We offered £13,000 of grant funding to 13 cultural and creative organisations to develop digital ideas. From technology to help those with sight impairment read music to a radio station for the homeless, the grantees represented a diverse selection of ideas that offer digital solutions to problems right across society.
The Amplified pilot supported the development of ideas through a number of activities:
- Funding – aimed at specific digital projects
- Mentoring – from industry leaders to help nurture and support the ideas
- Six months of structured support – intensive support, two days per month, for six months
What does this mean in practice?
Amplified was a pilot programme supporting cultural and creative organisations. The programme helped raise the profile of digital work for social impact and helped demonstrate the added value that digital work can create in the future development of their work.
Below is a list of the Amplified projects and organisations:
Creative charity Accumulate, in partnership with Ravensbourne University London, created the ‘Radio Station for the Homeless’, a training programme for young, homeless people to digitally broadcast their stories, music and creativity to a homeless and non-homeless listening audience. The participants created a series of podcasts, learnt new digital skills including how to operate a radio desk and record, present and edit digital podcasts.
In collaboration with Abira Hussein and Mnemoscene, All Change, a community arts organisation, further develop 'Nomad', a hugely popular project launched during Somali Week Festival 2018. Nomad explored the creative use of immersive and web-based technology to reconnect communities with Somali cultural heritage. The project engaged and trained local people to use the tools needed to capture, collect and digitise heritage materials and to make them accessible through WebAR.
Baluji Music Foundation
The Baluji Music Foundation promotes the understanding and enjoyment of music and performing arts from Indian Sub-Continent. In partnership with Queen Mary University, BMF develop a hands-free digital prototype to enable blind musicians to read Braille music via impulses to the skin. This is a revolutionary development to make written music more accessible to blind musicians.
Filmpro is a digital arts agency led by disabled people. The team created an augmented reality app that works directly on moving image and provides integrated access tools: British Sign Language, audio description and captioning. The app allows disabled audience members to fully experience moving image through seamless and person-centred access provision on a mobile device.
The iconic London theatre created a new 360 immersive experience of Alter Ego – the largest annual talent competition for young people in East London – showcasing the talents of emerging artists and providing hands-on experience for young people to gain skills in production, event planning, management and marketing.
Interplay Theatre is a performing arts organisation who engage audiences with social, economic and sensory barriers to create work which places the audience at the centre of the experience. Their project ‘The Conductor’ worked with SEN schools across the UK to explore how virtual reality can support and engage audiences with additional needs.
Kings College in association with London Communication College
Developed a virtual reality experience to address the increase in sexual harassment in UK universities. The VR Bystander tool was designed with, by and for students utilising digital technologies to help participants empathise with victims and develop the skills to intervene when faced with instances of sexual harassment.
Little Angel Theatre
Little Angel Theatre is an innovative theatre group who use puppetry to create and share inspiring stories. In collaboration with GOSH Arts, the arts programme at Great Ormond Street Hospital, they create a transportable live production for children and young people who cannot access the theatre due to being in hospital.
National Youth Theatre
National Youth Theatre (NYT) launched a brand new Digital Creative Membership scheme, offering underrepresented young people an opportunity to gain skills and practical hands-on experience in the creation of pioneering digital theatrical experiences.
PEEL Interactive a creative digital content agency, based in Yorkshire, specialise in the creation of emotionally transforming digital experiences. In partnership with the Doncaster Children's Services Trust, PEEL created an interactive virtual reality experience, designed as an education tool to help challenge attitudes, change behaviour and raise awareness of the dangers of child criminal exploitation.
People’s History Museum
People’s History Museum Vital Voters, digital experience was developed to help young people understand the relevance of the history of democracy, locally and nationally, giving them the knowledge and confidence to engage with the democratic process today and in the future. Vital Voters is a way for under 18s to experience for themselves what a powerful
force for change democracy can be.
The Philharmonia Orchestra develop a 'VR Sound Stage' for culturally disengaged communities. The touring installation immersed groups of school children in a communal ambisonic and visual orchestral music experience. VR headsets and speakers offered students an opportunity to experience a range of VR films including concert performance excerpts from the perspective of a player performing onstage.
Threshold Studios develop digital projects that enable underrepresented sectors of society to become active in the media, arts and the cultural sector. The team created Eleos, a computer game housed within a vintage videogame arcade machine cabinet. The game is designed to harnesses the positive mental health benefits of random acts of kindness.
Creative and artistic endeavours have the power to unite and engage an increasingly atomised society, change behaviour at the individual and collective levels and drive economic growth and national competitive advantage.
However, our horizon scan – Experimental Culture – for Arts Council England, highlights the high levels of economic inequality and compromised social mobility in the UK and begins to make the case for an arts and culture sector that thinks differently about its social impact.
We saw huge opportunities where creativity meets technology to generate social impact – and over the years we have backed dozens of projects testing new uses of digital technology.