We work with a range of artists to further their work and accessibility within arts and culture.

We wish to create an informal and flexible environment in which individual needs can be met if we possibly can. When funding allows, we want to explore new ways of creating connections between artists and audiences – whether that be through integrated signing, digital technology or non-verbal interpretation. Explore below to see how we support artists, what we can offer, and our priorities for the artists we work with.
A White, feminine presenting person dancing.
We want to work with artists and companies who share our commitment to inclusive practice and want to break down barriers to access. We recognise that we will not always get it right so we wish to foster a climate of honesty and mutual respect where artists can highlight concerns and suggestions for improvements that we can then build in to our investment plans
  • Come and see our performances – Our theatre shows are always open to the public and you can book your place through our What’s On page.
  • Support with Access within our building and events.
  • Nurture Network – an online space for artists to have discussions around participatory art, inclusive delivery and other important topics around SEND and neurodiverse participatory work.
  • Family Workshops – We support families of all sizes and shapes to interact with the arts and inspire their children. Explore our past projects and keep an eye on what we have coming up from our Learning Team.
  • Next Gen. Creatives – Are you aged 16-25 and interested in the arts? Join the Next Gen. Creatives and help shape the work at Attenborough Arts Centre.
  • Come and see our exhibitions – Our galleries are always open to the public, so come along and explore today.
  • Gallery Lates – We leave our galleries open late to host music, artists, performances and more with good food and good company. Explore our socials to see when the next Gallery Lates is happening.
  • Creative Courses and Workshops – Explore new artistic passions through our courses and workshops ran by experts within their craft.
  • Artist Talks – We are always so excited to host artists talking about their work and craft, and we invite you to come and experience this as well. Explore our exhibitions page and socials to see who is talking next.
  • Craft & Art Fair – We host regular craft fairs that anyone can apply to and share their passion within a supportive community.
  • Apply to become a Creative Course Tutor – Have the opportunity to teach your discipline through your own course or workshop.
  • Volunteer in Our Galleries – Volunteers are important members of Attenborough Arts Centre front of house team. They are people who share a love of the arts, giving their time to contribute to the continued success of the centre
  • Free Room Hire – We can offer free room hire to explore your craft, experiment and host meetings.
  • Performance Commissions – Selected artists can receive commissions from us to develop their work.
  • Touring Support – We know that touring is a huge part of performance, so we can offer guidance and support in developing a tour for selected artists.
  • Work with our Learning Team and Researchers – Opportunities for paid work may come up within the Learning Team and our Research projects, including the Creative Engagement Fellowship scheme and SENsory Atelier Artist Callout’s for SEND schools.
  • Sensory Atelier Residencies – The Atelier explores new ways to learn and discover with SEN schools across Leicestershire that utilise artist’s skills through residencies.
  • Exhibitions and Commissions – For selected artists we may commission you to produce a exhibition for our galleries.
  • Match Funding – For selected artists, we can match funding to open up more opportunities for you.
  • Help with Applications – Whether it’s for external funding or applications for exhibitions, we can help you through the process.
  • Public Art Commissioning – Selected artists may have the opportunity to produce public art through our commissioning.

Commissioning Work

Commissioning might include the subsidised use of our facilities to rehearse and develop ideas, seed funding or larger scale investment to support wider touring.

Not all commissions will necessarily be focused on achieving a completed art work. We recognise that artists sometimes need support to explore creative processes without the pressure of working towards a clearly defined outcome. We do not take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to commissioning, and will work with artists to identify the type of support that will best fit their individual development needs.

  • Commissions advertised through a transparent and open application system with additional support available to meet specific access needs.  These will be advertised on our Webpage and in other on line networks such as ACE Job Opportunities, Disability Arts on Line, Artist Newsletter.
  • COVID-19 response commissions in both visual and performing arts in recognition of the financial challenges and lack of opportunities facing artists and performers.
  • Visual arts commissions to support artists who have been disproportionately affected by lockdown and social isolation.
  • Artists or companies whose work is known to relate to specific themes, issues, techniques or topics that relate to our main exhibition programme or particular Festivals, Showcases, Celebrations or Events.
  • Artists or companies with whom we have established a long term relationship to support their professional development from emerging to established artists.
  • Commissions linked to developing specific national and international links and partnerships through the exchange of work.

Commissioning Priorities

We only have a limited fund for commissions each year so have made the following artist groups our priorities.
  • Disabled and marginalized artists
  • Disability led or inclusive companies
  • Solo performers or companies wanting to actively engage disabled audiences
  • Locally based solo performers or companies creating devised work
  • Disabled and marginalised artists
  • New work for inclusion in our exhibition programmes
  • Artists and collectives seeking to develop work that actively tackles barriers to access
  • Local and regional artists looking to take risks and further develop their practice
  • Participatory artists with a commitment to co curation with young people
  • Specific work created to engage CYP and or people with PMLD

Creative Support

We want to support creatives at any level to reach new heights and grow within their field. However, our team can get very busy throughout the year. Nonetheless, we endeavour to help where we can – which is why we have devised three Artist Support avenues that may be right for you.

This is the first place we put all of our creative opportunities, such as artist residencies or commissions. Explore them today by clicking here.

Coffee meet-ups, access to rehearsal space, and the discussions of proposal ideas; we encourage emerging artists to make the first move by emailing – We can’t guarantee individual feedback to each and every enquiry, but we will try to signpost you on to other opportunities wherever possible.

If you have a burning question, want to send in your CV, or share you portfolio this may be the place for you by emailing . However, it must be noted that the visual arts team are very busy so will not have time to respond to everyone. We would also advise against pitching a new exhibition, as the gallery spaces are planned out 2-3 years in advance.