Festival UK* 2022 today announces that applications are open for a unique and pioneering, £3 million funded R&D opportunity. The search is on for the greatest minds and brightest talents drawn from the worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, and from across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, to form Creative Teams capable of developing major public engagement projects to showcase the UK’s creativity and innovation on a global scale.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
Today marks the start of an exciting and demanding competition to find the brightest and best innovators in the UK as we begin the countdown to Festival UK 2022.We’re looking for the finest creative minds to help show the world what is possible when England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland come together and champion all that is great about our United Kingdom. The winning applicants will receive £3 million to turn their ideas into spectacular, unforgettable realities. This investment will support jobs and create new work across these sectors in all four corners of the UK as we help our cultural and creative industries recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture said:
This is a new and exciting opportunity for innovative minds from Scotland’s renowned Arts and Technology sectors. These challenging and uncertain times have had a profound effect on the culture sector and creative industries, and so I welcome this announcement as a boost to provide opportunities for work for artists, practitioners and organisations across the culture sector and beyond. The festival is an excellent way to highlight the power of culture and creativity to transform lives, to improve health and wellbeing, to contribute to the growing economy, and to bring our diverse communities together. I look forward to seeing the projects that are developed both in Scotland and across the other UK nations as part of the festival.
Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas said:
I’m hugely excited by another opportunity to raise Wales’ international profile as a small, creative nation, brimming with talented and friendly people, on the world stage. Coronavirus has placed massive and unprecedented challenges on the very fabric of Welsh life, equally so for our friends across the UK, and we applaud the resilience and creativity on display so far. This festival presents a golden opportunity for our burgeoning creative minds to thrive post-pandemic and once more showcase our talent to the world.
This investment comes at a time of particular need and marks the beginning of a process of development for inspirational projects that have mass appeal. As we look towards a near-future that will mark the transition into recovery, we look forward to a time when people will feel able to celebrate pride in communities and the places they call home.
Martin Green, Chief Creative Officer for Festival UK* 2022, said:
I am thrilled to be leading this project. Festival UK* 2022 will be a series of ten large-scale, thought -provoking, wonder-inducing projects. They will bring people together in unique and astounding ways and showcase our innovation and creativity across the globe. To create work that is ground-breaking and compelling we are investing in idea creation through this R&D phase. It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with colleagues from different creative fields. A chance to discover new collaborators and celebrate under-represented talents. The aim is a national celebration of all our creativity. An unprecedented demonstration of the crucial, magical role that creativity can play to make life better.
At the end of the application process up to 30 teams, each receiving up to £100,000, will be selected to participate in the R&D programme to originate compelling, ambitious and extraordinary ideas for projects that have the potential to reach millions of people. Ideas are not a requirement of application process but Creative Teams must be able to demonstrate they have the skills and collaborators needed to meet a set of criteria against which they will be assessed.
£120million of new investment has been allocated to the festival by the UK Government (including £22.8m to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland devolved administrations), which will ultimately allow for the commissioning of up to 10 major projects in the final public programme for 2022. The festival will create opportunities for jobs within sectors significantly impacted by COVID-19.
Four of the ten commissions will each be led by England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, who will directly appoint up to two Creative Teams drawn from within their nations to take part in the R&D process.
Six commissions will be driven by Creative Teams from across the UK and beyond.
All ten commissions will be global in reach. Creative Teams will demonstrate the vital and inspirational role that creativity can play in our changing world; how unforgettable experiences can make life better.
Festival UK* 2022 will present the outcomes of the R&D work, a nationwide expression of innovative possibilities, as a public resource designed to inspire the next generation of UK creatives.
The ten commissions will be launched under a new festival name at the end of 2021 and take place throughout 2022.
9 September Registration & Applications Open
16 October 3pm Deadline for submissions
16 November – 31 January R&D Programme
1 – 26 February R&D Presentations and Shortlisting
Full details of the R&D Opportunity, Application Process and Guidelines can be found here.