Artists In Exile

Date published: 1 Jan 2008

Posted by: Joe Pick

Artists Stephen Jon operates a puppet

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City Arts has a strong track record of working with new arrival communities in Nottingham. The programme of work with arrival communities was initially established through a research and development grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The project linked with the Beyond Borders UK – a collaboration between participatory arts organisations in the East Midlands and Loughborough University.

Subsequently, the three year Artists in Exile programme was developed and funded through the Baring Foundation in partnership with Long Journey Home.  It aimed to support artists in exile through training, mentoring and project development. The wider role of the project also supported the growth of collaborative arts practice within new and emerging communities.

Key achievements resulting from the project include:

  • extensive participatory arts activities with new arrival communities in Nottingham – particularly in cross-community projects and work in schools – that have contributed to integration and cohesion
  • large numbers from those communities encouraged to access mainstream venues and activities by showcasing work that celebrates and is relevant to their cultures
  • continued personal and professional development of artists from refugee backgrounds with some individuals beginning to make significant progress in establishing careers in the UK
  • exciting new inter-cultural work and opportunities opening for these artists through mentoring, shadowing and collaborations with more established artists from diverse backgrounds
  • securing a higher profile for the programme and artists within the mainstream cultural sector, including, promoting artists at leading arts venues, and receiving backing and recognition of the programme from key bodies such as Arts Council England (ACE) and Nottingham City Council (NCC)
  • securing new funding to support activities during the period and enabling  some on-going activity to be sustained beyond the life of The Baring Foundation grant
  • establishing new areas of collaborative working with Internationally renowned artists and creating a legacy for the future development of this work