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TestBeds artists celebrate successful funding bids

Test Beds

Fri 23rd June, 2017

An artist who is part of the University of Bedfordshire’s TestBeds programme was shortlisted for a Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Enterprise (DBACE).

Agnieszka Rebosz was one of only five performing artists to make the shortlist for the Performance category of the prestigious awards, which provide financial and business support to aspiring artists to help launch their careers.

Agnieszka’s application was for business support to develop the CADA Dance Company, a professional dance company that brings professional dancers together with people new to dance and creates professional touring productions.

Agnieszka is part of TestBeds, an artists’ professional development programme led by the University, designed to support and develop the needs of Luton-based artists by developing their entrepreneurial skills and fostering new creative businesses.

Fellow TestBeds artists Julia Cheng, Adeyinka Akinrinade, Charity Muiruri, Hannah Kelly, Yasmin Sidhwa and Sung-Im Her were all recently successful in gaining funding to support the development of a range of performing arts projects.

Julia Cheng, who heads up dance company House of Absolute, has received funding from Arts Council England to develop ‘Human Jukebox’, an interactive performance that allows audiences to choose which combination of live music and dance styles they want to see. Julia will perform Human Jukebox at Imagine Luton this weekend on 24-25 June.

Adeyinka Akinrinade, Charity Muiruri and Hannah Kelly have also received funding from Arts Council England for the development of ‘Mundane Blues’, an outdoor theatre piece that tells the story of office workers that rely on daydreaming to get through the working day. The trio will also be performing at Imagine Luton. Find the full Imagine Luton programme here.

Yasmin Sidhwa, Artistic Director of Mandala Theatre Company, received Arts Council England funding that will support the development of the company’s new play ‘(Dis)Connected’, a story that explores what it is like to grow up in England from the point of view of young people from a variety of backgrounds. Yasmin is currently running a number of workshops in schools across Luton where she will gather stories and engage students in a conversation about growing up in Luton.

Sung-Im Her has  been awarded funding from the Korean Arts Council to develop her solo work ‘I AM OK’ which asks the question ‘Where is home?’ for refugees and displaced people.

Prof Helen Bailey who leads TestBeds for the University said: “We are all delighted with the success of the first cohort of TestBeds artists. They have achieved in a range of highly prestigious contexts which demonstrates the high calibre of local and national artists engaged in Luton, with the University, on this project’’.

TestBeds is supported by Arts Council England’s Luton Investment Programme, which also includes:

  • Imagine Luton, a free, town-wide celebratory outdoor arts event on 24-25 June
  • As You Change So Do I,Luton Culture’s exploration of arts in the public realm
  • Harnessing Momentum, a new strategic vision for arts and culture in Luton, led by Luton Borough Council which includes a bid for City of Culture status in 2025.


Bedfordshire University

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