- OVER 500 PEOPLE, INCLUDING MORE THAN 100 FREELANCERS, TOOK PART IN PAID R&D PROJECT FOR FESTIVAL UK* 2022
- NEW COLLABORATIONS ACROSS THE UK AND BETWEEN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING ARTS AND MATHS
- 10 TEAMS COMMISSIONED TO TURN THEIR IDEAS INTO REALITY, BRINGING NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR CREATIVES AND REACHING MILLIONS
What should a festival of creativity look like? 30 teams, bringing together scientists, technologists, engineers, artists and mathematicians from across the UK working in new creative partnerships, were invited to come up with ideas for large-scale public engagement projects. Designed to reach millions globally, they were to take place at locations in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and were to be open, original and optimistic.
Following a three-month R&D programme and a rigorous assessment process, 10 Creative Teams have now been commissioned to take their ground-breaking projects into full production for next year’s Festival UK* 2022. Intended to bring people together and showcase creativity, the projects will reach every corner of the UK. They will include events, public engagement activities, participation opportunities and learning programmes reaching millions of children and young people, demonstrating the importance of creativity in people’s lives and our collective future.
Full details of the festival commissions are being kept under wraps to allow the Creative Teams to turn their ideas into reality, but projects will take us from the land, to the sea, to the air and even outer space, using pioneering technology and the power of imagination. The festival programme will be announced, along with a new name, later this year.
The paid R&D project has supported more than 500 creatives from across STEAM, including more than 100 freelancers, at a time when sectors have been impacted by the Covid pandemic. More jobs and opportunities will be created as the commissioned projects go into production.
The 30 teams participating in the paid R&D project worked under a Creative Commons and what they produced will become a publicly accessible resource to inspire future generations. The festival will continue to offer support to the 20 teams whose project ideas were not taken to commission, and where they want to develop them further.
The British Council also joins as the International Partner for Festival UK* 2022, supporting the delivery of the festival’s international engagement programme. It will help enable international opportunities for Creative Team projects at an early stage in their development, with an ambition to establishing international partnerships and reach global audiences.
Festival UK* 2022 is backed by £120 million of new money from HM Government and supported by the four governments of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:
"These ten showstopper projects will wow audiences in towns and cities right across the country, and show off the UK and its creative genius to the world. Alongside the Commonwealth Games and Platinum Jubilee, they will make 2022 a year to remember, bringing the nation together as we build back stronger from the pandemic."
Chief Creative Officer for Festival UK* 2022, Martin Green, said:
‘’We asked 500 of the best creative minds in the UK to tell us what a festival of creativity could be. What they came up with has exceeded our expectations, and then some, which made deciding which 10 teams to commission very difficult. We believe the extraordinary breadth of talent, their thrilling ideas and geographic spread, will be ground-breaking, inspiring and exciting for millions of people across the UK and further afield."
Dame Vikki Heywood CBE, chairman of Festival UK* 2022 board, said:
"It has been incredibly exciting to see hundreds of creative people from across the UK collaborate so imaginatively at such a difficult time and we’ve been bowled over by the positive response of those taking part in the R&D process. As the 10 commissioned projects go forward there will be many opportunities for everyone to participate in creative experiments across the worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Maths from all ages and all corners of the UK in 2022."
Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman, Frank McCoubrey, said:
"We are impressed by the innovation and diversity of the work that has been carried out across all regions during the R&D project. It has provided much-needed support to local creatives during a challenging period and demonstrated how good teamwork creates strength and synergy. We’re very much looking forward to seeing how the final projects develop and shape this exciting festival and we’re confident that the Northern Ireland collaboration will further strengthen our already flourishing STEAM and cultural sectors."
Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, Fiona Hyslop, said:
"It has been inspiring to see the Scottish STEM and creative sectors work together and share their talents throughout this process. This is an important opportunity to support freelancers and organisations in these sectors as we begin our recovery from the pandemic. I look forward to seeing how the successful Scottish team and the other selected teams develop in the next phase of this collaborative project."
Welsh Government Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said:
"It’s very exciting news that we’re now embarking on the next phase of the project. During what’s been the most challenging of years, I’m delighted that we can help these sectors as we all look forward to a brighter 2022 – with creativity bringing communities together once more."
