Supported Artists

Artist Imagination Fund

This is a fund that we allocate each year. It is £3000 per year and we have supported everything from a few days in a rehearsal space to the exploration of how to use captioning for small children. 

Art with Heart  

Art With Heart are a Manchester company who made a big success with their last show, an autobiographical story about living with ADHD. 

We supported them with the development of their new show, STAN, through a week’s R&D (Research & Development). STAN is about a friendship between a deaf girl and a hearing boy who is having problems at home. STAN is going to be Z-arts’ main commission for 2021/ 2022.

“Z-arts and Big Imaginations have been incredibly supportive of our work from wellbeing events, theatre performances to creative participatory activities – they’ve supported us not only to make new work but helped us improve it for the audiences and young people we work with.” 

Chad Taylor   

Chad is a Manchester dance artist, who used to come to dance classes at Z-arts in his youth. Chad creates work that is exciting for a young audience.  

“Working with Z-arts & Big Imaginations has been a great experience. The support has been great from creative support to supplying the project with staff and space.”

Chrissy Jones / Proud and Loud  

Chrissy is an artist supported by Proud and Loud. Z-arts and Big Imaginations have supported Chrissy to have a process that lets her identify, meet and interview a selection of writers so she can get the perfect writer for her project. 

We are delighted to be supporting this process as it will allow her to meet a selection of writers and give Chrissy the agency over her own process. 

Daniel Bye  

Dan is supported through our Big Imaginations Artists Imagination Fund. He is starting to develop a new piece called So Unfair.  

“Z-arts and Big Imaginations are a dream organisation for an artist to work with. They’re incredibly generous, supportive and back you completely. I’m enormously proud of the ongoing work with them and incredibly excited about what it’ll turn into.”

Filament Theatre  

Filament are supported through our Big Imaginations Artist Imagination Fund. 

“The R&D funding we received from Big Imaginations not only helped us to get a project we were passionate about off the ground it also made us feel trusted and respected as artists. Securing R&D funding can be tricky. As artists you know that keeping your creative process open to new ideas and stories will result in a more authentic and interesting project, yet often funders need to know about specific outcomes. Big Imaginations trusted us as artists to know how best to use the creative time their funding afforded us in order to serve our ideas and our participant’s ideas and needs.” 

Hina Qureshi   

An emerging artist who wants to develop an interactive storytelling piece. Big Imaginations and The Boo are supporting her to take those next steps.  


“Big Imaginations has helped me to continue my journey as it would have been difficult in current circumstances to get funds for my production. The continuity of support that I received from Big Imaginations has allowed me to carry on the vital work of sharing muslim stories to the audiences which is a far reaching and influential work to be carried forward. Thank you for this amazing opportunity, it has open up a pathway for me to share and connect with so many people.”

Ian Bloomfield & Ben Rothera   

We are supporting the development of a hip hop musical and some family engagement workshops through Burnley Youth Theatre and Touchstones.   


Ros Norford  

Ros is an artist that we supported in different ways for some time now, through both participation and now programming and artist development. 

We supported through all of lockdown with some commissioning money and mentoring support. We supported alongside STUN the first R&D phase for Aleiah’s Adventure. 

Ros has now been successful with ACE funding and we are supporting her with the creative team and shaping of the project.  

“Working with Z-arts and Big Imaginations has been a huge help for me in becoming the artist I want to be. Their support has enabled me to learn so much as they’ve challenged me to take my work to the next level by connecting me to some brilliant opportunities.”

Sudha Bhuchar  

Big Imaginations was a key partner for Bhuchar Boulevard’s revival of  Child of the Divide, which marked the 70th anniversary of the partition of India and launched the company. 

“I felt anchored and supported by their collaborative approach which permeated all aspects of the project and enabled the show to be at the heart of the Big Imaginations festival that year and tour to all the consortium venues.  From investing money and resources, Liz O’Neill and her team were passionate about the play and found so many other ways to elevate the work- through engaging schools in their own response pieces, commissioning the education resource pack to their warm hospitality for the company. Z-arts has continued to support me as an artist and care about my future journey through seed support for my next family project, Sita Brahmachari’s award winning debut novel Artichoke Hearts. For a freelance artist like me, that gives much needed hope at this difficult time.”