What is Here and Now and how does it work?

Here and Now is a national and local celebration of culture within communities. 40 brand new projects will take place in and around 40 arts centres across the country throughout 2020, led by artists and co-created with local people. These 40 projects have already been commissioned and are currently in planning stages. The project is supported by Arts Council England and Future Arts Centres, marking the National Lottery’s 25th birthday.

What are some examples of the 40 projects?

The projects include:

  • Exhibitions and installations, permanent and temporary
  • New creative questions and conversations
  • Storytelling and poetry
  • Community meals
  • Dance and circus performances
  • Co-created theatre shows
  • Visual arts and craft works
  • Music projects and performances
  • Films and other digital works
  • Parties and silent discos

And many more!

Here are four real examples to help you plan your application and hone your ideas:

Arts at the Old Fire Station and Aaron Williamson
Aaron Williamson, alongside AATOFS’ nearest neighbours and market traders, will find new ways to share stories between people who can and cannot hear. These will be conversations that wouldn’t otherwise occur, between people who wouldn’t otherwise meet, using language we wouldn’t otherwise know.

Attenborough Arts Centre and Next Door Dance
Next Door Dance and Leicester Tigers Rugby Union fans will be making a new film combining dance and rugby.

The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre and Gobbledegook Theatre
Conversations with local people exploring Havant and the changes people would make if they won the lottery will be recorded on a customised bike, leading to an exhibition at The Spring.

Square Chapel Arts Centre and National Arts Service
Working with people regularly connected with healthcare – what would your world be like if there was a National Arts Service available free and on prescription?

Are you looking for another project like these?

No, we have all 40 projects that link with the 40 arts centres in place. We are now looking for an overarching project, that will tell the national story of Here and Now and provide a link between the 40. We are looking for an idea that is artistic and creative in its own right, so not just a documentary or evaluation, though it may include these elements too.

What else are you looking for from the £40,000 commission?

We would like the proposed idea to have a strong digital impact – it can be purely digital or it can have analogue outcomes as well. We would like a bold idea, that helps put the 40 Here and Now projects on the map and raises awareness for the vital role artists and arts centres play in their communities. We would like an idea that resonates both locally and nationally, but with the main focus on nationally for this one.

The 40 projects were created in response to a brief, which we mention in the commission video and can also be found here – it would be good if the national project could also respond to or take inspiration from this brief.

When do the projects take place and how long do they run for?

This varies project to project. They take place between now and October 2020 – some are fixed lengths (e.g. 3 months or 6 weeks) and some span most of the length of the wider project.

What is the £40,000 meant to be used for?

The £40,000 needs to include artist/s fees, production costs and equipment, and anything else required to make the project happen. There is an additional £5,000 available for travel only.

What do you mean by “send us your ideas in any format you choose”?

We don’t want to prescribe how you can send us your ideas – some people prefer to apply using video, audio, something more visual than a cover letter/CV, or something else entirely. As long as it includes the information below, we will consider it.

  • Who you are
  • About your work
  • Your approach to the project
  • How you will deliver it
  • What you hope to achieve
  • And an idea of how the budget would work – we’re offering £40k which needs to include production costs, plus up to £5k to cover travel expenses

Why can’t I find anything online about the project?

Here and Now has not been formally announced yet, we expect this to happen in December 2019/January 2020. When it is launched, the website will launch with it. In the meantime, we are on social media: @HereandNow2020

Can I apply if I don’t live in England?

If you are based in the UK, yes absolutely. If you’re based outside the UK, the project is very much about a sense of place, so as long as you have experience of living in England then yes you can apply. However, everything would still need to fit into the £40,000 budget – there is not additional budget available for accommodation etc.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

Please contact Linda on facproducer@thealbany.org.uk with any questions. Linda usually works on Tuesdays and Wednesdays but will be monitoring the inbox every day until the deadline, which is 10am on Monday 16 December.

When will I hear back and what happens next?

We will get back to everybody who applies by Monday 23 December at the latest. If you are successful, we will ask you to complete a creative task to bring with you to interview on Tuesday 7 January. We can cover your travel costs (within UK) for this interview.

The deadline to apply is 10am on Monday 16 December.

You can find the brief and details on how to apply, here.

Good luck!