National Theatre Wales and its Welsh partners make up one of 30 creative teams awarded up to £100,000 each for Festival UK* 2022 Research and Development project

16 November 2020

  • Teams drawn together from across the UK and every corner of the four nations for unique collaboration
  • More than 500 organisations and individuals, including freelancers, from Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM)
  • Following the R & D 10 ideas will be selected for full production for the festival in 2022

 National Theatre Wales and its collaborative partners across Wales have been selected as one of the 30 teams involved in a £3 million research and development programme which gets underway this week. Festival UK* 2022 launched the R&D programme to progress open, original and optimistic ideas that could go on to become one of ten major creative projects, each designed to reach millions, bring people together and showcase the UK’s creativity and innovation globally in 2022.

30 Creative Teams have been selected to take part in the Festival UK* 2022 R&D Project, each receiving up to £100,000 of investment to enable them to develop their  ideas for the Festival. The teams, bringing together more than 500 organisations and individuals from across the UK, including freelancers and emerging talent, with many working together for the first time. Based in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, they bring an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and creativity across Science,  Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM), with many working together for the  first time.

Details of the Creative Teams are published today on the Festival UK* 2022 website, with many exciting and unusual partnerships. They include organisations from the public and private sector, artists, scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians, plus choreographers, coders, games developers, musicians, theatre-makers, writers, and  many other disciplines. The UK-wide geographic spread also reflects its diversity, including disability organisations, and Black, Asian, and minority ethnic creatives.

Our Creative Team brings together some of the brightest minds and most progressive producers in Wales across environmental action, immersive technology, screen and TV innovation, citizen journalism, interactive film, public art and place-based participatory performance. Each team member represents a wider group of collaborators and communities locally, nationally and internationally who will enrich our thinking over the next three months. We are excited for this project to unlock new opportunities and new visions of the future at this critical time across Wales and globally.

Lorne Campbell, Artistic Director at National Theatre Wales said ‘It is a real privilege to be working with this incredible team of environmentalists, technologists, journalists, community leaders and artists drawn from across Wales to create a genuinely inclusive and transformative creative moment, by with and for the people of Wales.’

National Theatre Wales’ partners includes:

  • Liara Barussi, Founder and Artistic Director, Jukebox Collective, also representing Youth Arts Network Cymru
  • Pauline Burt, founding Chief Executive, Ffilm Cymru
  • Lorne Campbell, Artistic Director, National Theatre Wales
  • Claire Doherty, Artistic Director, founder Director, Situations and Associate Director, NTW
  • Gethin Evans, Artistic Director, Fran Wen, also representing Youth Arts Network Cymru
  • Shirish Kulkarni, journalist, news researcher and community organiser at Bureau Local, also representing Clwstwr
  • Will Humphrey, Studio Director, Sugar Creative
  • Robin Moore, former Head of Innovation, BBC Wales & Co-Director, Clwstwr
  • Kaite O’Reilly, playwright, dramatist, representing Disability Arts Cymru
  • Marc Rees, interdisciplinary artist, theatre-maker and Creative Associate, NTW
  • Owen Sheers, novelist, writer, poet and Professor in Creativity, Uni. of Swansea
  • Rebecca Upton, Senior Lecturer in MSc Sustainability & Behaviour Change, Centre for Alternative Technology

The 30 Creative Teams selected for the Festival UK* 2022 R&D Project were chosen 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.

Over the next few months each team is being supported to develop its big idea, through a specially designed programme that includes presentations, workshops with the BBC Research & Development team, breakout spaces and opportunities to hear from high profile speakers representing STEAM.

As well as working within their teams, attendees are being encouraged to work across teams, to maximise the potential of the combined, cross-sector talent and to stimulate new creative networks.

The 30 teams will pitch their proposals before a panel in February 2021, with ten set to be taken forward as part of the UK-wide Festival, which will take place throughout 2022.  The Festival programme is expected to be announced in late 2021. The development of the Festival is being documented to create a public resource for future generations, with  the R&D Project being shared under a Creative Commons.

Independently run and led by Chief Creative Officer Martin Green, Festival UK* 2022 is backed by the four governments of the UK£120 million of new investment is coming  from the UK Government, including funding to the Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales  devolved administrations. The 30 Creative Teams selected for the R&D are made up of 22 UK-wide collaborations, and two each from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and  Wales.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: ‘These 30 teams show our world-class British creativity at its very best – risk-taking, groundbreaking and diverse. They’ve gone through fierce competition to get here and highlight exactly what’s possible when organisations from every part of the UK work together. I cannot wait to see their daring ideas come to life.

‘With Festival UK* 2022, the Platinum Jubilee and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, 2022 is shaping up to be a truly extraordinary year of celebration for the whole United Kingdom.’

Welsh Government Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: ‘It’s excellent news that we had a number of high quality entries come from Wales and I’d like to thank everyone for the time and effort in coming together and forming  teams representing STEAM. We’re now really excited about the two approved teams and looking forward to more detail on the creative ideas they propose to deliver for  Wales. It is excellent that we can help these sectors during a difficult time and look forward to 2022. It’s also great news that a number of Welsh partners will also represent Wales in the UK teams selected to undertake R&D.’

Chief Creative Officer for Festival UK* 2022 Martin Green said: ‘Festival UK* 2022 is a massive experiment in creativity with the core values of being open, original and  optimistic, and encouraging teams to think big. It’s wonderful that so many brilliant people, offering extraordinary creativity across STEAM, want to collaborate beyond their  usual disciplines and with people they might not have worked with before. It hasn’t been an easy selection process, so we’re really pleased to hear that some new creative  relationships will continue amongst those who were not chosen, as well as being  excited to see what the 30 Creative Teams come up with over the next couple of  months.’

Dame Vikki Heywood CBE, who chairs the independent Board set up for Festival UK* 2022, said: ‘Throughout this process the Board and our entire team have sought to  ensure that the Festival will encompass the breadth of ideas and potential to celebrate  Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths in new and unexpected ways across  the whole of the UK. We’d like to thank all the teams that have taken the time to apply to be part of the R&D Project and trust that it has been the stimulating process it was  designed to be by opening up positive conversations and potential future collaborations,  never thought of, or realised, before.’

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