Artichoke secures £250,000 from major funders for this year’s Lumiere light festival

Lumiere is produced by creative charity Artichoke and commissioned by Durham County Council, with additional support from Arts Council England and a large number of further funders and sponsors.

The search is now on for final sponsors to be part of this year’s Lumiere festival. The major highlight in the cultural calendar of the North East consistently attracts local, national and international attention. In 2015, the UK’s largest light festival drew an estimated 200,000 people into Durham, generating an economic impact £9.6 million.

Wellcome has awarded a grant of £150,000 to support the creation of Cosmoscope, a major installation commissioned by Artichoke and developed by artist Simeon Nelson, in collaboration with a team of artists and scientists from the Centre for Biomedical Imaging, UCL, The Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, Durham and the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford.

Simeon Nelson is no stranger to Lumiere in Durham. In 2011, he created Plenum (pictured above), a compelling computer-generated light projection and soundscape that transformed the exterior of St Oswald’s Church and churchyard.

Cosmoscope will explore some of the most challenging questions about human existence on Earth, revealing and explaining the beauty and wonder of cosmology and biomedical science through art. It will be accompanied by a learning and participation programme including schools workshops and educational outreach.

The Garfield Weston Foundation has awarded Lumiere £100,000 as part of the programme of proactive funding it is carrying out across the North East. Lumiere was selected as a recipient for the award because of the longer term benefits the festival brings to the area, as well as providing a high quality immersive experience that inspires and delights the audience.

Both awards will support Artichoke’s programme of community-based work in County Durham, delivered in conjunction with Area Action Partnerships, schools, universities and other groups from around the county.

Sarah Coop, Director of Development at Artichoke said:

“We’re immensely grateful for this substantial investment in Lumiere from Wellcome and the Garfield Weston Foundation. It is a testament to the commitment and support of Durham County Council, Arts Council England and the many supporters and funders large and small that have put Lumiere on the map and achieved recognition of its place as a world class cultural event in the North East.”

“We are now looking for our final partners to ensure this year’s Lumiere is bigger, bolder and brighter than ever.”

Council Leader, Cllr Simon Henig, said:

“The support of sponsors and investors is vital in producing what is a truly world-class event. A festival of this scale and quality is only possible thanks to significant partnership working. I would like to add my gratitude to both investors and to say I feel sure Lumiere will deliver beyond everyone’s expectations once again .”

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