Culture Club


1st July 2010

Igniting Ambition in the East Midlands

A fourth showcase of arts, heritage and media projects is being planned for the summer of 2011 in the East Midlands in the build-up to the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games.

With funds from the Legacy Trust UK and the European Regional Development Fund and with support from Arts Council England, the Igniting Ambition programme has announced initial awards of more than £122,000 for 13 projects to be created and delivered during the 2011 showcase ‘Connecting Communities’ in Northamptonshire.

The ‘Connecting Communities’ programme is about engaging young people and their families, improving health and wellbeing and raising awareness of environment and climate change. It will encourage international understanding and diversity and see some new and unique collaborations and partnerships in Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

A call for proposals to form the Lincolnshire and Rutland Igniting Ambition Connecting Communities has been released and the deadline for applications is 31 July 2010. The combined programme will showcase exceptional cultural projects, events and festivals that celebrate Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland’s rich cultural heritage, outstanding natural environment, local traditions and hidden gems as part of Igniting Ambition, the Cultural Olympiad in the East Midlands.

Organisations applied for grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 for Olympic and Paralympic inspired projects and events, which run between May and October 2011. They are:

  • Encounters, £20,000 – a series of artistic interventions linking Fermynwoods to Lyvenden New Beild via Tresham Coppice and Lady Wood. This includes projections, a sound piece, monthly walks between the two sites with contemporary poets linking local history and the environment in verse.
  • Flow, £20,000 – a series of newly commissioned site specific artworks along waterside locations.
  • Footsteps, £12,500 – the footsteps of a specially commissioned shoe will act as a unifying torch bringing together the diverse cultural heritage sites of Northamptonshire and Rutland through health and wellbeing events.
  • Mad about the seasons, £10,000 – inspired by the poetry of John Clare, this project mixes poetry, music and visual images to respond to climate and seasonal changes, heritage and the adapting cultural landscape within rural communities.
  • Victorian Country Gathering, £10,000 – a weekend packed full of family friendly arts and sporting activities that recreates the 1879 Sports Day that was held at Canon’s Ashby focusing on the Victorian maxim of a ‘healthy mind and a health body’.
  • Blaze Dance Relay, £7,500 – a participatory dance project with performances during the London 2012 Open Weekend of 2011 in Daventry, Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, Towcester and Northampton.
  • Critical Mass: Olympiad, £7,500 – four new pieces of video art created by young people that embody the Olympic and Paralympic values.
  • Run 11, £7,500 – creating a mix of live music, sound installations, and lighting commissions to accompany the Northampton Run of 2011.
  • Footsteps to 2012, £7,500 – a carnival project taking place across the three counties of Northamptonshire, Rutland and Lincolnshire.
  • Daventry Olympiad Festival, £5,000 – a multi arts and sports festival taking place in open spaces in Daventry during the London 2012 Open Weekend of 2011.
  • Olympix, £5,000 – a digital photography project that explores the values and themes of the Cultural Olympiad from a young person’s perspective and captures the historic buildings, sporting assets and natural environment of Northampton and the events of the Igniting Ambition 2011 Festival.
  • Shine, £5,000 – an interactive digital art event that illuminates the hidden architecture and their historical stories through lighting, poetry and personal images.
  • Super Couture, £5,000 – a commission to design and create bespoke racing leathers to be showcased at major events at Silverstone.

Paul Brookes, Creative Programmer for London 2012, East Midlands, said: ‘We look forward to each of the events which we’ve funded taking place in 2011.

‘These projects and the artists involved in them will produce some outstanding work which will be enjoyed by a vast number of communities and individuals throughout the region.

‘The purpose of the Igniting Ambition programme is to build momentum towards the staging in 2012 of a World Exhibition of young artists happening in Nottingham during September 2012, this will leave a legacy in the region long after the conclusion of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.’

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For more information contact:

Samir Bhamra, Programme Manager, Igniting Ambition on 0115 989 7567, Email:

Notes to editors

  1. The lead accountable body for the Igniting Ambition partnership programme is Arts Council England. The 2011 showcase is being delivered in partnership with Northamptonshire County Council, Lincolnshire County Council and Rutland County Council.
  2. A call for proposals to form the Lincolnshire and Rutland Igniting Ambition Connecting Communities has been released. The deadline for applications is 31 July 2010.
  3. All awards are being offered on condition that projects are successful in securing resources from other sources. On average the award represents approximately a third of the total cost of the project.
  4. The ‘Connecting Communities’ full programme will be announced in the Spring of 2011.

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Holland Alexander.  Be Inspired. Events, Marketing & PR Agency. London & Leicester.