15 organisations awarded ARG Events & Festivals Grants

Earlier this year, York based organisations negatively impacted by Covid-19 were invited to apply for a new Events and Festivals Grant Scheme to support upcoming events in 2022.  

Following a successful application process, Make It York and City of York Council are pleased to award grants to fifteen York-based organisations. The purpose for this grant funding is to support the delivery of events and festivals which would have happened in 2020 and/or 2021, as well as new events and festivals led by York-based organisations who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic and therefore unable to fund the overall costs of such activities themselves.  

The £50k grant funding comes from the Government’s ARG fund, and is provided by City of York Council to Make It York, to be delivered in consultation with the Executive Members for Culture & Communities and Economy & Strategic Planning, supporting York’s economic recovery from Covid-19.  

The fifteen events and festivals who have been awarded funding from the ARG Events and Festivals Grant are:  

  • York LGBT+ Pride (18 June 2022): York’s summer Pride event provides the main platform for a celebration of the diversity of the LGBT+ community through entertainment, inclusivity and fun. https://yorkpride.org.uk/  
  • 2022 Wagon Plays organised by York Mystery Plays (19 – 26 June 2022): York Mystery Plays are a unique part of York’s literary and cultural heritage and allow hundreds of local people to engage with their own history. The Wagon Plays will be performed in June 2022 in outdoor locations across York.  https://www.yorkmysteryplays.co.uk/buy-tickets/  
  • York Mediale 2022 Events (24 June – 18 September 2022, and November 2022): Funding will support a programme of events at York Art Gallery including the ‘Body Vessel Clay’ exhibition and the Immersive Assembly, Mediale’s international artist development programme, in collaboration with the city of Viborg in Denmark, a fellow UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts. https://mediale.org.uk/immersive-assembly/ https://www.yorkartgallery.org.uk/exhibition/body-vessel-clay/  
  • Operation Hummingbird organised by Next Door But One CIC (August 2022): A new play by Next Door But One exploring loss, love, terminal illness and anticipatory grief. Operation Hummingbird is a conversation across the decades about a sudden family death, realising an opportunity that we all wish we could do at some point in our life; go back and talk to our younger self. https://www.nextdoorbutone.co.uk/Operation-Hummingbird.php 
  • Wilberforce Bounces Back organised by The Wilberforce Trust (August and December 2022): The trust will host two community fayres – the return of their annual Christmas Fayre and a new Summer Fayre. The events will include old style village fayres, with sideshow stalls, fairground type games, craft stalls, food, silent auction and a raffle. https://www.wilberforcetrust.org.uk/ 
  • Groves Community Cinema organised by Theatre@41 (Quarterly from September 2022): A new regular community cinema with a weekend of films every quarter is coming to York. Showing a mixture of topical films relevant to the lived experiences of the local community, films from the Yorkshire Film Archive, and a more accessible and affordable cinematic environment for the young people of the Groves and York. https://www.41monkgate.co.uk/ 
  • York Design Week 2022 organised by Kaizen Arts Agency CIC (October 2022): York Design Week (YDW) is an annual city-wide multidisciplinary festival offering a programme of events, workshops, talks, exhibitions, and performances. This year’s theme aims to positively shift conversation and behaviour around what design means and how it can offer innovative solutions. https://www.yorkdesignweek.com/ 
  • Making Moves (previously Dance It Up North) organised by York Dance Space (October 2022): Making Moves is a community dance production which brings together the diverse communities of York and North Yorkshire to perform at York Theatre Royal.  https://yorkdancespace.com/ 
  • York Unlocked CIC (October 2022): Discover interesting buildings that are usually difficult to access with York Unlocked. Visitors will have the opportunity to take a look around famous York buildings including Herbert House, St Williams College, The Guildhall, Kings Manor, Old Archbishops Palace, Bootham School, De Grey Rooms, Lodge Duncombe Place, Hudson Quarter, Monk Bar, Chapel St Johns Uni and more. https://york-unlocked.org.uk/ 
  • BAFTA-Qualifying Aesthetica Film Festival organised by Aesthetica Magazine Ltd (November 2022): The BAFTA-Qualifying Aesthetica Film Festival is one of the key destinations for new cinema in the UK. The festival will screen new films across 12 venues in the city centre this November and provides education and learning opportunities, as well as access to new film and high-profile speakers. https://www.asff.co.uk/ 
  • 2022 Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival organised by Creative Learning Partnerships (November 2022): The Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival is open to all primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, further education providers and community dance companies across Yorkshire. Over 1000 participants will create and perform fresh choreography in a large-scale venue, as well as taking part in workshops and watch performances by professional dance companies.   https://www.yorkshireschoolsdancefestival.co.uk/ 
  • SLAP York Showcase organised by SLAP York (SLAP Collective LTD) (November/December 2022): The SLAP York Showcase includes four creative workshops and a showcase of brand-new work created by artists living in the city. There’ll be live performances, including one to one experiences, durational work and participatory performance.  https://www.slapyork.co.uk/ 
  • Poetry For All organised by Stairwell Books / York Spoken Word (November/December 2022): Poetry For All welcomes newcomers and regulars to join their poetry and prose open mic, which has been going for over 16 years. Offering a platform to disabled poets, they were the first UK event BSL signed with poems also PowerPointed in an accessible venue. http://www.yorkspokenword.org.uk/ 
  • Christmas Folk at the NCEM (December 2022): Based in the centre of York since 2000, the NCEM promotes high quality concerts across a wide range of music genres. Christmas Folk at the NCEM will showcase three traditional/folk concerts taking place at the NCEM in December 2022. https://www.ncem.co.uk/ 
  • ”The Shambles Saved Christmas!” organised by Thunk-It Theatre Ltd (December 2022): ‘The Shambles Saved Christmas!’ is a one person, family theatre performance, written to showcase the famous Shambles Market in York City Centre, whilst celebrating festive cheer. There’ll also be opportunities to take part in crafting sessions, including make your own festive decorations. https://www.thunkittheatre.co.uk/ 

