Opening up the arts to over 11 million people

December 12, 2017

The Space has announced the news that it has commissioned a raft of arts and cultural projects which have had more than 11 million viewers across online and broadcast platforms since June 2014.

From supporting the staging of Playcraft, the first play in Minecraft to broadcasting Wagner’s Ring Cycle in its 15-hour entirety, to live broadcasts of some of the UK’s best theatre, opera, dance and music, the organisation has commissioned over 150 projects, and partnered with almost 80 organisations and artists from around the UK to help their work reach larger audiences online.

The organisation, a digital commissioning and development agency for the arts – a partnership between Arts Council England and BBC Arts – supports arts and cultural organisations across the country to enable digital projects through the capture and distribution of live performances, extending the live arts experience into online environments and developing new forms of storytelling using digital technologies.

Impact on arts sector – new research

The Space also offers training and support to help organisations with capacity building, which, as a new piece of sector research shows, has had a marked impact on the industry’s wider understanding of building engagement with audiences online.

Researchers spoke to a range of arts organisations and artists commissioned by The Space and sector stakeholders across the arts and found the positive effect the company had on many cultural organisations across the country.

70% of commissioned organisations and artists experienced increased interest or demand from audiences in their work; with over half of those interviewed concluding that they have gained new skills and experience after working with The Space.

Sector stakeholders’ perception of the impact that The Space has had on the UK arts and cultural sector was significantly improved, with The Space perceived to be making a growing impact.  Crucially, stakeholders and artists alike struggled to identify an equivalent organisation that offered similar services to The Space, highlighting the vital role it plays in the wider ecosystem of the sector.

Read more about the evaluation of The Space’s work.

A woman using the VR experienceI am Peter Stillman, by 59 productions

Other highlights include:

  • 4m YouTube views; almost 3m on Facebook video
  • 70% of arts organisations who have worked with The Space have seen an increased interest or demand from audiences
  • Productions including Akram Khan’s sold-out Giselle from English National Ballet, Opera North’s Trouble in Tahiti and Serious’ Jazz Voice, the opening of the EFG London Jazz Festival commissioned to be captured and made available to audiences around the world
  • Supporting digital innovation – including Mahler 3– Live and in VR, with Philharmonia Orchestra and the development of a web app with Yorkshire Sculpture Park which will bring sculptures to life in 3D for visitors

New commissions for 2018

The Space has also commissioned a range of new projects for 2018, including national and international cinema screenings of Akram Khan’s Giselle with English National Ballet, a new, interactive app for Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and new work from Candoco Dance Company challenging the stereotypes around disability. There are also new commissions for Corey Baker Dance, with Random Acts, to produce Antarctica: The First Dance, the Royal Academy of Arts and a number of regional galleries across the country to bring together artists and pieces of work they find inspiring in those galleries  – their Objects of Obsession – in a series of live streamed talks with the artists, introduced by the RA’s Tim Marlow. The Space will also work with Sinfonia Cymru in Wales on Curate, a series of classical concerts by small ensembles performed in contemporary places and live streamed in bitesize, accessible format.

Across the country, The Space is also working with a variety of organisations and artists to extend their audience reach online, including:

  • A Mile in My Shoes, The Empathy Museum
  • Art to Go, Kettle’s Yard
  • Digital Houses, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
  • Future Recollections, Siobhan Davies Dance
  • Mozart vs Machine, Mahogany Opera Group
  • Who rules the world? Manchester Camerata
  • #ICANCONNECT, Turner Contemporary
  • 11 Million Reasons to Dance – People Dancing
Rumplestilskin from Ballet Lorent Photo Bill CooperA scene from Rumplestilskin by BalletLORENT Photo Bill Cooper