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UK Young Artists champions the next generation of creativity.  It supports collaboration and intercultural dialogue, helping to ensure a vibrant and diverse creative future for the UK. Working together with UKYA, the Centre aims to support artists across all art forms to showcase their work at nationally recognised UKYA City Takeovers and at events of UKYA partners across the world, and to provide more opportunities for University of Lincoln students and graduates.

“I have had exclusively brilliant experiences with UK Young Artists. They are friendly, generous, professional, never patronising, and I have had further opportunities and fruitful collaborations as a direct result of having participated with them.”
Madeline Shann


In May 2008, a pilot project was launched in partnership between Arts Council England and four universities from the East Midlands (De Montfort, Derby, Loughborough and Nottingham Trent) to send recent graduates to take part in the 13th Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean. It was from this project that UK Young Artists was created.

The first national UK Young Artists event took place across Derby from Thursday 21 until Sunday 24 October 2010. 75 artists were selected across all art forms, including: choreographers, ceramicists, dancers, musicians, video artists, installation artists, painters, performance artists, photographers, sculptors, storytellers, writers and poets.

Since then the UKYA team have held City Takeover events in Leicester, Nottingham and Derby, Weekenders in Skegness, Cornwall and Blackpool and have worked internationally in Montreal, Milan and South Korea. Their work includes residencies, cross-border arts projects, cultural leadership programmes and more. In February 2019 the University of Lincoln partnered the UKYA City Takeover of Nottingham which brought together 250 young artists from 25 countries, presenting over 140 free events over 7 days across the city.

A collective of University of Lincoln Fine Art students known as XYZ.a were commissioned to perform as part of New Collectives, the fringe event for the UKYA festival. Lincoln students also got involved with as both volunteers and audience members, benefitting from exposure to a wide range of new artworks by promising emerging talent from across the UK and beyond.

The links the Centre has created between UKYA and the University mean that the Takeover event will be brought to Lincoln in future years, creating big opportunities for our students, recent graduates and artists, as well as bringing an exciting programme of creative activity to the city.


UKYA’s mission is to help young artists aged 18 – 30 to develop their practice and to pursue a creative career. UKYA develops artists’ practice through cross art form opportunities, celebrating creativity at national and international events. It works with artists from all art forms, creating space for dancers to talk to sculptors, or photographers to connect with musicians.

The vision is to be the UK’s leading talent development organisation for young artists, aiming to offer support through residencies, commissions and workshops as well as building an online creative community.

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