Lincoln Arts Centre to Award More than £165,000 Funding to New or Established Artists

21 July 2023

Written by: vsimons

Lincoln Arts Centre has announced its largest ever direct investment into artists and Lincoln-made creative projects.

Lincoln Arts Centre has announced its largest ever direct investment into artists and Lincoln-made creative projects.

The newly rebranded arts centre at the University of Lincoln, is calling for both experienced Associate Artists and up-and-coming Innovate Artists who will receive substantial funding, performance opportunities and continued developmental support for their projects. More than £165,000 of support is available to kickstart creative projects.

For Associate Artists, the Centre is offering £20,000 over a three-year association, and for Innovate Artists, a £2,500 seed commission will be granted to successful applicants for their idea over a year.

Ben Anderson, Creative and Executive Director of Lincoln Arts Centre, said: “Lincoln Arts Centre will develop deep and meaningful partnerships with established and early career artists, companies, or collectives.

“Together, we will create new performances, artworks, or exhibitions, work with communities through transformative participatory projects and take time to develop each other’s practice to ensure that we truly are the home for new artists and new artistic ideas as we believe in a world transformed by creativity.”

Artists, companies, or collectives of any artistic discipline are encouraged to apply. Two companies have already been welcomed onboard as Associate Artists, namely Zest Theatre and Proto-type, in recognition of their significant contribution to creative works made in Lincoln and shared with the world.

Toby Ealden, Zest Theatre Artistic Director and CEO, said: “We are beyond excited to become Associate Artists of Lincoln Arts Centre. As a national touring company this opportunity will enable us to continue creating nationally significant work from our home city of Lincoln.

“With Lincoln Arts Centre’s support, Zest will produce a new national touring production in Spring 2024 – Zest’s first since the pandemic began. The new show will be made here in Lincoln before touring the country.

“Over the next three years, Zest will create a range of new productions and public art installations to amplify young people in communities and arts venues here in Lincolnshire and beyond. As Associate Artists, we can’t wait to champion Lincolnshire’s cultural sector wherever we go across the country whilst mentoring and encouraging emerging talent here in Lincolnshire.”

Gillian Lees, Proto-type Co-Artistic Director, said: “We are utterly delighted to be partnering with Lincoln Arts Centre as one of their inaugural Associate Artists. As an internationally touring company, based in Lincoln, we have a long history of working with the arts centre and with the staff and students at Lincoln School of Creative Arts.

“We find ourselves now at an exciting moment as we look ahead to the next few years, to creating new works, having new conversations, and to considering new, sustainable models of working as mid-career artists. This opportunity to confirm our relationship with Lincoln Arts Centre and to be able to give back to new artists through support and mentorship is one we are immensely grateful for. We’re excited for what these next three years might bring!” 

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 in Lincoln.

Innovate Artists would similarly be supplied with tools to further their creative idea including business strategy support, provision of a mentor with national or international reputation and opportunities to work with students from the University of Lincoln on paid specific briefs.

Innovate Artists will also have regular paid opportunities to present works-in-progress at one of the Centre’s quarterly DEMOs: an evening of new work and facilitated feedback, with technical support and professional documentation.

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.

Sponsored by Arts Council England, this funding aims to enhance new artistic offerings across a diversity of disciplines on both a local and national scale by directly empowering creators.

The University of Lincoln is one of only 12 universities to be included in Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of Organisations and will act as an exciting vehicle for nurturing creative talent through the Lincoln Arts Centre. This recognition, from the foremost agency for creativity and culture, means that the University can now be considered one of the premier venues for arts and cultural provision in the UK.

By granting new and established artists a home in the arts centre, Lincoln will be at the heart of this development of new innovative works.

To find out more, including how to apply to be an Associate or Innovate Artist, visit the Lincoln Arts Centre website: