How We Work with Artists

We work with artists though talent development, opportunities to engage with the University of Leicester and paid work opportunities.

Attenborough Arts Centre is Leicester’s contemporary arts hub and a leading university arts centre. We work predominantly in visual arts and performance, including theatre, dance, music, spoken word and comedy.

Talent Development

We aim to meet artists of any experience where they are to achieve their creative ambitions, helping them to develop new ideas, refine their practice and present their work. Whether you’re seeking to work professionally as an artist or already have an established practice, we have a range of ways we may be able to support you.
You may be:

  • A ‘first time’ creative with an idea.
  • An established artist working in the visual arts or performance or anywhere in between.
  • An artist with an established practice wanting to explore a new direction.

What we can provide:

  1. Our Time. It’s always exciting to hear new ideas from artists to ensure we have the latest knowledge about contemporary practice. We are happy to give our time, over a refreshment, to discuss your ideas and plans, either online or in person.
  2. Our Building. Perhaps you need a performance space, time to research and develop your project, or just a friendly, accessible place to meet. AAC could be the place for any of these.
  3. Our Money. Each year we’re able to commission around six new works of any art form for development with support from Arts Council England.
  4. Our Advocacy. Need a letter of support, quote for a tour pack or an introduction to a venue or professional contact outside of Attenborough Arts Centre. We might be able to open this door for you.

Our Venue:

  • Our Hall is our main performance space and at 75 capacity is an intimate Studio venue.
  • We have a Dance Studio with capacity for 20 people, and two making Studios.
  • We have two art galleries which have the potential for performance.
  • We have a building with public and outdoor spaces.
  • We also run projects and events across the University campus and beyond.
  • We work as a centre for research and innovation at the heart of a UK Top 30 Research University.


The small print, in regular size

We receive on average 15 proposals per week which adds up to 750 per year. We are therefore not able to programme everything, as much as we’d like to.

Each of our team have a maximum of 37.5 hours in their week, and with fluctuating workloads often have limited time. However, we keep regular slots in our schedules to meet with artists.

We programme approximately 50 paid slots for performances each year.

We are able to provide funding to support the commission of six new works across any art form each year, generally between £500 and £3,000 each.

We are able to provide 20 weeks for artist residencies per year.

How we decide

Time & Advocacy

Get in touch for a chat and we will respond within our availability. Please email with any information you can provide that will assist an initial conversation.

Performance & commissioning enquiries

Please send a proposal and a short 300-word paragraph about how you think your work fits with ours, as indicated in the above criteria.

We are particularly seeking work and shows by artists which:

  • Has accessibility at its heart and strives to further develop and push the boundaries of inclusive practice.
  • Is by diverse-led companies and reflects the diverse culture of the world we live in – across our programme we strive to increase representation of all protected characteristics, recognising complex intersectional identities and seeking to promote underrepresented and marginalised voices.
  • Socially-engaged practice, or work with socio-political themes.
  • Work which speaks to our place: in Leicester, the Midlands, contemporary Britain, the University.
  • Work which reflects our communities.

Our artistic team:

  • John Kirby
  • Rachel Graves
  • Jeremy Webster
  • Andrew Fletcher
  • Marianne Scahill-Pape
  • Rebecca Wymant

Sector relationships

We work with In Good Company and No Jobs For The Arts who provide a range of artist development opportunities in performance and the visual arts respectively.

A White, feminine presenting person dancing.