The Zap started as a one night a week cabaret, eventually turning into a 600 capacity night club promoting programmes that sat at the leading edge of art and entertainment. It evolved into a series of companies that branched out from the club in Brighton to create events and programmes across the UK. Zap was invited to Scotland to lead the Streetbiz Festival in Glasgow in 1988 as the city prepared the infrastructure for 1990 European City of Culture.
In 1994, UZ Events was formed at the invitation of Glasgow City. It was a partnership of Unique Events (Edinburgh) and Zap Productions. Led by me, its remit was to create large-scale events that could turn cities into venues –huge platforms. As the company developed and with support from local authorities across Scotland and England, UZ was able to support artists through commissioning and to start creating productions where we were the creative producers.
In 2010, UZ Events evolved into UZ Arts an artist-focused charity with an evolved mission to support art work through residencies, commissions, co-productions and curation. Residencies were created across Europe with our partners in the IN SITU network and through the Sura Medura International Artist Residency Centre in Sri Lanka.
UZ Arts closed in March 2020 when the national funding body Creative Scotland chose to cease funding the organisation.
Scottish critic and columnist Joyce McMillan wrote an article on the 20 years of UZ which you can read through this link.