Live Art UK is a network of 30 venues, promoters and facilitators who collectively represent a range of practices and are concerned with all aspects of the development and promotion of the Live Art sector. The network aims to be a representative voice for Live Art practices and initiatives in the UK.


Live Art UK supports and enhances the development of Live Art by:

  • Promoting greater awareness and understanding of Live Art practices and artists;
  • Providing resources and opportunities to support the development of artists, presenters, audiences and resources; and
  • Influencing regional, national, international policy and provision for Live Art.

Live Art UK’s activities

Live Art UK’s member organisations work collectively and individually on new models and partnerships for the promotion of Live Art; on new ways to increase the national and international visibility of Live Art through writing, publishing and audience development initiatives; on strategies for a more sustainable future for Live Art practitioners and promoters; and on providing a representative voice for the Live Art sector in the UK through advocacy and lobbying. Membership in Live Art UK is by invitation from the network.

Information regarding the member organisations of Live Art UK can be found on the members section of this website.

Live Art UK welcomes conversations about the ways in which the network could work with others to amplify or enhance their own programmes and initiatives in strategic and useful ways.

Live Art UK’s monthly email newsletter profiles key projects, initiatives and artists from around the UK. These newsletters are intended for artists, venues, festivals, promoters, producers, funders, and Higher Education contacts. You can sign up for the newsletter at the foot of this webpage.

The Live Art UK network is coordinated by the Live Art Development Agency.

Live Art UK’s history

Live Art UK developed from the National Live Art Promoters Forum, which operated on an informal basis from 1998.

From this group, the Live Art UK network developed and undertook a two-year action research project (2003-05), which explored new models and partnerships for the promotion of Live Art; developed new ways to increase the national and international visibility of Live Art; initiated strategies for a more sustainable future for Live Art practitioners and promoters; and published a Vision Paper for Live Art UK.

The Live Art UK action research project aimed to develop a representative voice for the Live Art sector in the UK and act as a point of contact for national and international artists and promoters wishing to find out more about Live Art in the UK. The action research project was supported by Arts Council England through the National Promoters Development Fund.

Between 2006 and 2008, Live Art UK undertook a series of collaborative initiatives called Live Art UK: Into Action, which aimed to:

  • Promote the understanding of Live Art practice.
  • Support artists throughout their career.
  • Grow and develop audiences for Live Art.
  • Develop new curatorial and presentation contexts for Live Art.
  • Inform regional and national policy and provision for Live Art.
  • Develop international exchanges of Live Art.

Live Art UK: Into Action addressed these aims by delivering a series of projects across the UK: critical writing initiatives; strategic touring commissions; international networking and research trips to China, India and Slovenia; and a national networking event at the Great Eastern Hotel, London.

Into Action was financially assisted by a Grants for the Arts Award from Arts Council England and managed by the Live Art Development Agency. The evaluation of Into Action showed that whilst the infrastructure of the Live Art and performance sector had shifted and provision for the sector had demonstrably improved in recent years, there was still a need for a collective national voice and representation at all levels.

In response to this, in late 2009 the network agreed to:

  • Continue on an informal basis without funding. The network would be coordinated by the Live Art Development Agency and three network meetings around the country would take place each year.
  • Continue to deliver projects with a focus on advocacy, lobbying, research and representation at a national level.
  • Research and develop long-term plans to formally establish an infrastructure for Live Art UK, addressing the appropriate scale and structure for the network.

In 2010, the following activities took place:

The Live Art UK membership expanded from 9 to 20 organisations.

  • Live Art UK commissioned and published In Time: A Collection of Live Art Case Studies, with related launch events, distribution and advocacy designed to strengthen the Live Art sector. In Time is  available for sale, or as a free pdf download.
  • LAUK representatives met with Arts Council England to deepen awareness of the sector and interdisciplinary practice. Eleven Arts Council England staff attended from across different artforms in an unprecedented cross-departmental gathering.
  • Development of the publication ​ The Live Art Almanac Volume 2, a collection of found writing about and around Live Art. Produced and published by the Live Art Development Agency in partnership with Live Art UK, Performance Space 122 (New York, USA) and Performance Space (Sydney, Australia).

​Since 2011, Live Art UK has received funding through the Live Art Development Agency’s Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation Award, following which:

Between 2012 and 2015, three Annual Gatherings took place in London, Birmingham and Bristol for a group of invited LAUK Associates, to foster networking, sharing and the development of working plans and models of best practice for the network.

In 2016, the network restructured the idea of LAUK Associates into expanding communications and resources to a wider network of over 2,000 industry, education and press advocates, alongside a redesign of the Live Art UK website and the launch of a monthly email newsletter.

2016 also saw new projects from LAUK:

  • PLAYING UP: an artwork by Sibylle Peters exploring the potential of intergenerational art in the form of a game that kids and adults play together.
  • A continuation of Live Art UK’s research with The Audience Agency.
  • Support towards the tenth anniversary of Forest Fringe.
  • The development of initiatives around issues of diversity and support for artists.

For more information about current LAUK projects, please see our Activities page.

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