Artists in the caves and bogs of the Brecon Beacons National Park are to receive support to distribute their work as part of a new innovation fund for digital projects in Wales.

Photo of a man in a field
A visit to Eglwys Faen caves on the Llangattock Escarpment in Powys, Brecon Beacons National Park.

Toril Brancher

Five Welsh arts organisations are each to receive up to £75k in funding to experiment with digital technology and expand their audience reach, as part of Nesta’s Digital Innovation Fund for the Arts in Wales.

The organisations will partner with technology providers to develop the new business models and test their projects, receiving business and research support over a nine-month period.

Supported by the Arts Council of Wales, the Fund builds on the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts in Wales and a similar R&D Fund in England.

Five projects

Arts Alive Wales is to use its £35k to test satellite broadband and live streaming technology with artists based in rural locations, such as the Brecon Beacons National Park, to help share their work more widely.

Rebecca Spooner, Creative Director at Arts Alive Wales, said: “One question we faced is, ‘how do you get site-specific work produced in a cave or a bog out to the public without damaging the environment?’

“We’ll be testing different ways of live streaming and providing access to digital tech for artists in rural Wales – with a focus on practitioners based in the Black Mountains.”

Four other organisations will receive funding:

  • Artis Community will create a new platform to share the social impact of community arts interventions
  • Hijinx theatre company will use digital technology to track the progress and development of 60 actors with learning difficulties
  • Dance company Bombastic plans to develop a new web channel to take its combination of animation, live performance and curriculum-focused education experiences into Welsh primary schools
  • Cardiff gallery space G39 is to develop a data capture system for its visitors.

Lisa Matthews, Portfolio Manager for the Digital Innovation Fund for the Arts, said: “We're delighted to be supporting these organisations on what will be an exciting, challenging and often intense opportunity to explore how digital can transform the way they work in the future.

“Equally important is how the lessons we learn on the way can be shared with and encourage the arts sector to engage in wider innovation.”

The project findings will be published on both the Arts Council of Wales and the Nesta websites.