Sheffield Theatres today announces four artists who are the first to take up residencies The Bank, a creative space for local arts and theatre-makers: Daniel Bernard, Avital Raz, Madeleine Shann and Bethany Wells. It has also launched a new online programme to support local artists over the coming months, including a small commissions fund to enable artists to develop workshops and skills sharing sessions during lockdown.

Daniel Bernard, Avital Raz, Madeleine Shann, and Bethany Wells will each spend a week in residence at The Bank once the building reopens and will receive seed funding for their new projects.

Sheffield Theatres has reimagined its support for the local artistic community during this unprecedented period and launched an online programme featuring a range of opportunities, information and support for artists.

The Creative Exchange offers small commissions to enable artists to run a workshop or skills sharing session for the wider artistic community. Applications for these commissions are now open through the website. Artists who are looking to make new connections and collaborations online are invited to register for Creative Collaborators, an initiative that gives the creative community of South Yorkshire the chance to meet at ‘Maker Mixers’ to develop new ideas and projects for the future. The online programme will also feature a series of masterclasses from industry professionals, including members of the Sheffield Theatres team, who will offer everything from hands-on webinars to online workshops and informal cups of tea around your kitchen table.

The Sheffield Theatres’ website will also be home to the Bank Vault – where artists can share the work they are creating at this time, in all forms, including short plays, videos, poetry and songs.

Robert Hastie, Artistic Director, said: “The endless creativity of Sheffield’s theatremakers was what motivated us to open The Bank at the end of last year, and it’s truly inspiring to see that same spirit still alive and kicking in our artistic community despite the uncertainties we’re all facing at the moment. Thanks largely to the generosity of some remarkable people, we’re able to stick to our commitment to nurturing the brightest talents of the next generation, while pivoting The Bank’s development programme to helping as many artists as we can, as quickly as possible.”

The previously announced 14-strong Bank cohort continue to receive support and new creative opportunities. The writers group will make a new audio play as part of Come to Where I Am with theatre company Paines Plough; the directors group will develop an idea to lead an online session for other creatives and the producers group will develop online peer-to-peer projects. The Bank Supported Artist Scheme will now be extended to run until March 2020.