbican Creative Hub. 

Innovate Artists will similarly be supplied with tools to further their creative idea including business strategy support, provision of a mentor with national or international reputation and regular paid opportunities. 

Both positions will gain advocacy and a network of partners who are open to presentation opportunities, rehearsal space in-kind, complimentary tickets for go-see trips, staff time and mentoring. 

This is all made possible and powered by the Centre for Culture and Creativity at the University of Lincoln, a ‘think and do tank’, researching and leading on cultural programmes and creativity, who earlier this year secured the University’s Arts Council National Portfolio status. 

The University of Lincoln is one of 12 universities to be included in Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of Organisations. This recognition, from the foremost agency for creativity and culture, means that the University of Lincoln is considered one of the premier venues for arts and cultural provision in the UK.  

As part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of Organisations, the University delivers projects and activities through the Lincoln Arts Centre and Barbican Creative Hub.  

  • Published:
    Fri 17th Nov 2023
  • Posted by:
    Kayleigh Hunt

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Casson & Friends

Joss Arnott Dance


Zest Theatre

Centre for Culture and Creativity

Arts Council England