East Street Arts gets £166,000 worth of funding to develop digital needs as it moves forwards following COVID crisis

An arts movement in Leeds has been awarded £166,000 worth of funding to help it restart work and rebuild audiences in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 11:45 am

East Street Arts is one of more than 100 cultural organisations across the UK that will benefit from a share of £30m made available by the Garfield Weston Foundation - established by the businessman in 1958.

This one-off fund has been provided by the Weston Family to support cultural organisations during Covid-19 to restart important work and rebuild audiences following closures during the pandemic.

The Trustees were particularly impressed by the entrepreneurial approach and creativity shown throughout the pandemic by these applicants and in the ways East Street Arts and the other recipients have adapted and engaged audiences and communities.

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East Street Arts is working on developing Convention House as a digital hub.

East Street Arts will use this funding to continue development work on Convention House, a newly acquired building which is a designated arts and technology hub and has remained under-utilised due to the covid-19 lockdown.

The aim is to take the next step in developing and building on the digital technology needs of the organisation which have changed and become more urgent due to the pandemic, and will allow the team to install a set of integrated arts and digital learning labs to enable them to test new ways of delivering learning, both remotely and in-person as well as providing the tools to run virtual residencies for artists.

In addition it will provide research and development opportunities and enable collaborations for artists and technologists and create new virtual programmes that engage artists and audiences across geographical boundaries.

Karen Watson, Artistic Director at East Street Arts said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to The Garfield Weston Foundation and are confident the fund will aid us in the safe opening of Convention House and will ensure that East Street Arts is digitally ready to serve its diverse demographics of artists, participants and audiences.”

East Street Arts

Over the course of 27 years, East Street Arts has supported over 20,000 artists to flourish and build sustainable careers, reinvented 500 temporary venues as art galleries, studios, and meanwhile spaces, created 79 permanent studio spaces for artists, and developed a pop-up temporary Art Hostel at the heart of Leeds’ historic Kirkgate, kick-starting a conversation about the future of tourism in cities across the world as it works towards opening a permanent Art Hostel in 2021.

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