We’ve been making some changes lately at The Space. Here’s why.
If you’re familiar with The Space and our work, you may have noticed that something feels a little different. And you’d be right. We’ve changed our website and we’ve also taken the opportunity to update our branding.
Our new site and branding are part of a wider programme of changes which started last summer and are based on our learnings since our launch in June 2014.
The core mission of The Space, which is to provide greater access to the arts, hasn’t changed. We’re still passionate about using digital technologies to reach more people with fantastic arts experiences. What has changed is the model we’re using to make this happen. We no longer publish our commissions on this website (though we will talk about them here of course). Instead, we are focusing on finding the best distribution platforms so each project we commission can reach the widest possible audience. Sometimes this is through our publication partnership with the BBC, or it might be through other online platforms such as Tumblr, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.
As well as a new approach to publishing, we’ve also refined our commissioning model and are placing a greater focus on helping UK arts organisations and artists build skills around digital development.
We launched our first commissioning round under this new model in Autumn 2015. We asked people to apply with arts projects that either captured existing live performances using digital technologies, extended the experience of existing live work for audiences using technology, or were designed from scratch with digital interaction at their heart. We were seeking projects that had strong potential to reach audiences online. This might be through video on demand services, social media platforms, websites, mobile apps or even VR experiences.
We’re delighted that some of those projects are already coming to fruition, with sold out performances such as Streetwise Opera’s The Passion, captured in Manchester for BBC Four and BBC iPlayer, and Complicite’s The Encounter, live streamed on YouTube recently. This is enabling many more people to experience these innovative productions from their desktop, laptop or phone. We have many more interesting projects in the pipeline.
So why the change to the website? As the works we commission are now being published elsewhere, we now want to focus this site on supporting arts professionals and artists. Our aim is to provide you with information, events and funding and development opportunities that allow you to develop great work, form new creative partnerships and, ultimately, help you to create great arts content that can be enjoyed by more people. This is what people were asking for and we hope we are starting to deliver.
We’re building a training and skills development programme with the BBC Academy, including free events (our next event is in Bristol on 10th May), which will roll out UK wide over the next year. We’re also pulling together resources and toolkits to help us all make the most of the opportunities that technology brings to the UK’s arts and cultural sector. We’ll be building on this content daily and we’re happy to take feedback to add to this programme. Do contact us if you have ideas for what you’d like to see.
And so to our new look and feel. We listened and heard that our branding should be more reflective of the creative environment we work in. We also heard that it could be warmer and friendlier. People told us they would like to know more about The Space team and be able to speak to us if they wanted advice on a project, or early idea. So, here we are, and we’ll be offering clinics soon if you’d like to talk to us about your project. If you’re coming to our Bristol event with the BBC Academy, we’ll see you there.
We hope you like the changes. And we’re open to your suggestions, so please let us know what you think.