People are being encouraged to walk up a bright yellow ramp, step inside Lincoln’s exciting new cultural centre and discover how they can make the most of an amazing three-year programme – backed by nearly £700,000 in Arts Council funding.
The centre is based in numbers 15 and 16 St Mary’s Street (owned by Lincolnshire Co-op-owned) – which have been transformed into an eye-catching home for Mansions of the Future - a radical new programme which will bring celebrated national and international artists to Lincoln.
The artists will individually investigate culture, power and democracy from Lincoln – but there will be plenty of opportunities for people individually, or within groups, to work with them.
Multi-functional spaces within the centre include a reading room, work station, commons room, resource room and meeting room. People will be able to drop-in every week, from Thursday to Saturday, from 11am to 5pm for FREE.
Mansions of the Future will also stage workshops, screen films, host communal lunches and much more.
The cultural programme kicks-off with artist-in-residence Kathrin Bohm, who is asking people locally “What culture do we want?” She is inviting them to experiment and work together in free maker-workshop spaces, at regular events and in her Lincoln Pantry.
Visual artist Bridget Smith is presenting Now It is Permitted – through the installation of visionary statements from invited artists, writers, musicians, playwrights and film-makers, inspired by the 18th century visionary Emanual Swedenborg. These are displayed on hoarding and billboards across the city.
Working with Lincoln Cultural and Arts Partnership (LCAP), the artistic directorsThirteen Ways, Lincoln Arts Trust, the University of Lincoln and OpenPlan secured Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence funding in 2017.
It is that money, together with local support, that is being used to enable the growth of an ambitious arts infrastructure and bring the national and international artists to Lincoln.
Local funders include the University of Lincoln, Bishop Grosseteste University, the City of Lincoln Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Lincoln BIG and Lincoln Cathedral. All the members of LCAP are supporters, particularly Visit Lincoln, the Lincoln College Group and OpenPlan. Lincolnshire Co-op is also involved.
Thirteen Ways’ Rebecca Blackwood and Clare Cumberlidge said: “We are delighted to lead this radical cultural programme in Lincoln, bringing together Lincoln’s communitities and world-class international artists to pioneer in sharing culture.”
LCAP Chair and University of Lincoln Vice-Chancellor Professor Mary Stuart said: “This is a ground-breaking programme for Lincoln. It is fantastic that Arts Council England supports our vision. We look forward to actively engaging with the citizens of Lincoln to shape, make and participate in art works that will be shared with audiences near and far.”
Lincolnshire Co-op Chief Executive Officer Ursula Lidbetter said: “I am excited that Lincoln is to host this international, cultural programme, which I am sure will inspire us all.
“We are happy to be hosting it in the Cornhill Quarter as it sits perfectly with our vision for Lincoln and complements its physical transformation.”
Arts Council England Area Director Peter Knott said: “Mansions of the Future will highlight Lincoln’s historic role in bringing about democracy and freedom.
“The funding is from the National Lottery, it is your money coming back into your community and we want more people to enjoy its benefits.”