Pathways, partnerships and productivity
Pathways, partnerships and productivity

University of Bedfordshire to help local artists establish a lasting legacy

24 Apr 2019

The University of Bedfordshire has opened applications for its TestBeds programme, an exciting new professional development programme for local artists and creative practitioners.

The university was awarded £375,000 by Arts Council England to support artists and cultural organisations develop the skills to thrive economically, creatively and socially within Luton. It is part of £1.5m investment by Arts Council England to enhance the arts and cultural infrastructure of the town.

TestBeds is divided into three strands of activity: Arts Enterprise Zone - a public programme of events and seminars; Artist Accelerator - a 12-month incubator programme for local artists just starting out on their careers and; Catalyst Co-Lab - a 12-month collaborative research & development programme aimed at mid-career artists.

As well as free talks, development opportunities, and tailored funding application coaching, the Artist Accelerator and Catalyst Co-Lab programmes also offer £5,000 and £10,000 stipends per applicant respectively.

Professor Helen Bailey who leads the initiative for the university said: “TestBeds has been developed with funding through Arts Council England’s Luton Investment Programme.

“We wanted to find a way to support artists and arts organisations develop the skills to create a thriving business. The Artist Accelerator will do this by providing local artists with access to resources, space, knowledge and skills development to establish a lasting legacy of art and culture in Luton, whilst the Catalyst Co-lab will place artists within the university as visiting artists, leading to exciting cross-disciplinary research projects.”