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Summertime awards: arts and cultural organisations in the South East and East recognised

  • Date: 19 August 2011
  • Area: South East
2401 Objects, Analogue, 2011

2401 Objects, Analogue, 2011. Credit: Photo courtesy of Analogue

This summer has seen a number of South East and East arts organisations scooping up prizes for their work, including at the recent Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Analogue, an award-winning theatre company based at Farnham Maltings, won a Fringe First at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe for their new show 2401 Objects, as part of this year's Arts Council's Escalator East to Edinburgh programme.

In June, South East organisations People United, Canterbury Festival, Whitstable Biennale and Animate and Create all won awards at Canterbury's first ever Culture Awards.

New International Encounter (NIE), a theatre company based in Cambridge and Oslo and Arts Council regularly funded organisation, also won three international awards this summer.

In June, they were given an award for artistic excellence at the Assitej World Congress; previously in April, they were given an award for best schools touring production in Norway and an award from the Norwegian Association of Performing Arts for artistic bravery.

New capital builds in the South East and East have been attracting multiple awards for their buildings' innovation, design and artistic merit.

This June, the impressive purpose-built home for Arts Council regularly funded organisation UK Centre for Carnival Arts (UKCCA) in Luton won a prestigious 2011 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award for its architectural design. The £7.3 million centre was designed by Ash Sakula Architects with a brief to create a building that reflected the spirit of carnival.

The newly-opened Turner Contemporary in Margate has has recently been nominated for the Regeneration & Renewal Awards 2011 for the 'Best use of arts and culture in regeneration' category, which will be announced on 29 September 2011. Turner has also recently scooped up the Margate Civic Society's Town Pride Award and Condé Nast Traveller Innovation & Design Reader's Choice Award.

Inspired by the world's most important neuroscientific case-study, Analogue's 2401 Objects tells the remarkable story of a man in the 1950s undergoes experimental brain surgery who can neither remember nor forget; his brain is later dissected 40 years later on the internet. The month-long Edinburgh programme kicked off with a show at Pleasance Courtyard Wednesday 3 August.

The show was chosen to be part of Escalator, which is an artist development initiative which aims to identify, nurture and establish creative talent in the East across all art forms. It was co-produced by Arts Council England regularly funded organisation New Wolsey Theatre and German theatre Oldenburgisches Staatstheater, with support from Farnham Maltings, with whom they are an associate company.

Ric Watts, Producer, Analogue says: 'We are delighted to have won a Fringe First for our new show 2401 Objects. The idea for the piece came out of development time at Farnham Maltings back in autumn 2009, and it's thrilling to see the fully realised show now getting such a positive reaction here in Edinburgh. We're looking forward to bringing the show back into the region during a spring 2012 tour.'

Participatory arts organisation People United won a Community Award for their project We All Do Good Things, which was supported with a £93,477 Arts Council England Grants for the arts award. We All Do Good Things was an ambitious project in Herne Bay, Kent, that demonstrated how the arts and kindness can have a transformative effect across a whole town. People United will join the Arts Council's new National portfolio programme in 2012.

Other award winners included Arts Council regularly funded organisation Canterbury Festival and Canterbury Christ Church University, who won the award for Best Commercial Collaboration.

Animate and Create won the award One to Watch; their animation festival Home Grown Talent has been supported with Grants for the arts awards for the past two years, totalling £13,000.

Whitstable Biennale won Destination Canterbury; last year's Biennale was supported with a £119,810 Arts Council Grants for the arts award.  

Tom Andrews, Chief Executive, People United, says: 'We were delighted to be nominated but then to actually win the category was a real testament to the work of our small team, the artists involved and the people of Herne Bay.'

New International Encounter was selected to take part in the renowned international festival celebrating children's theatre in Copenhagen/ Malmo in May, with performances of Berlin 1961 and workshops led by Artistic Director Alex Byrne.

At the closing event of the 10-day festival, they were awarded the prestigious 2011 Assitej award for artistic excellence. The award is only given every three years and to mark the occasion the Honorary President flew in especially from Washington to present the prize. It was the first time a UK company has been given this accolade since the award began in 1993.

The award is in recognition of NIE's innovative work in the field of theatre for young people, and acknowledges the quality and success of its work. This includes the sell-out 2010 promenade production for families Tales from the Middle of Town that was made for, and created from stories by, school children in Peterborough.

Speaking of their most recent award Alex Byrne, Artistic Director, New International Encounter said: 'We are really thrilled that New International Encounter has received such an important award from a global organisation. It confirms our belief that we are making great work for young people of outstanding international quality that is appreciated around the world.'