Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Friday, 3 November 2017

Jump Start Showcase


This month will see the return of the Jump Start Showcase.

The second event  of this innovative project , which brings together local writers, directors and performers to present new theatre, will feature a new theatre showcase as well as a writer’s workshop.

Funded by Arts Council England, and part of the Worcestershire Arts Partnership's 1000 Arts Strategy, the project is an opportunity for writers to try out new ideas, experiment with different forms, integrate into the local arts networks, and get feedback from fellow arts practitioners and discerning audiences.

The 5 new pieces of theatre are:
 
‘Killer Joke’  by Ben Mowbray
'The 25p Man’ by Catherine Crosswell
‘Supernova’ by Alex Cofield
‘Sommber’ by Max Dean
‘Aston Expressway’ by Alice Tomlinson
 
The showcase takes place at Malvern Cube at 7pm on 9 November.  The event is free but donations will be accepted. 

The Malvern Cube will also be hosting the first in a series of workshops designed to support local writers’ development.

The workshop takes place at Malvern Cube on 12 November from 5-7pm and will be led by Pentabus Theatre Company Artistic Director, Sophie Motley, on the theme of 'How to Engage with Rural Communities - making collaborative theatre'. 

Open to theatre artists of all shapes and sizes from dramaturgs to musicians via writers and performers and designers, this workshop will explore different methods of creatively engaging with and responding to rural communities and issues.

Please feel free to bring with you any stories, encounters, or ideas you have had about rural issues / communities. If you are a musician, do feel free to bring an instrument. 

Elaine Knight, Arts Development Assistant, said: "These are wonderful opportunities for local writers to learn from experienced specialists who have been working in this field for many years. They will be challenging, innovative, organic and locally sourced so don't miss out on this opportunity to see these aspiring new playwrights, and learn from theatre experts."

Steve Wilson and Lee Farley, Project Managers said ‘We can’t wait to see these new plays and are delighted to be back at The Cube for the performance event. The workshop will also be a great opportunity for writers to get valuable training too.

Workshop places are limited and cost £5 each. Buy your place at www.ticketsource.co.uk/reactiontheatre

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Help Artrix reach their fundraising target to support mental health projects with young people.


Artrix has been selected to be part of The Big Give Christmas Challenge!

 Artrix is delighted to have been selected to be part of The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge this year; the UK’s biggest online match funding campaign. Find out more here: https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/project/28556.  

We hope to secure funds for a two year mental health programme, Disorder, including developing further the Hyped theatre production and delivering a Mental Health Youth Arts Festival, featuring the creative work of young people from Worcestershire schools, colleges, universities and youth groups.

Thank you to our pledgers, funders and champions to date. So far, we have raised £4253 in pledge and champion funds. This means we now have a challenge to raise a further £4253 in online donations in the week of 28th November – 5th December, 2017. Our overall (Big Give) fundraising target is £8506. The heat is on as we need to make this target in order to access pledge and champion funds!      
 
We hope that you might be interested in taking part in our online giving campaign as part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge and to help Artrix to secure online donations during the week of 28th November – 5th December, 2017.
 
We appreciate any support you can give and will be in touch soon with more information about how you can get involved. In the meantime, if you would like any further information or would like to offer support in a different way, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Newslettter for September



Newsletter – September 2017

 

Introduction

The summer seems a long time ago as I write this on a cold, murky late September morning. Yet there is something of a new-year feeling with lots of arts resolutions in place. What better way of a new start than having a new person in place and so I say 'Welcome Elaine Knight'. Elaine is the new Part Time 'Arts Development Assistant' for Worcestershire County Council. She will be managed by Trevor Jones and despite listening to my jokes is still smiling. In between jokes I asked Elaine a few questions!

 
Hi Elaine – tell us about yourself?

I lived and worked in Lincolnshire for 26 years before moving to Worcestershire. I was the Performing Arts Manager for artsNK, an arts development agency based in Sleaford, in the heart of Lincolnshire.  My role included; developing the performing arts programme across North Kesteven, overseeing the artistic programme of The Terry O Toole Theatre (a 200 seater venue), managing a dance and older people's programme across the county, overseeing the Lincolnshire One Venue's programme which aims to connect young people and venues together in a more meaningful way and codirected a Creative People and Places Programme, Transported, in the south of the county.

Originally I trained as dancer and have always worked in rural areas, creating opportunities for people to take part in the arts who don't always have access to them.

 What attracted you to working in Worcestershire?

 Worcestershire feels a little bit similar to Lincolnshire -  A rural county made up of a city, a number of market towns and large areas of more isolated villages.  As someone who believes in creating opportunities for people who don't always have access to the arts it was important to me to move to somewhere where the arts didn't always take place in dedicated arts venues and there was the opportunity to develop a programme in non-traditional venues like village halls, schools and libraries. 

 What are you looking forward to most?

I really like the way the arts in Worcestershire work together through the Arts Partnership so I am looking forward to getting to know how that works and how together we can put the arts at the centre of people's lives.

 Good stuff and I know Elaine will be a brilliant addition to the WAP er family/massive/group.

 Updates

Arts and Health (New Prescriptions)

The NP Group, led by Jenny Davis, have been very busy with an event called 'Conversations About Death and Dying'. This was undertaken in partnership with Dr Maggie Keeble, who has a great interest in supporting people in their final years. We had a mixture of arts and health professionals at the event at the Hive on the 20th September and we listened to a great presentation from Sharon Hudson from Birmingham YODO (You Only Die Once) who showed what our Brum friends are up too as well as some terrific arts interventions in this area. Despite the subject matter the event was both serious but also light hearted. Interesting fact – the mortality rate for those who will read this will be 100%. It was also the first project where someone emailed me as Dr Wilson too.

 Economy

Last night (the 28th of September) saw 15 Festival providers get together to see if as a group (a flock perhaps) of Festivals can get together to share good practice, ideas and collaboration. Led by Oliver Carpenter, we had a great evening, with live music and free beer from the Teme Valley Brewery. There was lots of enthusiasm and energy and our next question is 'what next' but there was a real drive and purpose to it all. Big thanks to Oliver for driving this.

 Jump Start Performance

Our next event is planned for the Feast Festival at The Malvern Cube. There will be two events. The first is a new showcase of new plays. Lee and I read through 27 submissions of new work which we have shortlisted to 5. The showcase will be on Thursday 9th of November and on the Sunday 12th there will be a workshop by Pentabus Theatre in writing for a Rural audience.

Inspiring Futures in the Arts

Debbie Birch and yours truly have been busy recruiting artists for our project funded by the West Mercia Police Crime Commissioner. We have recruited 7 new artists from a variety of art forms and are ready to go! We now have great partnerships with Probation, YSS and County Council Children Services.

Vamos and Forthright Productions (Jest a Minute)


I was so proud to recently attend shows from two of our wonderful theatre companies. Vamos performed Finding Joy at The Courtyard in Hereford and Forthright at The Everyman in Cheltenham. Two excellent shows from companies who we should be proud of.

 
Last but least…

This is my last newsletter as County Arts Officer. When I took over, the Arts Partnership was 6 local authority officers. Now thanks to you all we have over 150 active 'members' and a thousand or so followers. To see this happen has been inspiring. Thank you. It really has been a pleasure. – Steve