All events will receive support from Visit York membership, to ensure that their event is as far reaching as possible.  

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York, said: “We received a high number of applications, of a very high standard, for the Events and Festivals Grants Scheme, and we’re delighted to be supporting 15 incredible initiatives with this funding. It’s a really broad, vibrant and diverse mix of events and festivals, which support local communities and residents, the local economy, and the aims of the York Culture Strategy.  

“It’s been a really difficult few years for people, and these events will give residents the chance to re-engage with their city, to take part in new activities, and to celebrate and enjoy the diverse range of events and festivals happening in York this year, as well as attracting visitors to support the local economy.  

“Many events and festivals have been severely impacted by the covid-19 pandemic, couldn’t take place as planned, or had to be cancelled altogether – and it’s still impacting organisers’ ability to fund the overall costs of events activity now. We’re really grateful to City of York Council for making this grants funding available from its Additional Restrictions Grant Allocation, to help us support so many events and festivals in York. Crucially, this funding will also enable many of these initiatives to become more sustainable in future years.”  

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said: “I would like to congratulate all successful applicants. It’s great to see so many worthy events and causes receiving this latest financial boost. 

“The ARG fund has previously supported safe, large-scale events across the city, such as Jorvik Viking Festival, York Food and Drink Festival, York Design Week and Aesthetica Film Festival. I look forward to the recipients of this latest set of funding use it to boost York’s exciting event scene, offering even more for residents and visitors to look forward to.” 

Alan Park, Chair at Theatre@41, said: “The ARG Events and Festival grant will allow us to launch Theatre@41’s Groves Community Cinema, providing our local residents with a relaxed, affordable and accessible cinema that allows the community to connect with one another and provide some with their first visit to a theatre. Without this money we would not have been able to launch the cinema. Now the Groves and the wider York community can benefit from this event for years to come.” 

For more information: 

Sarah Foster, Communications Manager at Make It York  


Notes to Editors:  

Grant funding comes from the Government’s ARG fund, and is provided by City of York Council to Make It York, to be delivered in consultation with the Executive Members for Culture & Communities and Economy & Strategic Planning, supporting York’s economic recovery from Covid-19.  

Events and festivals applying for the grant funding were asked to demonstrate the following: 

1. Evidence that their event has been negatively impacted by the covid-19 pandemic: demonstrating that the event has been delayed/ timelines affected, with evidence of financial losses/ reduced income OR how your new event has been negatively impacted by the pandemic and therefore you are unable to fund the overall costs of such activities yourselves 

2. How funding for this event/ festival will support economic/ wider recovery from covid-19 

3. How this event/ festival will support residents and communities  

4. How this event/ festival supports the aims and vision of the York Culture Strategy, York’s Creative Future, 2020-25 

5. How this grant funding will support the event to become more sustainable in future years. 

About Make It York  

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

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