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Supporting talent

21st May 2014

The North East Artist Development Network is a collective of cultural venues, festivals and producers committed to supporting creative talent within the performing arts.  The Network has just secured funding from Arts Council England to support its programme of activity.

The Network is led by Anthony Baker (Dance City) and Annabel Turpin (ARC). It’s objective is to creative a strong and effective artist development infrastructure in the region that not only retains talent, but also attracts talent to the North East.

NGCV members are involved in and support the Network, which grew from a joint initiative of the NGCV Creative Programmers group and the North East Venues Group a number of years ago, as a response to the need to provide greater support for talent in the region.

Anthony Baker, Joint Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Dance City and the Chair of the NGCV Creative Programmers group, said: “There is already a very successful Contemporary Visual Arts Network operating in the region and we felt a similar initiative for the performing arts sector could really help develop opportunities for both artists and venues working in this field.

“It’s vital that we allow artists to create and show new works.  It strengthens our reputation as a cultural hub and it also helps develop new audiences for performing arts, which will help the sector as a whole.”

There are four key strands of activity that will be supported by Arts Council England funding.  The first is to continue a series of successful events called ‘Meet the Programmers’. These events bring artists and programmers together to open up communication, build understanding and relationships and make the process of pitching and commissioning work far easier.

The second area of activity is the ‘Passionate about artists’ e-document, which currently provides information on artistic policies for venues and festivals across the North East, as well as details of existing artistic development initiatives and opportunities. This valuable document will be updated throughout the year and used to raise the profile of the fantastic opportunities that exist for artists working in the North East, particularly those interested in developing new work.

The third strand is a Residency Programme which will partner an artist or company with one of the Network’s member venues from across the North East in an effort to further support artistic creativity at an early stage.  The week-long residencies will allow artists and performers at all levels to develop ideas with a partner organisation, building stronger relationships with venues across the North East and provide venues with the opportunity to involve themselves in the creative process.  Ultimately it is hoped these residences will create long-term relationships that will lead to new work being presented in the region. The programme will be launched in summer 2014.


The final strand of the Artists Development Network is to create a reviewers scheme that will give artists and companies the opportunity to have their work critically assessed.  Objective feedback is essential when developing a new piece of work and this initiative will see a small number of reviewers, a mix of fellow artists, venue staff and audience members, attend performances across the North East to provide a critical response.  The reviews will be a valuable marketing tool for both artists and venues and they will also be submitted to local media outlets. 


For further information, please contact Annabel.Turpin@arconline.co.uk

Photo: North:  Each year Northern Stage creates a new associate theatre company - find out more here

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