News: Imaginate to offer career-changing Jerwood Fellowships programme

26 November 2019


Imaginate has been awarded a grant from the Jerwood Arts’ Development Programme Fund for an exciting new artist development programme to be run over the next two years.

The Jerwood Fellowships programme will be a career-changing opportunity for four Scotland-based theatre or dance artists who are interested in making innovative performance for children with additional support needs (ASN) such as profound autism or multiple learning disabilities.

Each year, two artists will be provided with bespoke support and will gain skills, knowledge, inspiration and connections to confidently make artistically interesting work for this audience. The project will run from April 2020 to December 2022, offering four Fellowships in total and recruitment for two artists is now open.

The project, led by Imaginate, will be run in partnership with Oily Cart, the UK’s leading company making theatre for young people with complex disabilities.

The Fellowship artists will have the opportunity to see high-quality performances and become familiar with the audience’s needs, and will then develop work and test performance ideas with an ASN school in Edinburgh. They will also receive a bursary and a two-week long paid placement with Oily Cart.

The project will inspire artists to make work for this audience and give them support to find funding and develop on-going relationships with the project partners.

Creative Development Director Fiona Ferguson said: “We are delighted to be part of Jerwood’s Development Programme Fund, enabling us to run four Fellowships in partnership with Oily Cart and Edinburgh schools. The four Jerwood Fellows will have paid time to research and experiment with performance ideas for young audiences with additional support needs, one of the most interesting and often under-served audiences.”

Each Jerwood Fellow will receive:

  • £7,000 bursary
  • A paid placement with Oily Cart who create multi-sensory and interactive productions for children with profound and multiple disabilities or who are on the autism spectrum
  • Research attachment with a school for children with additional support needs
  • A mentor who will be an experienced artist in the field
  • Budget to see performances and access training
  • Platform to share an early-stage performance idea
  • Training with a relevant non-arts specialist
  • Visit to an international young audiences festival
  • Regular mentoring from Imaginate’s Creative Development Director  
  • Producing, marketing and fundraising support

Jerwood Arts

The Jerwood Fellowships is a career-changing programme for Scotland-based theatre or dance artists in the first 10 years of practice, who are interested in making innovative contemporary performance for children and young people with a range of additional support needs. Through year-long, bespoke support, Fellows will gain skills, knowledge, inspiration and connections to confidently make artistically interesting work for this audience.
Jerwood Arts is the leading independent funder dedicated to supporting UK artists, curators and producers to develop and thrive. We enable transformative opportunities for individuals across art forms, supporting imaginative awards, bursaries, fellowships, projects, programmes and commissions. We present new work and bring people from across the arts together through our exhibitions and events in London, as well as across the UK.

Oily Cart

Since 1981 Oily Cart has been taking its unique blend of theatre to children and young people in schools and arts venues across the UK. Challenging accepted definitions of theatre and audience, we create innovative, multi-sensory and highly interactive productions for and with the very young (under 5s), and children and young people with profound and multiple disabilities, who are on the autistic spectrum, and / or who are deafblind / multi-sensory impaired.
By transforming everyday environments into colourful, tactile ‘wonderlands’ we invite our audience to join us in a world of the imagination. Using hydro-therapy pools and trampolines, aromatherapy, video projection, and puppetry together with a vast array of multi-sensory techniques, we create original and highly specialised theatre for our young audiences. All sorts of shows for all sorts of kids!