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Announcing Co-Act: a new development programme for socially engaged artists!

Posted: 18 April 2023

Co-Act is a brand new, 18-month development programme for socially engaged artists hosted by The NewBridge Project and supported by Jerwood Arts.

Co-Act is a new Artist Development Programme for socially engaged artists hosted by The NewBridge Project and supported by Jerwood Arts!

Co-Act will bring together four early-career artists to develop collaborative and socially engaged ways of working. They’ll learn new skills and approaches and be able to explore their own values and ethics with support from each other, specially invited mentors and NewBridge.

Each artist will be commissioned to develop an ambitious new artwork which they will be invited to share at the end of the programme. They will be supported to experiment, to be bold, and to meaningfully use the skills they have developed through the Co-Act programme.

Tailored to the needs and interests of the participants, the programme will include workshops, peer-led sharing, and opportunities to shadow experienced artists, alongside wrap-around support from an artist mentor and NewBridge staff, and the nurturing, creative community of artists based at NewBridge.

The programme will be advertised through an open call in June and will run from September 2023 – March 2025. Keep an eye on our website and social media for when the Open Call is live! 

If you want to register your interest and be kept updated on this opportunity, please email Frances Stacey, our Interim Director, on with a short message that says ‘I am interested!’ with the subject Registering interest in Co-Act. 

Photograph of Lady Kitt in residence as part of Home-rearing at The NewBridge Project by Matt Denham. 

“We’re so excited to be able to offer this new opportunity for artists, which will support them to develop new skills and authentic ways of working collaboratively. We look forward to going on this journey with the four artists, and to experiencing the imaginative art work they’ll be making that builds on their learning.

Co-Act brings together NewBridge’s commitment to artist development, our passion for socially engaged and collaborative practices, and in supporting the creation of new work that is produced alongside communities or embedded within a locality.

Having been invaluably supported through the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme 2020-2022, which embedded deep learning within our team, we are thrilled to be supported by Jerwood Arts on this programme. Their approach to supporting early career artists, seeking out distinctive development pathways and their commitment to learning aligns so well with our own values and ways of working.’

 Rebecca Huggan, Director, The NewBridge Project.

We are delighted to be supporting the Co-Act programme, creating an exceptional opportunity for artists keen to develop their experience in socially engaged practices. It is such a skilled and high impactful field of the arts, which has the power to touch people’s lives in small and big ways, and make extraordinary new work. NewBridge’s deep-rooted community connections in Shieldfield and local and national networks of artists mean the artists will be surrounded by the necessary knowledge and learning to grow into their practice and thrive.

– Jon Opie, Deputy Director, Jerwood Arts.


Co-Act is supported by Jerwood Developing Artists Fund. The Fund provides grants for arts organisations to deliver sector-leading development programmes for early-career artists, makers, curators and producers in all artforms across the UK.