Students Staff

Arts at Essex


Barbara Peirson

It's fantastic to work at a university with three theatres. It shows how seriously we take the arts. The University and its donors have been incredibly generous, helping us to significantly enrich students' lives.

Barbara Peirson, Artistic Director, Lakeside Theatre

A unique offering

At Essex we take the arts seriously.

  • We're the only UK university to have a theatre on each of our campuses.
  • We own the only art collection in Europe dedicated to modern and contemporary art from Latin America – ESCALA.
  • Our acclaimed gallery Art Exchange shows international, contemporary art by established and emergent artists.
  • We recently created a pop-up gallery in the Hexagon for Something Fierce, our 50th anniversary exhibition.

Built on philanthropy

Since re-opening in 2008, our Lakeside Theatre has gone from strength to strength. The Lakeside offers everything from cutting-edge theatre to open mic nights, nurturing fresh talent and attracting new audiences in Colchester and further afield.

This refurbishment was made possible by the support of our alumni, staff and charitable foundations including the Garfield Weston and Foyle Foundations.

Making a difference

Today, thousands of students, researchers, and members of the public experience art at Essex. Our alumni have had a huge impact on the arts, such as David Yates, director of the final four Harry Potter films and BAFTA award winning documentary maker Nick Broomfield.

With your help, we can continue to nurture the next generation of artistic talent and offer a high-quality artistic experience for our community. Want to know more? Get in touch.