Connecting Communities Creative Grants awarded to artists and groups across Lincolnshire.

Posted by Jo Dobbs

Connecting Communities Creative Grants awarded to artists and groups across Lincolnshire.

Creative Grants have recently been awarded as part of the Lincolnshire One Venues Connecting Communities project. This ambitious four-year project is in its final year and works to support, sustain and develop creativity across the whole of Lincolnshire in partnership with nine venues across the county.

The project actively engages with communities and develops ambitious participatory programmes and is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Paul Hamlyn Foundation and is hosted by the University of Lincoln.

Connecting Communities work is broadly divided into three strands: Intergenerational, Disabled People and those with Access Needs and Young Children and Families

Fourteen projects have been selected and the successful projects are creatively diverse and cover the whole county, incorporating the three work strands of the project.

Young Children and Families

The Benedict Story Prize is a project run by the Benedict Blythe Foundation and was formed in memory of Stamford resident; Benedict Blythe who died in December 2021 aged 5. With the project funding local children will be able to access a programme of free storytelling activities to ignite fresh enthusiasm in stories, and to encourage children to express themselves more confidently and effectively.

Threshold Studios who run the Frequency festival in Lincoln are planning a project Green Peace: An Immersive Experience Connecting Nature, Wellbeing, and Climate Change (working title) which features artist Beccy McCray. She will invite Lincoln communities to collaborate on the creation of a captivating pop-up immersive space, blending the physical and digital realms. This unique green space will be showcased at the Lincoln Arts Centre during Frequency festival in 2023.

Taylor Made Arts, through Lincoln based producer Leanne Taylor and freelance creative Georgina Weller, will work with the Lincolnshire YMCA Home education group to create a new piece of street theatre inspired by a visit to the Lincoln Museum and Usher Gallery. This project will allow young people to use the arts to share Lincoln’s history with other young people and their families during October half term.

Stamford based Wildcats will work with children eligible for the holiday activity and food programme on an arts programme to introduce local children to the world of creativity free of charge culminating in the award of a recognised certification from Arts Award.

Disabled People and those with Access Needs

The Hub Dance Team will relaunch and redevelop Unify Dance Festival, a celebratory event which brings together dance groups of D/deaf, Neurodiverse, disabled, or non-disabled dancers from Lincolnshire and surrounding counties to be staged at Lincoln’s new venue Southside. Funding will support a workshop programme across the county which will provide dancers with new skills and will champion social inclusion, friendship and teamwork within a safe and supportive environment.

The Connecting Communities grant will enable Feathers Teen CIC a neurodivergent and mental health support and friendship group for home ed teens and their families to aid their young participants to access the Arts Awards programme in Sleaford and Spalding. This intergenerational project will encourage young people to engage and skill share with the adults in their lives, as the project will see young person and parent/carer/grandparent working as a team to create an artistic expression.

South Holland in Motion is a dance project run by Diamondz Dance working with individuals with access needs & their support workers at Sense Centre Pinchbeck, creating a creative movement piece that includes everyone. It will be filmed, edited and ends in a cinema-style sharing in August 2023. The grant will support the development of 4 dance creation projects across four weeks for four different day centres/residentials or organisations that work with individuals disabled people and people with access needs.

Jo Tolley’s project specifically focuses on Lincolnshire’s disabled community it will give aspiring and established artists the opportunity to connect and develop their creative practice. The artist takeover will take place at the Hub in Sleaford in October. She plans to use the data from this project to research and scope for additional funds to create disabled artist in residence opportunities for local disabled artists in 2024.

Lincoln based performer and theatre maker Martyn Bignell will work with the Inclusion 21 group from Skellingthorpe on a Panto and Christmas Album. The group of adults with learning disabilities and Autism will choose songs, assist in writing the script and develop props and costumes. Inclusion 21, who has collaborated with LOV throughout their project ‘Connecting Communities’, will reflect on how far the group has come with LOV's support and create a legacy project, looking at how the group will continue to stay creative in the future.


Art Pop-Up is a not-for-profit organisation based in Stamford and is planning an Intergenerational tea dance event with pre-event workshops. Artist Ann Bellamy, equipped with a compact vintage wardrobe, will lead pre-event creative workshops for seniors and families with young children. The Tea dance event will be held at Stamford Arts Centre ballroom and participants are invited to don their finest party wear and glamorous vintage costumes for an afternoon of tea, cake, music and dancing to a live band.

The Craic Club comedy club and writing workshop together with a series of in-house workshops is planning outreach activities in schools, youth and community centres to help people of all ages people explore their comedic talents and gain confidence in their communication skills. These workshops will be for both beginners and seasoned performers, covering topics such as joke writing, comedic timing, storytelling techniques, and improvisation, thus nurturing local talent and fostering a sense of pride in the community's creative abilities.

Tired Bear will be working on a celebration of Lincolnshire's Live Music scene in Lincoln and Louth which will support local musicians and creatives. Young performers will play in two mini festival style events with established artists with Tired Bear will run skills sharing and best practice workshops for all involved.

Uffington based artist and farmer Kate Genever will bring together a series of short Artist in Residence projects as part of the Together We Are Powerful Project in Sleaford over the summer and autumn. Facilitated by four artists from the region these will incorporate making days, a storytelling and writing residency and several community meals with creative activities which all ages and abilities can get involved with.

Mint Lane a community kitchen, social eating space and surplus shop based in Lincoln will bring a creative group of all ages together to design and create a mural in their garden. Their new gardening group meets every week and has recently refurbished the outside space of the café to create a vegetable garden, seating area with accessible paths. The addition of a large mural will further reinvigorate the space and to bring the local community together in this creative endeavour.