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The Space set to continue as a freely available digital arts service

  • Date: 9 October 2012
  • Area: National
Les Troyens, The Royal Opera

Les Troyens, The Royal Opera. Credit: ROH/Bill Cooper 2012

We have announced today that following a successful pilot phase, The Space is to continue for a further six months. The new, freely available digital arts service that has been developed in partnership by the Arts Council England and the BBC is being extended to 31 March 2013. This is to allow more time to conduct a full evaluation of the existing service and to explore the potential of a permanent digital service for the arts.

The Space provides live, free and on-demand access to the work of artists and arts organisations, and went live during extraordinary summer of arts 2012, allowing visitors to experience and enjoy some of the events of Festival 2012 and the wider Cultural Olympiad. It was designed to change the way people can connect with and experience the arts, to give artists space to innovate and experiment, and to build digital skills in the arts sector through a new commissioning programme and expert mentoring scheme.

What's next

During this next phase, The Space will continue to:

  • offer live broadcasts providing wider audience access to selected performances and events from some of the UK's most exciting artists and arts organisations
  • open up more of the nation's rich arts archive and cultural treasures through its partnerships with the BBC and other partner organisations
  • be experimental and accessible, featuring innovative new approaches exploring new digital art forms and finding new ways to connect with audiences

Commissioning model

The Space has introduced a new commissioning model which puts artists and arts organisations at the centre of the production process. Arts organisations work in collaboration with creative partners, producers and technologists to capture and distribute their work, and are offered training in digital production skills by the BBC. The arts sit together, across genres, in a lightly curated environment.

Audience

Statistics have revealed real potential in this new service, and there has been an overwhelmingly positive response from both arts organisations and audiences. Since launch, The Space has attracted over 900,000 visits leading to over 2 million page views, with over a quarter of visitors encountering new artists or arts organisations for the first time whilst on the website.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: 'We are delighted that the BBC has agreed to continue on this experimental journey with us so that we can build on the lasting legacy left by a great summer of arts, and continue to showcase the vibrancy of UK culture on the world stage.'

To find out more about the service and to view the wide range of content on offer, please visit thespace.org.

Watch highlights from The Space