The hands of a young adult takes photos of artworks on the floor with an ipad

The Arts Connect Thrive research and development bursaries were created to support and invest in the cultural sector to innovate their practice, in particular their digital work with children and young people aged 0-25yrs.

Thrive recipients have been exploring new ways of evolving their artistic / creative practice through developing audiences, engagement or participation and growing and adapting their current offer through digital approaches.

The Thrive sharing events are designed to inspire and inform the arts and cultural sector. Each Thrive recipient will share their learning and findings from their research and development journey to date.

More details about each sharing event can be found below.


Thrive Contributors at Sharing Event 1: 22nd June 2021

Theme: Well-being, diversity, equality and inclusion

Beth Kapila

Research question: How can we use stories, specifically audio dramas to improve the provision of education on sexual health and healthy relationships? Does giving young people aged 13-18 the power to control what they are taught in sex education create a better long term strategy for empowering young people in their sexuality and relationships?




Deaf Explorer CIC

Research Question: Can the emerging acceptance of online learning bring deaf role models into the learning environment for deaf and hard of hearing children and can online access bring a wider audience of participants to Deaf artists?




Jake Jarvis

Research question: To what extent can digital technology be used to enhance the role of artistic development and strong human mentorship for children and young people with learning disabilities?




The Gap Arts Project

Research Question: How can we most effectively develop or adapt our existing drama practice and methodology to help vulnerable young people living with trauma to safely and effectively reconnect with their sense of ‘Self’ and recover agency in their own lives? And can the use of Video Enhanced Reflective Practice (VERP) enhance our chances of success?”



Book here to attend the event on 22nd June


Thrive Contributors at Sharing Event 2: 29th June 2021

Theme: Digital narratives, storytelling and games

Bold Text Playwrights

Research question: How do young people 14-17 and 18-25 engage with digital narratives? What draws them in in terms of content, structure, characterisation and tone? And how do those age groups differ in what they engage with and how? How can we apply what we learn to our short-form, fast-response theatrical story-telling and thereby help to grow our youth audience?




Rachel Gillies

Research question: How can digital tools develop and support an understanding of the link between real people’s stories, their Rights and how those Rights came about?




Secret City Arts

Research question: How can we engage young people, particularly boys aged 8-12, in a co-creative, cyclical process of making digital and other games-based work? How can this be designed to spark future creative projects and be encapsulated in an innovative Best Practice Toolkit for wider use?




The Company Ltd: Harmeet Chagger-Khan & Janette Bushell

Research Question: How can new modes of innovative interactive storytelling engage Gen Z’s (16-25’s) on digital and mobile platforms to create visions for the future?

Websites: /

@thecompanyltd / @LuciaAttica

Book here to attend the event on 29th June


Thrive Contributors at Sharing Event 3: 7th July 2021

Theme: Physical and Digital (Dance, Theatre, Performance)

Linden Dance Company

Research question: Using the Linden DC ethos, how can we empower young people through the embodiment and education of mental and physical awareness, by developing a robust, shareable methodology?

Instagram: /sara.macqueen /cpd.radford

@sara.macqueen @radford9872


Mercurial Dance

Research question: How can we use digital gamification tools to make immersive dance theatre that can reach and engage young people aged 13+?




The Other Way Works

Research Question: How can we develop a new offer for children and young people in the area of interactive theatre? Can we build on our previous collaborative creative projects with children and use our interactive projects aimed at an adults, as a basis for developing a format?




Tina Hofman

Research Question: How can ‘choral’/collective voice contribute to participatory (political) performance-making and art interventions in public and digital spaces?



Book here to attend the event on 7th July