This is a one-off fund provided by the Weston Family to support cultural organisations during Covid-19 to restart important work and rebuild audiences following closures during the pandemic.

The Garfield Weston Foundation received many applications, and has granted over £30 million to more than 100 cultural organisations across the UK. The Trustees were particularly impressed by the entrepreneurial approach and creativity shown throughout the pandemic by these applicants and in the ways East Street Arts and the other recipients have adapted and engaged audiences and communities.

East Street Arts will use this funding to continue development work on Convention House, a newly acquired building which is a designated arts and technology hub and remained under-utilised due to the covid-19 lockdown, with an aim to take the next step in developing and building on the digital technology needs of the organisation which have changed and become more urgent due to the pandemic.

The funding will allow the team to install a set of integrated arts and digital learning labs to enable them to test new ways of delivering learning, both remotely and in-person as well as providing the tools to run virtual residencies for artists; provide research and development opportunities and enable collaborations for artists and technologists and create new virtual programmes that engage artists and audiences across geographical boundaries.

Karen Watson, Artistic Director at East Street Arts said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to The Garfield Weston Foundation and are confident the fund will aid us in the safe opening of Convention House and will ensure that East Street Arts is digitally ready to serve its diverse demographics of artists, participants and audiences.”

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