Issue date: 31 January 2003

UWE and Watershed have signed an agreement to boost the region's media arts to coincide with the City's 2008 Capital of Culture bid. The new agreement is designed to build on the long history of collaborative working by developing a range of new strategic initiatives to expand the opportunities for promoting new talent and innovation in digital media. These initiatives include a new on-line channel, Digital Shed to showcase new talent and innovation in digital media, as well as investment in Watershed to provide new facilities for creative development.

The agreement will also mean UWE and the Watershed will plan and work together to advance the mission and strategy of the two institutions. Commenting on the agreement the University's Vice-Chancellor Alfred Morris said, "UWE is wholly committed to the 2008 Capital of Culture bid. In bringing together the region's leading public media centre, the University's strengths in teaching and research and some excellent companies in the region we hope to develop and promote the region's excellence in digital arts. The agreement will also improve opportunities for students and research staff."

Dick Penny, Watershed Managing Director said "Joint working will enable an expansion of the range of creative development opportunities both at Watershed and beyond through the growing web presence. The new alliance will enhance Watershed's role as a hub for the creative industries and strengthen the links between industry, community and education sectors."

Bristol is the second media city outside London and has generated hundreds of small and medium sized media companies working in animation, screen design, interactive
multi-media, creative sound technology, and special effects. Media production courses in the city attract hundreds of students, over a third of whom stay on in the city and
region and contribute to the economy and creative ambience of the South West.


Notes to Editor

1. Recent Watershed - UWE Collaborations
Most collaborations are with UWE's Faculty of Art Media Design

Clarks/DA2 Digital Bursary – part-funder - basis for research project
Transparent Cinema - Fine Art in Context undergraduate project
Transparent Cinema - Fine Art in Context undergraduate work experience
Brief Encounters - Communications Media undergraduate project
useIT - MEDIAworks training and presentation sessions
Interactive TV Seminars x 3 - with Cultural Studies
Annual Report CDRom - research and development project
Virtual Geographies - Fine Art in Context undergraduate project
Virtual Geographies - Fine Art in Context undergraduate work experience
New Portuguese Cinema Season - with Centre for European Studies
German Cinema Today - day school with Centre for European Studies
Clarks/DA2 Digital Bursary – part-funder - basis for research project
Animated Encounters - Online Interactive focus on Bristol Animation Industry
Excess in Contemporary European Cinema - summer school
Digital Arts Curation and Practice – AHRB research project
DigIT West - ICT training consortium
Annual Media Lecture
Communications Media – AMD degree showcase
Metamorphosis media industry training programme
BCTN broadband training programme
BCTN interactive prototype programme
useIT - programme of seminars, events and exhibition on interactive/
Art Media & Design Research Conference – Exchange III
The Centre for Critical Theory at UWE Alternative Series - lecture series
Expansionslot.org - UWE Time Based Media – graduate project development and exhibition
Mediations - one day exhibition of work in progress by Cultural and Media Studies students.
International Conference Games Cultures - also collab. with Cheltenham andGloucester College of Higher Education.
The Clark Digital Bursary – part-funder
Net_Working - online exhibition programmed by Dew Harrison
German Artist in residence - development of digital practice in partnership with UWE
CPCA Academic Conference – March 2002 exploring issues of public grief, private mourning
Electric December 2000 and 2001 – Andy Sheppard and three macs mk 2
UWE Media Show - degree showcase screenings and exhibition
MEDIAworks seminars & meetings
Brief Encounters: 3 evenings of Discussion about Short Film
Online Learning Resource CROSSING OVER published at www.watershed.co.uk/east

2. Information on Watershed
Watershed provides opportunities for all to experience, enjoy and learn about contemporary moving image media. The programme of feature films, video, multimedia, the Internet, photography, courses and events is
presented in two cinemas, a digital café, darkrooms, a digital suite and on the world wide web. Watershed also has one of the most relaxed and welcoming Café/Bars in the city and unique conference facilities with a full range of audio visual facilities and high quality catering.

With an established brand, strong and growing demand, high levels of user satisfaction and loyalty Watershed welcomed 500,000 visitors in 2001/2002 and more than 1million web page views in the same year, extending its impact and user groups through new technologies.

"Watershed has transformed into one of the most innovative centres for stimulating and enabling digital connectivity between the creativity of the South West and the rest of the world." ABL Consulting

A key area of activity for Watershed is online media development and the creative application of new technologies. Watershed is constantly seeking to develop new creative content by working in partnership with artists, schools, Further Education, Higher Education, community groups and media companies. Through these partnerships Watershed also seeks to run innovative new media skills development programmes. With an emphasis on social inclusion, seeking to empower those who are marginalised from the mainstream, Watershed exploits the potential of new technologies for creative audio visual expression.

Watershed is an enabler in fostering networking between the region's cultural, economic and social sectors. It¹s a networking hub for development of skills and promotion of talent.

Watershed is supported by Bristol City Council, South West Arts, South West Screen and Arts Council of England.

For further information on Watershed please contact Louise Gardner or Becky Pratchett - Communications Office - 0117 927 6444 / louise@watershed.co.uk / becky@watershed.co.uk
http://www.watershed.co.uk Watershed Media Centre, 1 Canon's Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5TX

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