Words of support by Michaela Butter MBE

We hosted an introductory event at The Exchange to share Tetrad's future plans and make new connections across the East Midlands. We are very grateful to Michaela Butter MBE who presented some very kind words of support:

I am Director of Embrace Arts in Leicester. We are a multidisciplinary arts centre based just off New Walk on the edge of Leicester University’s campus. We pride ourselves on our commitment to inclusive practice welcoming artists and performers to experiment, participate, play and perform across our building.

We very much like the idea of “artist take-overs” of our building and for the past 5 years have been working with the Nottingham based artist collective Hatch to deliver showcases of experimental live art – allowing more experienced artists to challenge their own comfort zones and those of the audiences whilst enabling emerging talent to receive peer group support and feedback.  

Over the past two years we have also been working with the dance collective Quick Shifts to allow them to rehearse and present improvised dance to new audiences .

It was through meeting members of Tetrad on a regular basis at these events that the idea for a new kind of event emerged.
What made me excited to be working with Tetrad was that this is a collective and creative partnership rooted within Leicester and connected to the growing number of graduates who are recognising that Leicester is an exciting place to live and make work.

Selfishly I saw an opportunity for our venue to create new connections with emerging artists and to raise our profile as a creative hub for new work. I really liked Tetrad’s ideas around creating a supportive environment to test new ideas and to foster dialogue and feedback with and from others so that emerging artists can feel more confident and less isolated about their practice.

Tetrad is a group of artists who have already demonstrated a professional and dedicated approach to their own creative learning as well as exhibiting a generosity of approach in sharing and responding to others. 

Throughout their time at University these are the under-graduates that I saw on a regular basis coming to events, actively participating in master-classes and workshops as well as staying in the bar after the show to chat to performers and fellow artists. They were the first to volunteer to take part in our events and to help us to spread the word about our events through their networks.

The first Tetrad event brought a large audience of young people to our venue. Many had not been to our space before and I would like to think will now think we are not a remote and elitist place. 

I am aware that some of the work that was performed for the first time at our venue has been refined and shown elsewhere demonstrating the potential for Tetrad to become a respected platform to which other producers and venue managers might attend to spot new talent for their own venues. 

I am delighted to be entering into a longer term arrangement with Tetrad and very much hope that you will join us on this journey.

In the Autumn of this year Embrace will be doubling the size of our venue with three new flexible exhibition spaces and an outdoor performance area. We will also be changing our name to the Attenborough Arts Centre to celebrate our connection with the Attenborough Family and our new patron the Theatre Director, Michael Attenborough. We see these new spaces providing exciting scope for cross art form collaborations and projects and hope Tetrad will help us to maximise our potential to reach new artists and audiences.

In the meantime I hope you will visit us before our next Tetrad event in March!