About Us

Vitalising Live Art in the North of England

Compass was founded in 2010 by a freelance consortium made of up Karen Watson (East Street Arts), Annie Lloyd (Freelance Programmer) and Sarah Spanton (Waymarking). Its goals were to support the practice of and infrastructure behind live art and socially engaged art practice across Yorkshire and the Humber. Over a jam-packed 18 month programme of workshops, performance platforms and sector meetings, new networks and collaborations were formed, culminating in the Compass Festival and Symposium of Live Art which took place in Leeds in November 2011. 

In 2013, Compass Live Art became a company limited by guarantee, dedicated to supporting live art and socially engaged arts right across the north of England.

Today, we continue our commitment to the vitality of these things through the following strands of activity:

- Commissioning and producing artists to make new work for public and found spaces around the north of England. Find out more about our 2015 projects on the Events page.

- Working with venues and other festivals to present and/or premiere touring performance work. Find out more about works we're programming in 2015 through the Events page.

- Producing and presenting a regular festival of live art in Leeds. The other half of this website, which can be found through the yellow side bar on the right hand side contains archives of our 2011 and 2014 programmes. We're currently busy fundraising to return with a third edition in Autumn 2016.

- Artist-led professional development programme. You can read about this in the Past section of our Events page. In 2014 we ran events in Hull, Bradford, Sheffield and Leeds. In 2015, this programme will be led by Leeds-based interactive arts trio, Invisible Flock.

- Running a specialist emerging producer trainee scheme. This unique mix of work based learning, mentoring, workshops and masterclasses underpins how we produce our biennial festival and is growing a strong network of young graduates passionate about project managing and supporting the work of live and socially engaged arts practitioners across the north of England. Follow the link in bold to see where the 2014 alumni are now...

- Publications: In Spring 2015, we published Unruly Utterances: participation, criticality and Compass Festival 2014 in association with Live Art UK. You can download a copy from the link below.

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  • Women with beards looking in mirror

    Because My Vogue is Your Vogue Jade Pollard-Crowe photo: Jonathan Turner