Three of the UK’s leading theatres have joined forces to create the Naseem Khan Commissions, an ambitious new initiative to support artists of colour.

The theatres, Leicester’s Curve, The Lowryin Salford and Bristol Old Vic Ferment, are looking for three ethnically diverse artists or companies to apply for the programme, which will support the creation and touring of brand new work.

Named after cultural activist and Journalist Naseem Khan, who passed away last year, the commissions programme will give artists £2,000 worth of funding each, 18 months of support, rehearsal space and programmed slots for the presentation of work across the partner network of theatres.

Speaking about the programme, Naseem Khan’s daughter Amelia Torodesaid:

“Theatre mattered enormously to Naseem because she understood the transformative power of shared storytelling and collective experiences. Stories reflect and shape cultural identity and in these times of change, it’s vital that new story tellers emerge and flourish. This award does exactly that. We can’t wait to see what new talent is unlocked.”

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Staffordand Artistic Director Nikolai Fostersaid:

“We are pleased to be launching this new programme with our partners at The Lowry and Bristol Old Vic Ferment. At Curve, we are clear that the work on our stages should reflect the diversity of our communities. This has always been part of Curve’s DNA and we are excited to be partnering with colleagues in Salford and Bristol on this scheme.

“We’re proud this programme is named after Naseem Khan, whose ground-breaking report – The Arts Britain Ignores & Diversity in British Theatre – inspired our diversity conference in 2016. We were honoured Naseem visited Curve to deliver the opening address and it is fitting her legacy should live on with this programme.”

The deadline to apply for the Naseem Khan Commissions is the28 September at 10am,with interviews taking place in Leicester at Curve on 19 October.

Artists looking to apply can send a completed application form, together with a CV/biography and a max 500 word statement on the show you would like to use this support to make; or alternatively a YouTube/Vimeo link to a 2 minute video on the same theme.

All applications must be sent to

For more information or to download an application form, visit  

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Great Central, John has been actively involved in Leicester's creative community for over a decade - promoting shows and releasing records under the name Robot Needs Home. He is a director of Handmade Festival, and ex member of the band Maybeshewill.

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