10 EXPERIMENTS IN CREATIVITY – THE COMMISSIONED TEAMS
59 PRODUCTIONS COLLECTIVE
An unprecedented experiment uniting cosmology, biology, projection technology, STEM education, poetry and 13.8 billion years of history asking questions about the single biggest story of our collective experience.
59 Productions: Lysander Ashton, Rebecca Collis; The Poetry Society: Judith Palmer; Freelance Poet: Keith Jarrett; Stemettes: Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, Angel Pooler, Andrew Westoby; Nokia Bell Labs: Domhnaill Hernon, Danielle McPhatter, Daniele Querica.
APROXIMA ARTS COLLECTIVE
A unique approach to community growing celebrating music, future food technology and sustainable festivals. Demonstrating the power of collective action in the largest ‘grow your own’ project of modern times.
Aproxima Arts: Angus Farquhar, Caroline Thompson, Cosmo Blake (Sustrans); BEMIS Scotland: Tanveer Parnez; Celtic Connections: Donald Shaw; Creative Producer: Wraptheworld: Neil Butler, Creative Producer; Fèis Rois: Fiona Dalgetty, Pàdruig Morrison; getMade Design: James Johnson; James Hutton Institute: Nicola Strachan; Scotland's Rural College (SRUC): Fiona Burnett.
ASSEMBLE + 8 COLLECTIVE
An immersive experience exploring the wonder of the human mind through architecture, neuroscience, technology, light and sound.
Spatial Designers: Assemble, Composer: Jon Hopkins; Freelance Director: Jennifer Crook; University of Sussex: Prof. Anil Seth, Dr. David Schwartzman; Freelancer Sound Designer: Christopher Shutt; Freelance Technologist: Dev Joshi; Freelance Digital Producer: Michelle Feuerlicht; Centre for Study of Perceptual Experience, University of Glasgow: Prof. Fiona Macpherson.
COLLECTIVE CYMRU LED BY NATIONAL THEATRE WALES
World-building, inclusive co-design, immersive mobile technology, TV Drama, futures thinking in science, and live performance collide to produce an experimental and inspiring form of transmedia storytelling.
National Theatre Wales: Lorne Campbell, Claire Doherty, Marc Rees; Centre for Alternative Technology: Rebecca Upton; Clwstwr: Shirish Kulkarni, Robin Moore; Disability Arts Cymru: Kaite O’Reilly; Ffilm Cymru Wales: Pauline Burt; Sugar Creative: Will Humphrey; Writer and Professor in Creativity, Swansea University: Owen Sheers; Youth Arts Network Cymru: Liara Barussi (Jukebox Collective), Gethin Evans (Frân Wen).
NELLY BEN HAYOUN STUDIOS COLLECTIVE
A cosmic adventure exploring immersive experiences, new technologies, science innovation, social media, youth culture and the power of imagination to change perspectives, dismantle boundaries and ignite the creative energy of towns across the UK.
Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios Team.
NERVE CENTRE COLLECTIVE
An experiment in astrophysics, augmented reality, landscape, visual art and play, asking what happens to your perspective on everything when you look back at earth from space.
Nerve Centre: David Lewis, John Peto, Rachel McDermott; Astrophysics Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast: Stephen Smartt; Big Motive: Rebecca Walsh; Microsoft: Kieran McCorry; National Museums Northern Ireland: Aaron Ward; Composer, Producer, Sound Artist and Filmmaker: Die Hexen; Illustrator, Designer, Art Director and Creative Director: Rory Jeffers; Visual Artist and Author: Oliver Jeffers; Taunt: Fiona McLaughlin.
A physical manifestation and celebration of the British weather and UK coastline; a large-scale installation that addresses global questions, encourages playfulness, elicits joy and presents an experiment in change.
