Reading Abbey Quarter - image from a 'Night in the Ruins'

£10,000 Funding Pot Announced for Digital Arts Commissions to Celebrate Reading Abbey 900

  • Funding applications invited from any Reading-based individuals, artists or arts organisations for a share of the of between £3K and £5K 
  • Call to create digital artistic content in response to and in celebration of the Abbey from 1121 to the present day.

ARTISTS AND ARTS Groups in Reading are being invited to help celebrate Reading Abbey Ruins’ 900th Anniversary.

2021 marks the 900 years since the foundation of Reading Abbey, once one of Europe’s largest royal monasteries, by King Henry I.

Night in the Ruins 002-scaled

To mark the anniversary, Reading Borough Council is inviting funding applications for a share of the £10,000 pot, of between £3,000 and £5,000, from any Reading-based individuals, artists or arts organisations to create digital artistic content in response to and in celebration of the Abbey from 1121 to the present day.

This project is open to all artforms and can range from dance, visual arts, theatre, music and storytelling, to sculpture, fashion, poetry, film, photography, crafts or digital media.

Applications from young people between 11 and 18, and from projects that reflect the diversity of Reading are particularly welcome.

The resulting digital art will be hosted on the virtual venue, Reading Culture Live and will contribute to the build-up towards the flagship celebratory event marking the 900 anniversary at this year’s Reading Water Fest, on Saturday 19 June.

To apply visit:

The deadline for applications is Friday 31 March 2021. Decisions will be made by a community panel, with successful artists notified during the week commencing 19 April.

Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “This year we are marking an incredibly auspicious anniversary for Reading’s Abbey. 1121 was the year that marked the start of our historic Abbey – which in its heyday was a centre point in Europe for pilgrimage, safe-haven and beauty. We would like to celebrate the 900 years of this site of national and international historical importance with the creation of these digital artworks. I’m very excited to see what Reading’s creative community can come up with – and I particularly hope that Reading’s young people will get involved. I urge all local creative individuals and groups to express an interest.

“This project would not be possible were it not for the generous funding Reading has received thanks to the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage.  Our celebrations this year may look very different to how we’d originally envisaged them, but as we work towards recovery and celebration, we certainly still plan to make the most of this opportunity to shine a light on Reading’s unique historical destination.”



About the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage

This project is funded by the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. The Culture Recovery Fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England, using funds provided by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

For more information:  

Reading Abbey Quarter Funding

Reading Abbey Quarter is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country that has received a lifesaving financial boost from the government thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

The chosen organisations, including Reading Abbey Quarter, will share £103 million, including help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.

With the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, more stringent measures are needed for event planning and risk assessing, a boost of £80,500 funding will give the Council the opportunity to look at delivering event and heritage activities in the Abbey Quarter safely and appropriately.

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