Outdoor Arts Spectacular

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Imagineer Productions has been awarded £600,000 by Arts Council England, to realise ambitious outdoor arts project.

Bridge installation at Coventry Cathedral 2017

Imagineer Productions, live events production experts based in Coventry, are celebrating an award of £600,000 by Arts Council England, to support Bridge, a three-year programme of extraordinary outdoor arts across the Midlands.

This is Arts Council’s first major investment in Coventry following the announcement that they will host the UK City of Culture 2021. This investment will support Imagineer Productions in creating a large-scale, ambitious, outdoor arts project merging art, engineering and community, taking place at locations in Coventry, Grantham and Worcester.

Imagineer Productions have a proven track-record in orchestrating daring, surprising and joyful events throughout the region. Building on the annual Festival of Imagineer’s collaboration with civil engineers Arup, the Bridge project will enable local communities, artists and engineers to work together exploring themes of bridge building, ‘fierce kindness’ and human progress. Getting communities and the public involved is central to the project. Stories of local ‘bridge builders’ will be woven into the work and translated into performances and theatrical experiences for all to enjoy.

Jane Hytch, Chief Executive of Imagineer, comments: “We will be working with artists, the Artichoke Trust and Arup, to produce major events in Coventry, Grantham and Worcester over three years. An iconic bridge structure will be created to occupy public spaces for three weeks at a time, inspiring spectacular live performances, creative community work and interactive digital animations.”

The creative development of Bridge will be led by independent artistic director Orit Azaz with a team including Sydney based designer Dan Potra and choreographer Corey Baker. Orit comments: “This is a rare opportunity to create an ambition new outdoor arts work of scale in collaboration with communities and the public in three cities, that reflects and celebrates the distinctive vision and power of the Midlands.”

Bridge will be launched at Coventry Cathedral in September 2018 as part of 100th anniversary of Coventry Cathedral and Diocese (the modern diocese of Coventry was created in 1918, and the church of St Michael designated as its cathedral). Imagineer Productions will be working with the Cathedral and their interfaith networks, to ensure that the stories collecting through the project reflect diverse perspectives and voices.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said: “As Coventry prepares to become City of Culture 2021, Bridge is a significant marker for what promises to be an outstanding programme of work.

“Funded by the National Lottery through Ambition for Excellence, this fund helps amazing things happen. Imagineer is a company with pedigree, and this large-scale outdoor spectacle will involve more and more people in the positivity that great art can bring.”


Media Contact

For more information, contact Caroline Durbin at caroline@carolinedurbin.co.uk or call 07801 483011.

Notes to Editor

About Imagineer Productions

Imagineer is a live events production company, specialising in theatre and outdoor performance, education programmes, special commissions and touring. At the heart of our work is an exploration of the relationship between creative thinkers and innovators from the arts sector and creative engineers, architects, educationalists, special effects artists and designers.

Ambition for Excellence

The Arts Council’s Ambition for Excellence awards develop talent and leadership, help build cultural capacity and support work of increased ambition across the country. It is a £35m fund, of which the Arts Council aims to spend a minimum of £28m or 80-90% outside London to support our intention to ensure that a minimum of 75% of lottery funding is committed outside the capital by 2018.

Find out more about the Ambition for Excellence fund here: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-funding/apply-for-funding/ambition-excellence/

Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk

Coventry City of Culture

Coventry has been awarded the title UK City of Culture 2021. The competition is run by the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport and takes place every four years. Coventry’s predecessor Hull held the title in 2017 and the inaugural event was in 2013 when the title was won by Derry/Londonderry. The main aim of the competition is placemaking, and the winning city can expect a major boost in tourism and investment as they host a spectacular year of events as well as a build-up period and legacy programme. Coventry has a history of triumphing against adversity, and of coming together with a fierce but quiet pride. All too often the city has had to listen to others putting it down, but now is the time to invite the world to venture past the beloved ring road and into a city with a story to tell and experiences to share. Coventry is a young, diverse, modern city which is re-imaging the role culture can play in bringing people together, and will spend the next three years working in communities, talking to businesses and planning the programme to make Coventry 2021 the biggest City of Culture year yet.

About Orit Azaz

Orit is an independent artistic director, facilitator and creative thinker. Her experience combines devising and directing large scale, multi-disciplinary performances and event; creating new contexts for collaborations between artists and communities; and leading and facilitating artform research.

About Artichoke

Founded in 2005 by Helen Marriage and Nicky Webb, the company’s aim is to work with artists to create unique, large-scale experiences that appeal to the widest possible audience. We don’t believe the arts should take place only behind the closed doors of theatres, concert halls or galleries. Instead, you will find us working in the street, public squares, along the coast or in the countryside. www.artichoke.uk.com

About Dan Potra

Dan is a designer across the full spectrum of the arts, designing sets, costumes, concepts and animation for opera, theatre, large scale events, dance and film. Dan has received five Helpmann Award nominations for his design work in opera and theatre in Australia of which he has won three, including Best Scenic Design in 2008 for Dead Man Walking at the State Theatre in Sydney.

About Corey Baker

Corey is an award-winning choreographer and filmmaker, celebrated for his innovation and commitment to driving dance into the 21st century. With a passion that dance is for everyone, Corey takes dance out of traditional settings and puts it into parks, playgrounds, stadiums, shopping centres, rugby fields, on TV & film and even Antarctica. Corey is also renowned for highly-designed, inventive and relevant contemporary and ballet.