Published: Tuesday, 8th November 2022
Published on behalf of Collusion.
Locally based arts organisation Collusion has been awarded £450,000 as part of a three-year investment from Arts Council England. They are one of 276 new organisations who will join the national portfolio of 990 creative businesses from April 2023, receiving a share of £446 million of investment.
Collusion has been developing and delivering arts and technology focused activity in King’s Lynn since 2016, including town-scale projection based projects such as their sci-fi time-travel adventure The Intergalactic Hanseatic League (2021), which engaged 807 children and young people from the town as co-creators and was seen by around 48,000 people in person and online. Since May 2022, they have taken up residence in the White Barn at King’s Lynn Arts Centre, turning it into a temporary production space, working with artists from the local area as well as further afield to support skills development and the generation of new ideas.
Artists and creatives can get involved with Collusion and their work right now by joining their ART // TECH // PLAY network, which is delivering a programme of practice-led workshops and events locally, online and across the region. ART // TECH PLAY aims to build artists’ confidence and knowledge of creative technologies. Upcoming King’s Lynn based activity includes workshops introducing artists to mixing live visuals (21 November) and creating outdoor projections for King’s Lynn (24 November). The next ART // TECH // PLAY network event taking place in the White Barn on the evening of 06 December. Further information and booking details can be found at https://www.collusion.org.uk/art-tech-play.
The national portfolio funding will help Collusion by supporting their running costs for three years, providing a stable starting point from which to raise additional funds to deliver projects that engage communities and creatives from across the borough and beyond. This will include new town-scale projection based projects, skills development for artists and creatives around working with tech, and supporting young people leaving education to make the transition to working in the creative industries. It will also support their plans to develop a permanent base in the town.
Collusion’s Directors Rachel Drury and Rich Hall said:
"We are over the moon to be receiving this investment, which is also a massive vote of confidence from Arts Council England. After the uncertainty of the last few years, it’s a game changing opportunity for us to consolidate and build on our creative tech focused work with artists regionally and place-based activity in King's Lynn to achieve amazing things! We are excited to move forward with our partners and collaborators, and truly thank them for being with us on the journey so far."
The Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, who had a long term goal to have a local based National Portfolio Organisation as a way of boosting the area’s cultural activity, have supported Collusion to achieve this outcome.
Cllr Graham Middleton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Business, Culture and Heritage at the borough council, said:
“Our aim is to establish King’s Lynn as a centre of excellence for collaborative, creative, digital installations that add to the cultural offer in the town.
“Collusion have worked with the borough council for the last six years, particularly engaging with young people in west Norfolk and I’m pleased that this funding will extend our relationship. By encouraging and developing local, creative, digital talent, we are enhancing skills and creating career ambition.”
In this round of National Portfolio Investment, Arts Council England are boosting spending in arts, museums and libraries in villages, towns and cities where investment is currently too low.
Arts Council England Chief Executive, Darren Henley, said:
“Together, each of the 990 organisations that have been offered funding today will contribute to a portfolio that is rich, varied and truly national. This is our widest ever spread of investment across the country, ensuring that many more people will have access to a wider choice of exceptional art, culture and creative opportunities on their doorsteps. We are in tough times but we must remember creativity brings with it extraordinary dividends, boosting our country’s economic growth, creating jobs, bringing communities closer together, and making us happier as individuals. Everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits it brings, and with this investment, we believe we’ve taken a decisive step towards making that vision a reality.”