Digital Arts Commissions Live for York Trailblazers 

Applications are now open for a series of exciting digital arts micro-commissions as part of York Trailblazers, a collaboration between Make It York and York Civic Trust, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  

Five digital commissions, which will enhance a city-wide heritage sculpture trail taking place in summer to autumn 2024, will be awarded to local artists: celebrating the artistic talent of York’s creative industries sector and the city’s status as a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts.  

The digital commissions are: 

  • Film (three commissions available): Local filmmakers, storytellers, poets, and artists are invited to create a short film creatively reflecting and celebrating the legacy of a York trailblazer. These films will highlight the impact remarkable individuals have had on the city and its communities. The finished short films, no longer than six minutes, will be displayed at an accessible location in York city centre and may tour to other locations throughout the trail period. 
  • Audio (one commission available): This commission is designed for storytellers, poets, or creative writing practitioners who will collaborate with secondary school-aged students. They will create a suite of recorded stories, soundscapes, or poems to accompany select trail markers. These creative outputs will aim to capture young people’s responses to the stories of trailblazers, enhancing the visitor experience. 
  • Web Game (one commission available): A small web game will be commissioned to engage trail visitors. This game will be for family audiences and accessible primarily through mobile and tablet devices. 

Each commission will be awarded £2,000 to cover all costs related to production, development, and delivery. 

Artists are invited to apply to take part through the Make It York website. Applications are open until noon on 30 November 2023. 

Celebrating York’s Trailblazers 

The York Trailblazers project is a city-wide initiative celebrating some of York’s lesser-known trailblazers. The project explores individuals from York’s past and present who’ve made significant contributions to their communities, industries, and the city. The project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is set to feature a temporary sculpture trail for residents and visitors in Summer 2024. Additionally, it includes workshops and trips for schools and young people, as well as community-led activities to make heritage accessible to more people in York. 

The digital commissions aim to complement and augment the trail experience, highlighting York’s rich cultural heritage and the city’s thriving contemporary creative sector. 

For more information about the wider York Trailblazers project and the sculpture trail, please visit the project page here

Application Details 

Artists and creative professionals are encouraged to submit their proposals for the micro-commissions. The timeline for creating and delivering these commissions range from January to April 2024. 

Find out more and apply here

For inquiries or to discuss potential trailblazers or community collaborations, please contact for an informal conversation. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of the York Trailblazers heritage sculpture trail and help celebrate the city’s rich heritage and creative talent. 


For more information: 

Livvy Golby-Kirk, Marketing & Communications Officer at York Civic Trust  

Brittany Guymer, Communications & Marketing Executive at Make It York 

Notes to Editors: 

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 

About York Civic Trust  

York Civic Trust is a membership organisation open to all who wish to protect and enhance York’s architectural and cultural heritage, to champion good design and to advance the high place which York holds amongst the cities of the world. Founded in 1946, it has the key objectives of “Promoting Heritage—Shaping Tomorrow” at the heart of its work. Since an extensive conservation-repair programme in the 1980s, the Trust has restored Fairfax House on York’s Castlegate to its former grandeur. It is one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses and now a museum and offices of the Trust. 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

Using money raised by The National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.  

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK. More than £30 million raised each week goes to good causes across the UK. 

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