Funding Success for Point Supported Grad-Lab Project
KJ Mortimer. Photo Credit Dougie Evans

After the accomplishment of last year’s pilot, The Point supported project Grad-Lab is set to return this year following news that it successfully secured a £14,839 Grants for the Arts funding from Arts Council England.

Grad-Lab aids the development of graduate artists, and was founded by KJ Mortimer, the New Dimensions in Dance’s Agent for Excellence based at The Point, Eastleigh, This year the project will also receive funding support from the University of Winchester and the University of Chichester, helping to fully establish Grad-Lab as an integral next step for graduating students.

The Point’s Artistic Director Sacha Lee says,

“We pleased to be championing this project that addresses the gap in between graduate and professional practice, and importantly it makes sure we keep our graduates in our local area after their training. With broader support from the two key Universities in the region, this project has huge potential to grow. We’re looking forward to seeing the talent develop and for it to reach our main stage in the not too distant future”

The 90 applications for last year’s pilot clearly demonstrated the high demand for this kind of opportunity – and in particular the 97% of applications from graduates in the southern regions, reinforced the need for bespoke projects like this outside of London. The mix of choreographer, dancer and administrator applications also reflects the need for development in all areas of artistic practise: with the project shedding light on the different pathways within a career in dance.

Following the pilot Grad-Lab in 2016, all the participants acknowledged that the project allowed them to gain a much deeper understanding of the path to a successful artistic career within the dance sector.

Grab-Lab 2016 Choreographer Jacob Bray says,

 “The business side of being freelance is something that I had next to no idea about before Grad-Lab, now I understand that the choreography is actually only half of the work. Having company image, reputation, contacts and networks are absolutely key in becoming a successful freelance artist.”

For 2017 the Grad-Lab team is once again looking to support two graduate choreographers, eight graduate dances and one graduate administrator. As part of the project, the participants will be offered a range of workshops in marketing, freelancing, employability, costume and company set up. They will also receive studio space to develop their own work, choreographic mentorship, experience of professional performance and developing relations between a company and a venue when their work tours to a number of different arts spaces, and practice in delivering workshops in a range of school and education settings.

Applications are now open for Grad-Lab 2017. To apply, graduates should email their current CV and statement of interest to by 5pm on Monday 15th May.

Interviews and Auditions will take place on the following dates:

Administrator & Producing Role - Interview on Wednesday 31st May

Choreographer Role - Audition & Interview on Thursday 1st June

Dancer Role - Audition on Friday 9th June

For more information email KJ Mortimer at


For more information and other press-related enquiries please contact The Point’s Marketing Department on 023 8062 7823 or on email at


Photo Credit: Dougie Evans