ACE NPO Response back to listing

ISAN is delighted that today’s announcement of the Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations 2018-22 demonstrates a significant development in national support for Outdoor Arts and a major vote of confidence for the sector.

From ISAN’s 218 members, there are 7 new portfolio entries, 39 continuing organisations and 12 financial uplifts. Beyond the membership, the portfolio introduces many more organisations which work in the sector and there are further uplifts and ongoing support across the board.


“Outdoor Arts is a success story in this country, and it’s important that success story continues; Outdoor Arts is where artists and audiences can experiment, create, delight and provoke.

Over the last few years the international profile, quality, innovation and diversity have increased and we’re pleased that our investment in Outdoor Arts the 2018-22 national portfolio, including Without Walls and Diverse City as new organisations and increased support for organisations like SeaChange Arts, the Stockton International Riverside Festival and ISAN will allow that creativity to flourish even more, while supporting increasing resilience.”

Alison Clark, Director of Combined Arts, Arts Council England


In challenging times, when decisions will have been difficult, there are financial uplifts for companies which change the landscape with their outdoor work, including StopGap, Kinetika, Company Chameleon, Talking Birds and Motionhouse. Many important Outdoor Arts festivals across the country also get an uplift: Inside Out Dorset, Derby Festé, Freedom Festival Hull, Out There Great Yarmouth and the Stockton International Riverside Festival.

New NPO companies include the innovative Tangled Feet, Global Grooves and Metro-Boulot-Dodo; Applause Rural Touring and the inclusive circus company Diverse City bring new models to the sector, while the inclusion of Without Walls – the major commissioning programme – means we will continue to develop new quality work and help build the nationwide Outdoor Arts infrastructure.


“The announcement of the next set of NPOs is a huge leap forward for the Outdoor Arts sector, which demonstrates that ACE has shown great commitment to the unique and valuable role that we play in the nation’s cultural life.

Outdoor Arts escapes from the confines of buildings and fills our city streets, town squares and village greens with uplifting, community building, socially engaged art and culture – and we are pleased to see that we stand proudly beside so much rich and diverse activity in so many different art forms.

ISAN’s own increase reiterates the great vote of confidence that has been shown to Outdoor Arts today; we look forward to exciting times ahead – without a roof to be seen.”

Angus MacKechnie, Executive Director, ISAN


ISAN Members: New NPOs

  • Applause Rural Touring
  • ArtReach
  • Diverse City
  • Global Grooves
  • Metro-Boulot-Dodo
  • Tangled Feet
  • Without Walls

ISAN Members: Continuing NPOs

  • 2Faced Dance Company
  • Activate Performing Arts / Inside Out (11% technical uplift)
  • Akademi
  • Artichoke
  • Artsadmin
  • Bureau of Silly Ideas
  • City Arts Nottingham (94% uplift)
  • Company Chameleon (27% uplift)
  • Corn Exchange / 101 Creation Centre
  • Crying Out Loud
  • Déda / Derby Festé (44% uplift)
  • Eden Arts
  • Emergency Exit Arts
  • Freedom Festival (50% uplift)
  • Greenwich+Docklands Festivals (-1%)
  • IOU Theatre
  • ISAN (93% uplift)
  • Kinetika (25% uplift)
  • Mimbre
  • Motionhouse (38% uplift)
  • NoFit State Circus
  • Nutkhut
  • Ockham’s Razor
  • Oxford Contemporary Music
  • The Point / Eastleigh Unwrapped Festival
  • National Theatre (-3%)
  • Seachange Arts / Out There Festival (30% uplift)
  • Shademakers Carnival Club
  • Stockton International Riverside Festival (50% uplift)
  • StopGap Dance (44% uplift)
  • Talking Birds (51% uplift)
  • Thames Festival
  • TIN Arts
  • Upswing
  • Walk the Plank
  • Watford Palace Theatre / Imagine Festivals
  • WildWorks
  • Winchester Theatre / Hat Fair
  • Wired Aerial Theatre

Other Organisations: New NPOs

  • Avant Garde Dance
  • CultureMix Arts
  • Heart of Glass
  • Invisible Flock
  • Kinetika Bloco
  • Luton Carnival Arts Development Trust
  • St Pauls Carnival, Bristol

Other Organisations: Continuing NPOs

  • Bournemouth Council / Arts by the Sea
  • Candoco Dance (12% uplift)
  • Carnival Village Trust
  • East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network
  • Entelechy Arts
  • Graeae Theatre Company
  • Home Live Art
  • Horse and Bamboo Theatre
  • Kneehigh (27% uplift)
  • LIFT
  • London International Mime Festival
  • Mahogany Community Ventures (33% uplift)
  • Mandinga Arts
  • Mind the Gap (19% uplift)
  • New Carnival Company
  • Norfolk and Norwich Festival
  • Paraiso School of Samba
  • The Stables, Milton Keynes
  • Sunshine International Arts