Imaginate receives Creative Europe funding before Brexit

Imaginate, the national organisation in Scotland that promotes theatre and dance for children and young people and produces Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, has once again been awarded Creative Europe funding to lead their new project, PUSH+. This follows their successful completion of the PUSH project.

Creative Europe is the European Union's programme to support the cultural, creative and audiovisual sectors and Imaginate’s application was one of only 84 projects, selected from 401 applications.

PUSH+ is a new project with Krokusfestival (Hasselt, Belgium), The Ark (Dublin, Ireland), Scenekunstbruket (Oslo, Norway) and Aabendans (Roskilde, Denmark) and new associated partner Bangkok International Children's Theatre Festival (Thailand) that will develop ideas built in PUSH and will explore three new topics which are rarely discussed in theatre and dance for young audiences. It will run from September 2018 until December 2021.
The project’s topics of Home, Failure and Different Bodies are new but related to PUSH – which focused on Gender & Sexual Identity, Migration and (over) Protection of children.
• HOME – This topic will explore the concept of home and ask if it is somewhere that implies a degree of permanence as opposed to a point on the map where you originated from. With children in mind, we will think about what home is.
• FAILURE – This topic will explore the notion of failure, why we fear it, what are its artistic possibilities and whether it stunts our appetite for taking risks and discovering ourselves and the world around us.
• DIFFERENT BODIES – This topic will explore bodies, the ‘right’ body, the disabled body, the oversized, the old, the healthy body. We will challenge the idea that the young, normal, well-developed body and mind is the ideal, and open up to other expressions.
Each topic will have a year-long focus to maximise its impact and profile that will be explored alongside three artistic formats – Participatory, Site-specific and Intergenerational – to inspire experimentation with form as well as content.

Fiona Ferguson, Imaginate’s Creative Development Director and lead for the project said, “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded Creative Europe funding for the second time allowing us to continue the work we have been doing around important topics in theatre and dance for young audiences. We can now build on the learning from PUSH which will see a stronger connection between the research and development of new performance ideas alongside children and festival audiences. It has been such a privilege working together with artists and project partners from across Europe, we look forward to growing this community to include artists in Thailand.”
PUSH+ will include the following activities, each hosted by different project partners:
• PUSH+ Labs - an 8 day, paid facilitated research laboratory exploring ideas, thinking and possibilities.
• PUSH+ Residencies - two weeks of studio time with support to develop a Lab idea to a work in progress stage.
• PUSH+ Festival Presentations – 3 partner festivals will present topic-related works in progress or public interventions created by participating artists.
• PUSH+ Festival Visits - artists and partners will visit 3 partner festivals to see work, take part in the PUSH+ events and network with the festival delegates and audiences.
• PUSH+ International Workshop - a 5 day workshop in Bangkok exploring the Different Bodies topic with 5 artists from Europe and 5 from Thailand.
• PUSH+ Symposium - a day-long event at The Ark, Dublin to compile, interrogate and share the ideas and research at the end of the project.