Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

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Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
LIPA big.jpg
LIPA's main entrance, on Mount Street
General information
Town or city Liverpool
Country England
Coordinates 53°23′58.4″N 2°58′20.3″W / 53.399556°N 2.972306°W / 53.399556; -2.972306Coordinates: 53°23′58.4″N 2°58′20.3″W / 53.399556°N 2.972306°W / 53.399556; -2.972306
Construction started 1990
Completed 7 June 1996
Cost £20m
Design and construction
Architect David Watkins - Brock Carmichael Architects

The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) is one of the United Kingdom's leading institutions for performing arts.[citation needed] The university is situated in the English city of Liverpool. LIPA offers training in Acting, Community Drama, Dance, Music, Music, Theatre and Entertainment Management, Sound Technology, Theatre and Performance Technology, and Theatre and Performance Design.

It offers eight full-time B.A. Honours degrees, as well as three Foundation Certificate programmes of study.

The Education Guardian has previously ranked the university #1 in the UK for several of its degree courses. LIPA is regularly amongst the top 10 in rankings for specialist institutions also.

In September 2003 LIPA launched LIPA 4:19; a part-time performing arts academy for 4 to 19 year olds. Due to the popularity of LIPA 4:19, new satellite schools have been launched at Maghull High School in September 2008 and at South Wirral High School in January 2013. It also has franchises situated in Derby, Knutsford, Ramsey on the Isle of Man, Rainhill, Runcorn, Wanstead and Sofia, Bulgaria. Franchises can be opened in locations in the UK and overseas.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts was started by Sir Paul McCartney and Mark Featherstone-Witty.

It was a meeting of two ideas: McCartney had known since 1985 that the building which had housed his old school — the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys — was becoming increasingly derelict after the school's closure, and wished to find a productive use for it; Mark Featherstone-Witty had set up the Brit School in London, and wanted to try his ideas on a bigger scale.

Featherstone-Witty had been fired up by Alan Parker’s 1980 film Fame, about the New York High School for the Performing Arts. The film inspired him to think about what training would have best prepared him and others for lasting work in the arts and entertainment industry. The film gave him the idea that performing artists needed to train in all three performing arts (acting, dance and music) at the same time. Then he read a book about musicians who had failed to understand they were entering a business, despite the phrase "show business". He also took on board the idea that performers formed the tip of an arts and entertainment employment iceberg. Performers were a fraction of the employment. From these basic concepts, he created a blueprint for a new type of training and then spent three years quizzing the industry and refining his philosophy. By 1985 he had nearly 50 artists, directors, choreographers and entrepreneurs backing him.

Record producer Sir George Martin knew that Featherstone-Witty was looking for somewhere to develop a school, and that McCartney was looking for someone who could save the building, and so introduced them to each other. The struggle to create the facility and the school took seven years and is described in more detail on LIPA's website, and in a book by Featherstone-Witty. It was not easy, but then, as McCartney reminds Featherstone-Witty from time to time, "if it were easy, everyone would be doing it". It took £20m for the facility, the curriculum and the support to maintain and develop all three.

1996 - today[edit]

LIPA was opened by Her Majesty The Queen on 7 June 1996, and since then its range of courses has expanded with each new academic year. From the start, the desire and so the challenge was to achieve excellence with access.[citation needed] The final solution was to offer higher education courses to achieve excellence and a range of open and flexible learning courses to achieve access. To this day, both embody the heart of the Institute.[citation needed]

LIPA celebrated its tenth birthday in January 2006 with a performance at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and a new book, 'LIPA - The First Ten Years in Pictures',[1] written by Mark Featherstone-Witty.

