The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts supports collaboration between organisations who produce arts projects, with technology providers and researchers who want to use digital technology to enhance a diverse audience reach across the digital landscape, or to develop new business models for the arts sector.Since 2012 the fund has supported 24 exciting new projects. The arts and cultural organisations which will benefit from the fund’s support in this round of investment are as follows.
Extant, Britain’s only professional performing arts company of visually impaired people will create an immersive installation exploring how people use their senses to engage with the arts, developing new touch-based devices to break down barriers between visually impaired and sighted cultural experiences.
Circus Starr is a charitable organisation that supports disabled and vulnerable children across the UK. They are being supported to create a reusable app to open up access to the arts to children with autism enabling them to gain prior understanding of an arts event and encourage attendance by alleviating the fears associated with unknown experiences.
artsdepot, a North London arts venue, will launch a Silver Service digital membership scheme encouraging greater arts participation by older people, based on research with people aged over 65.
Coney, interactive theatre makers, will create an online platform offering new ways for people at home to interact with a live show and its audience. Coney will develop a new performance so people at home can collaborate, interact and influence action on stage.
Yorkshire Dance will build a responsive online platform that will encourage audiences and the wider public to become more actively engaged in the creation and interpretation of contemporary dance. The technology will enable participants to interact with artists, share feedback and exchange ideas.
Jon Kingsbury, Digital R&D Fund for the Arts Programme Director at Nesta said: ‘These five new and exciting projects are brilliant examples of how the R&D Fund is supporting digital experimentation in the arts and cultural sector. They were selected because the insights, practice and results from them will benefit not just the organisations receiving the funding, but also many other arts organisations wanting to explore how digital innovation might help them better achieve their core mission.’
The Call for Big Data and Research+
Two new strands have been introduced within the fund, which help organisations to further explore key values of the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts. These are Research+ which is still open for applicants; and the Call for Big Data.