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.”