There have been a variety of highlights, the most rewarding being the achievement of the initial dream of sustained employment. A recent survey of graduates who left in 2007 showed that 96% were in work, and 87% of those were working in the performing arts.[2] In order to sustain this, the curriculum is constantly being revised.[3]

LIPA was designated in 2006 – the first new higher education institution to have been started from scratch in living memory. As a performing arts HEI, LIPA is attended by the highest number of international students in the UK.[4]

LIPA has been awarded the Silver Standard from Investors in People - the only HEI to have achieved this level in the UK.[5] LIPA also has the highest concentration of Fellows and Associates recognised by The Higher Education Academy.

In March 2012, LIPA announced that it had purchased John Lennon's old art school building, the former Liverpool College of Art for £3.7million to expand its teaching space.[6]

Statistics[edit]

There were 5,225 applications to the institute through UCAS in 2010, of which only 208 were accepted, giving the Institute an overall acceptance rate of 4%. The Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts takes a holistic approach to assessing entry and apart from the academic requirements, the school also takes into consideration applicants' creative ability, past experience and potential.

Current Courses[edit]

Foundation Certificates[edit]

  • Foundation Certificate in Acting and Musical Theatre
  • Foundation Certificate in Commercial Dance
  • Foundation Certificate in Popular Music and Sound Technology

Undergraduate (Degree)[edit]

Companions[edit]

LIPA does not want to issue its own degrees, so rather than issuing Honorary Degrees like other British universities, it awards "Companionships". LIPA awards companionships to individuals in recognition of their contributions to the world of art and entertainment, particularly within the sectors to which LIPA is linked.

Prospective companions usually attend the Institute at least once before they are invited to become companions in order to give masterclasses to students, or to participate in "Conversation with" type question and answer sessions. Some then revisit the Institute at later dates.

2013 Keith Johnstone; Mark Ronson; Stephen Mear; Xenon Schoepe; Andy Hayles; Seymour Stein; Rowena Morgan was also presented as an Honoured Friend

2012 Matthew Bourne; Pam Schweitzer; Kevin Godley; Gary lloyd; Michael Harrison; Jason Barnes; Owen Wilson; Victor Greenberg was also presented as an Honoured Friend

2011 David Bell; Paule Constable; Caroline Elleray; Chris Johnson; Steve Nestar; Billy Ocean; Hannah Waddingham; Spencer Leigh was also presented as an Honoured Friend.

2010 Alan Moulder; LaVelle Smith Jnr; Dave Pammenter; Christopher Oram; Jonathan Pryce; Heather Knight; Midge Ure; Mark Summers was also presented as an Honoured Friend.

2009 Will Young; Joe McGann; Pippa Ailion; John Fox; Richard Hudson; Natricia Bernard; Tony Platt

2008 John Hurt; Trevor Horn; Cathy Dennis; Ann Harrison; Nitin Sawhney; Lea Anderson

2007 Anita Dobson; Alan McGee; David Pugh; Ralph Koltai; Steve Levine; Ben Elton

2006 Lynda Bellingham; Sir Ken Robinson; Jörg Sennheiser; Terence Stamp; David Stark

2005 Guy Chambers; Robin Gibb; Alec McCowen; Tim Wheeler

2004 The Bangles; Ken Campbell (actor); Tim Firth; Terry Marshall; Arlene Phillips; Willy Russell; Jon Webster

2003 Barbara Dickson; Anthony Everitt; Nickolas Grace; Andy McCluskey

2002 Stephen Bayley; Anthony Field; Thelma Holt; Anthony H Wilson

2001 Joan Armatrading +; Benny Gallagher; Malcolm McLaren

+ denotes a Companion who is also a LIPA Patron.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ LIPA - The First Ten Years In Pictures[1],
  2. ^ LIPA website
  3. ^ ‘'LIPA website - About LIPA [2],
  4. ^ ‘'LIPA website - International Students [3],
  5. ^ LIPA website - 'LIPA sets new standard in performing arts sector'
  6. ^ BBC News - Paul McCartney's LIPA buys John Lennon's art college building [4],

External links[edit]

'History section' adapted from the LIPA 'History Page'