NEWSUBSTANCE: Patrick O’Mahony, Ollie Howitt; Ivan Black Sculpture: Ivan Black; Global Head of Partner Engineering Amazon Prime Video & founder of Empowering Women with Tech: Natasha Sayce-Zelem; Space Engineer & Founder of Rocket Women: Vinita Marwaha-Madill; REDHOUSE: Emma-Jane Taylor, Benjamin Webster; Dose of Society: Ahmed Faid, Nii Lartey; British Antarctic Survey: Dr Amélie Kirchgaessner; Self-employed Writer, Curator and Artistic Director: Neville Wakefield.
An experiment in film, broadcast and augmented reality, public archives, digital access and immersive storytelling asking who are we? Where did we come from and where are we headed?
StoryFutures Academy run by Royal Holloway, University of London and the National Film and Television School (NFTS): Prof. James Bennett, Amanda Murphy, Angela Chan; British Film Institute (BFI): Ben Luxford; ISOdesign: Damien Smith; Nexus Studios: Liam Walsh, Kim-Leigh Pontin; The Reading Agency: Hayley Butler; Uplands TV: David Olusoga, Mike Smith; Produce UK: Lee Baker
An experiment in mass participation, co-creation, shared histories, sustainability, installation, performance and spectacle through the lens of nature, multiculturalism and ritual and reclaiming space.
Trigger: Angie Bual, Jude Ho, Carl Robertshaw; Brigstow Institute: Prof. Peter Coates, Lydia Medland, Prof. Jane Memmott; Dock Street Events: Chris Clay, Jenny Hutt; THISS: Tamsin Hanke, Sash Scott; Wolves Lane Flower Company: Marianne Mogendorff.
WALK THE PLANK COLLECTIVE
An experiment in lighting technology, environmental science, geo-tracking, mass participation, exploring the beauty of the UK outdoors and asking questions about access, taking part, landscape and the future of public spectacle.
Walk the Plank: Creative Producer John Wassell; freelance Lighting and Special Effects Designer: Richard Babington; freelance Theatre-maker and multidisciplinary Artist: Danielle Carbon Wilson; Extraordinary Bodies Lead Artist: Jamie Beddard; Siemens: Robin Phillips, Engineer Annabel Ohene, Engineer Nathaniel Fernandes; National Parks UK: Director of Communications Alastair Barber; freelance Dance and Movement Specialist: Ruth Jones; freelance Creative Leader, Musician, and Facilitator: Pete Moser.
Notes to Editors
About Festival UK* 2022
Festival UK* 2022 is a major nationwide festival of creativity and innovation, featuring 10 large-scale commissioned projects designed to reach millions, bring people together and showcase the UK’s creativity globally. It is backed by £120 million of new investment from the UK Government, including funding to the Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales devolved administrations. The festival will take place in 2022 and each project will bring new opportunities for creative people in sectors that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.
The Festival UK* 2022 R&D Project ran from 16 November 2020 to 31 January 2021. 30 Creative Teams took part following an open call. A rigorous selection process considered 299 submissions, involving almost 3,000 organisations, freelancers and other creatives representing the five STEAM sectors. Each team received £100,000 to enable them to develop their ideas, with 10 being selected following panel presentations in February. The festival programme is due to be announced with a new name in late 2021.
From the 10 teams, one each has been selected for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, with 6 UK-wide commissions. The strategic delivery bodies for the devolved nations are Belfast City Council, EventScotland and Creative Wales. Festival 2022 Ltd. is leading on the UK-wide projects and is the strategic delivery body for England.
A special purpose vehicle ("Festival 2022 Ltd") was established in Birmingham, overseen by an independent Board drawn from STEAM sectors and from across the UK, chaired by Dame Vikki Heywood CBE. Martin Green CBE is Chief Creative Officer for the festival, leading a team to curate, manage and promote the project, working with strategic delivery bodies within each nation to devise and deliver the programme.
About British Council
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. It builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year it reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, it is a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. It receives a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.
As International Partner for Festival UK* 2022, the British Council will support the festival’s international engagement programme, using its extensive overseas networks to help Creative Teams access international opportunities, establish international partnerships and reach global audiences.
Festival UK* 2022’s objectives, to bring people together and showcase UK creativity and innovation internationally, align closely with the British Council’s mission. Together, Festival UK* 2022 and the British Council will drive a global conversation about the importance of creativity, and its vital contribution to social and economic development.