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Arts practitioners given access to Ideas labs

  • Date: 4 December 2012
  • Area: South East
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Metal team who will deliberate over successful applicants, 2012 . Credit: Metal

Metal, in conjunction with Arts Council England, are offering 24 arts practitioners the opportunity to get involved in one of three Ideas labs across the East of England as part of the Digital Escalator programme within the region.


The Ideas labs are five day intensive opportunities to develop and embed digital practice within creative people and organisations in the region. It is aimed at artists, arts practitioners and companies in the eastern area of England. The opportunity will allow all participants to establish a comprehensive overview of ways and means of using new technologies in arts projects in a variety of contexts. This could be for performance spaces, projections on buildings, sound walks, interactive projects or online.

Each Ideas lab will involve technical sessions, peer to peer presentation of current work and an opportunity to devise and develop new ideas for their art practice or organisation.

The Ideas labs are devised within an interdisciplinary framework, meaning that they are suitable for practitioners from all backgrounds and Metal will be looking to supporting a wide range of practices. This could be photography, video, sound, dance, performance, live art, music, writing or comedy. Metal has an ongoing approach that encourages creative people from all disciplines to develop professional work and have previously worked with a wide range of participants in a lab based context.

Georgia Ward, Regional Manager, Digital and Creative Economy, Arts Council, East, said: "Metal has a long established track record of delivering multidisciplinary culture labs that bring together groups of artists and thinkers to participate in week-long intensive residencies around different themes and subjects. Based on this model, Metal present Switch Ideas Labs in collaboration with Pacitti Company and Writers' Centre Norwich to support creative thinking and practice around digital technology. The three Labs present a great opportunity for artists and professionals to immerse themselves in five days of talks, debate and practice to test creative ideas and develop cultural strategies for the ever evolving digital world." 

Each Ideas lab will have a total of eight places. Metal have identified three host locations around the region: Pacitti Company (Ipswich, 28 January - 1 February 2013); Writers' Centre Norwich (4 February - 8 February 2013); Metal (Peterborough, 18 March - 22 March 2013)

To apply, people should send a short personal statement (and details of the organisation if appropriate) and how a professional development opportunity would be of benefit to their practice. Applicants should include a recent CV and any web links to work or other supportive material. Selection will be focussed on the strength of the applicant's statement and how this can benefit the individual as a working practitioner in the region.

It is vital that the individuals preferred location is indicated at the top of the application (Peterborough, Norwich or Ipswich). Please note there are three fully assisted places available for each venue and five day time places which include equipment, accommodation and meals but not round trip travel.

All applications should be sent to camilla@metalculture.com by 14 December 2012. Applications will not be accepted after this date and applicants will be notified by email the following week. Successful applicants should make themselves available for the entire five day period and selection will be made by Metal and Arts Council England staff.

Metal are a National portfolio organisation, and receive funding of £540,000 annually between 2012 - 2015. You can find out more about Metal and their Ideas lab programme by visiting: http://metalculture.com/southend-on-sea/culture-labs.html