Arts charity IdeasTap announces free national training programme, IdeasTap Inspires

Announcing IdeasTap Inspires
An Exceptional Nationwide Arts Training Programme

13 February, 2014 – Arts charity IdeasTap will deliver a free national training programme for young people building careers in the creative industries, thanks to a £250,000 Exceptional Award from Arts Council England. Announced last night by Chair of Arts Council England Sir Peter Bazalgette, IdeasTap Inspires will engage some 5,000 talented young people in a comprehensive support programme, including workshops, masterclasses, training events and online resources delivered all across England. Disciplines covered by IdeasTap Inspires will include theatre, photography, writing, and dance.

IdeasTap will partner with top-tier arts organisations to deliver this innovative programme, taking world-class practitioners to locations around the country to share their expertise with a new and diverse talent pool, generating alternative entry routes into creative careers. Organisations currently enrolled in the programme include The Royal Shakespeare Company, Complicite, the charitable-arm of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Re:Bourne, Magnum Photos and Writers’ Centre Norwich.

For more information and to view the schedule of events as they are announced, visit

Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “It is wonderful to be able to invest in IdeasTap Inspires, as it works to support more young people to build their careers in the creative sector. It can be a difficult world to navigate and what stood out for us was the way in which IdeasTap was able to bring together so many organisations, including several in our National portfolio, to create something bigger than the sum of their parts, using digital and multi-platform distribution to reach out in a way that is particularly relevant to the 21st century.”

Peter De Haan, philanthropist and IdeasTap Chairman, said: “IdeasTap Inspires will give thousands of talented young people all over England the head-start they need to launch their careers in the arts. This exciting new programme builds on the strong foundations IdeasTap has across the country and our years of experience helping young people to bridge the gap between training and work. Once again, we’re delighted to be working with the best possible partners; top tier arts organisations, who through IdeasTap Inspires can now reach even more young creatives.”

Hannah Miller, Head of Casting at the Royal Shakespeare Company said: “We want to ignite more young performers’ interest in Shakespeare, equipping them with skills and techniques and inspiring them to continue exploring and enjoying classical theatre, both professionally and as theatregoers. The IdeasTap membership is a rich and active network, eager to seize the opportunities offered to develop their talents.  It is this outlook which makes them such an exciting pool of individuals to work with.”

Poppy Keeling, Creative Learning Manager at Complicite said: “Complicite’s all-hands-on-deck approach to making theatre, where everybody in the room, from the stage manager, to the sound designer, to the actors is creatively involved in making the work you see on stage, is not something most young companies are able to emulate. For Complicite, that’s what’s so exciting about IdeasTap Inspires – getting the chance to work with young people across the theatre-making spectrum and find new ways of weaving the strands of the creative process.”

Fiona Rogers, Cultural & Education Manager, Magnum Photos said: “IdeasTap Inspires will be a great way of introducing the business of photography to young creatives, and the programme will strengthen Magnum’s remit to supporting the career development of emerging practitioners. The photography market is a deeply competitive space, but by providing this opportunity Magnum and IdeasTap can impart the knowledge required for photographers to get a foot in the door of their chosen career.”

Chris Gribble, Chief Executive of Writers’ Centre Norwich said:  “Writers’ Centre Norwich is delighted to be working with IdeasTap on a national development programme for outstandingly talented writers. IdeasTap Inspires will shape our cultural life for years to come and we’re proud to be a part of it. As we develop towards our planned National Centre for Writing in 2016, we believe our relationship with IdeasTap and its members will be a hotbed of creative projects, inspiration and great new work that we can share with everyone who loves books and stories.”

IdeasTap is an arts charity that supports creative people through opportunities, funding, jobs and career development. Since launching in December 2008, IdeasTap has awarded more than £1.8 million worth of direct funding and accompanying expert mentoring to emerging artists. Its membership currently stands at 135,000+ and its partners include the Barbican, BFI, Magnum Photos, Mother London, The National Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre and Sky Academy.

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Arts Council England announced the Exceptional Awards programme in July 2013. Over the course of this programme, which culminates in March 2015, just a handful of strategic investments will be made. For more details please visit