Cambridge has Ambition for Excellence thanks to £1million from Arts Council England


Cambridge Junction and Wysing Arts Centre are to receive more than £1million between them as the Arts Council today announces the latest successful applicants to its National Lottery funded Ambition for Excellence Programme.

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‘Diverse Actions’, Cambridge Junction, £498,500
‘Diverse Actions’ is an exciting new three-year national talent development programme from Live Art UK. It is dedicated to supporting the ambition, excellence and talent of Black and minority ethnic artists. Led by Cambridge Junction, working in partnership with 25 organisations across England, ‘Diverse Actions’ will help Black and minority ethnic artists to develop and tour new work.

The programme will focus on four key areas: professional development, new work, leadership and legacy. Each will help to increase opportunities for talented Black and minority ethnic artists, whilst also strengthening current and future leadership. The programme will also promote the national discussion around cultural diversity and its importance.

‘New Geographies of the East’, Wysing Arts Centre and the East Contemporary Visual Arts Network, £600,000
‘New Geographies of the East’ is an ambitious new three-year international project that will see the East Contemporary Visual Arts Network collaborate with three partners in the Netherlands, including The Riijksakademie van beeldende kunsten,  world-class talent development residency programme in Amsterdam.

It will see the creation of ten major site-specific commissions, each of which will be developed with and for communities in the East of England. Alongside the extensive community engagement programme, ‘New Geographies of the East’ will also include a strand of work dedicated to supporting the talent development of artists and curators.

The project aims to develop new audiences for contemporary visual art, whilst strengthening international relationships between the East of England and the Netherlands. The project is led by the East Contemporary Visual Art Network (ECVAN) in partnership with a range of community organisations.


Daniel Brine, Director of Cambridge Junction said: “I’m delighted Live Art UK has been awarded this significant grant for our project Diverse Actions.  It is fantastic that Arts Council England has responded to the demand for an exciting and targeted programme of talent development, new work and leadership for artists from culturally diverse backgrounds working in Live Art.  Over three years Diverse Actions will enable a step-change in Live Art in the UK.  We expect to see active leaders working within our sector; fired-up Live Art practitioners, skilled-up for the challenges of the future; and more work by artists, distributed more widely.  At Cambridge Junction we’re looking forward to leading this project and working with our partners from across the UK to make Diverse Actions a success.”

Donna Lynas, Director, Wysing Arts Centre and Chair, ECVAN, said:“The Contemporary Visual Arts Network in the East of England has been working together since 2009, and together with new community and international partners, we are thrilled that Ambition for Excellence funding will enable our work to move onto a whole new level of ambition; supporting some of the most exciting contemporary art and artists to reach unexpected spaces and places across the region. We can’t wait to get started!”

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said:“It is really great to see Cambridge Junction and Wysing Arts Centre leading on ambitious projects that will not only impact Cambridge and the East of England, but also nationally and internationally. ‘New Geographies of the East’ is an exciting project that will explore the unique landscapes and rich heritage of the East of England and then immortalise them through the creation of new contemporary art works. Whilst ‘Diverse Actions’ will see 26 organisations across England work together to increase support for Black and minority ethnic artists, not just through the creation of new work, but also as future leaders in the arts sector.”

The Ambition for Excellence programme will develop talent and leadership in all regions, help build cultural capacity and support work of increased ambition.  It is supported using public funding by the National Lottery. It is a £35m fund, of which the Arts Council aims to spend a minimum of £28m or 80-90% outside London to support our intention to ensure that a minimum of 75% of lottery funding is committed outside the capital by 2018.

Find out more about the Ambition for Excellence fund here.


For more information please contact:
Nick Tapper, Communications Officer, South East, Arts Council England
Tel: 020 7268 9653 / Email:
Duty Press Contact:
Tel: 07595 091 334 / Email:



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