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Going live: applications open for Escalator Live Art

  • Date: 24 November 2010
  • Area: National, South East

If you're a budding Live Artist, then your opportunity to push your career to the next level has arrived: applications for the Escalator Live Art 2011 programme are now open.

Live Art does exactly what it says on the tin: it describes live performance art enacted by an artist or group of artists. For further information on the artform click here.

Escalator Live Art is is part of Escalator, a talent development initiative which aims to identify, nurture and establish creative talent in the East across all art forms. It is supported by Arts Council England and managed by Colchester Arts Centre.

Who can apply?

Escalator Live Art is an open access scheme aimed at supporting artists at different stages of their career. Emerging, mid career or established practitioners who consider their work to be within the boundaries of Live Art may benefit from Escalator support. It is open to individual artists, collectives or companies. Artists must be based in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge, Hertfordshire, or Bedfordshire.

The programme is committed to supporting artists and arts practices that push the boundaries and ideas of contemporary culture. It is not open to full time students.

Application Strands

Escalator Live Art will look to support two strands of application:
1. Research and Professional Development
2.  Projects

Support offered and budgets

Artists are encouraged to use the application process itself to identify which areas of their practice need support.  Escalator Live Art can offer a range of support.  This can include:

  • Targeted mentoring from practicing artists, producers and venue representatives
  • Time Out: support to take time out from the grind of routine and commercial work commitments to develop ideas and practice.
  • Scratch performance opportunities
  • Studio / rehearsal space
  • One-on-one surgeries
  • Peer group networking meetings
  • Professional advice on practical issues such as tax, pension, invoicing and accounts
  • Pecha Kucha invitations and exchanges
  • 'Go and see' support

For artists seeking research and development support, we are advising applications do not exceed £5,000. For projects we advise applications do not exceed £10,000. 

For further advice on which strand best fits your proposal or if your proposal is likely to exceed £10,000, please seek further advice from Colchester Arts Centre or Arts Council England directly.

Application process

The application form requires you to outline the following:

  • You and your work: Outline your current practice and creative vision, demonstrate previous work and creative practice, track record, partnerships, achievements, documentation
  • Escalator Live Art proposal: Identifying the research and development, or project you wish to undertake
  • Audience: How you might engage with the public: how the work will benefit audiences in the short and long term
  • Evaluation: Documenting activity, evaluation process and feedback

Anyone with access needs or any further queries about the application form should contact Anthony Roberts at Colchester Arts Centre, for further assistance.

Supporting material: A small selection of supporting material may also be submitted, such as CVs, video clips, links, show reviews, references or testimonies from other organisations.  Please send these as attachments or links.

All applications will be considered by a panel chaired by Colchester Arts Centre. The panel will represent regional and national organisations.


Monday 13 December, 12pm. All applications must be submitted by email.

Assessment criteria: 

It is anticipated that there will be less funding than will meet the demand, but the panel will choose the strongest applications on the basis of the strength of the proposal presented.  Applicants who can evidence support for their application from one of the Arts Council's regularly funded organisations (a full regional list can be found on our website) will benefit from the partnership.  Support from these organisations can come in many different forms.  It could be financial, studio space, mentoring, help with managing or producing the project, advice or help with feedback and evaluation, or simple recommendations.

What happens next?

Successful applicants will be offered a tailored package of support created in consultation with each artist or company. 

For some successful candidates it might be appropriate to apply for Grants for the arts with support from Escalator.  This will be for financial support for the project or research as outlined in the Escalator proposal.  If successful artists decide to apply to Grants for the arts, all the normal assessment criteria and conditions of this fund apply.  Grants for the arts applications will benefit from escalator support but are not guaranteed to succeed.

For further information, contact Anthony Roberts, director, Colchester Arts Centre. Address: Church Street, Colchester, CO1 1NF, 01206 500900