Record funding secured for 2017 Look Again Festival

Organisers of the annual Look Again Visual Art and Design festival have received record levels of funding for this year’s event.  

James Nelson - Look AgainA combined £93k has been secured through grants from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund and Aberdeen City Council. The public body which supports the arts, screen and creative industries across Scotland contributed £73k to the annual festival – more than double its funding package in 2016. Robert Gordon University has also provided substantial support to the event.

Now in its third year, the Look Again Festival is spearheaded by Robert Gordon University and Aberdeen-based art curators SMART. Look Again showcases the very best of contemporary art and design, inviting the public to see Aberdeen through fresh eyes and ‘become a tourist in your own city’. It is intended as much more than an annual event, but as a partnership project to build a sustainable cultural economy in the North East.

Sally Reaper, Look Again Visual Art & Design festival director, said: “We’re thrilled to have secured such fantastic financial assistance for this year’s Look Again – without which the festival would not exist. Following two hugely successful festivals, it’s encouraging that the funding has grown so significantly in this third year - and we take it as a clear message that our supporters recognise just how valuable this festival is to the North East.”

Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts at Creative Scotland said: “Look Again is a young festival that has achieved a lot in its first two years. The festival has demonstrated both its curatorial ambition and also a clear appetite for visual art and design programming in the North East. We look forward with much excitement to this year’s programme.”

The Look Again festival has become a firm favourite on Aberdeen’s cultural calendar, attracting world-leading artists such as last year’s headline act Turner Prize winners, Assemble, and American performance artist Doug Fishbone, along with leading artists and designers from the North East.  Taking place from Thursday 27 April to Monday 1 May, this year’s line-up is still to be announced but is expected to include some firm favourites and household names, as well as a raft of brand new artists.

Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of RGU, said: “We are extremely grateful to have secured this level of support from Creative Scotland and Aberdeen City Council for this year’s Look Again Festival.

“This will allow us to build upon the success and showcase an even wider range of talent which exists locally, nationally and internationally.

“Events such as this are of huge importance to our cultural economy, and we look forward to seeing the impressive range of exhibitions, talks and events going on across the city.”

The funding announcement follows the launch of a new Seed Fund initiative last month, which will see four North East creatives receiving funding to realise exciting art projects that, respond to the local area and be shown at this year’s Look Again. Supported by Aberdeen City Council, the Seed Fund is open to North East artists and designers at any stage of their creative careers. 


Release by Rob Smith
Communications Officer | Design and Technology
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