Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Monday, 9 October 2017

Newslettter for September

Newsletter – September 2017



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.


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.


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

Friday, 6 October 2017

A Talk and a Quiz!

Artist Katy Beinart is doing a talk and 'Brine-teaser' quiz on Wed 11 October at Droitwich Arts Network. We'd appreciate any help you can give on letting people know about the event on social media nd through your email networks. We have a post on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheRingWorcs/posts/140873933111940 and Twitter https://twitter.com/TheRingWorcs/status/916226554119753728 accounts, which you can share, and the full info is on our website here: https://theringart.org.uk/events/katy-beinart-talk-in-droitwich/. You can also like our post on Instagram and share it, if you are on there too https://www.instagram.com/p/BZ5lPvfHIZo/?taken-by=theringworcs .

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Wednesday, 27 September 2017


I am really delighted to welcome Elaine Knight to the arts team. She is now in her second week here and is still smiling!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Artists wanted for exciting project



Artist Brief for ‘Create Your Way to Losing Weight

Create Your Way to Losing Weight is an exciting, new pilot arts project being run by Worcestershire County Council, Worcestershire Arts Partnership and Wychavon District Council in the Evesham area.  The aim of the project is to provide high quality and enjoyable arts activities for adults who are thinking about losing weight, are on a diet or who want to maintain their weight. It’s a new creative course for people who would like to build up their confidence and self-esteem.

As far as we know a project of this kind has never been run before in Worcestershire so we are breaking new ground here.

We would like to run the project on a weekly basis for a period of up to 10 weeks on a Thursday evening.  It could combine different art forms or focus on 1 art form. We will run various taster sessions for the first workshop and then the group will decide what they want to do.  

The project is free to the participants.  There is also a strong social element within Create Your Way to Losing Weight and each session must contain enjoyable (and good humoured) activities.  Having said that, Create Your Way to Losing Weight is first and foremost an arts project.

We are looking for 1 artist to run a weekly 1.5 hour workshop taking place on a Thursday from the 5th October to 14th December 2017, not including half term (26 October) from 7 pm to 8.30 p.m. in at least 1 or more of the following artistic systems:

             Visual arts

             Creative writing

How to apply


To apply, please send your CV and letter of no more than 2 sides of A4 outlining your skills, suitability for the job and the following information to Susan Marsh, Business Support Assistant, Smarsh2@worcestershire.gov.uk:


             Evidence of previous experience working in a community setting

             Detailed description of what artistic skills you have

             Experience of running weekly workshops to a wide group of participants

             Have creative ideas for working with adults who have mental health issues


£100 per session or £1,000 in total although additional costs can be requested for materials. Plus 2 meetings at £40 a meeting. If however, numbers are low after the first 4 weeks / sessions, we will unfortunately have to end the project.


Closing date

Applications to be emailed to Smarsh2@worcestershire.gov.uk  by no later than 4pm on 21st Sept

Please note we would prefer to receive applications from artists based in or have a track record of working in the Worcestershire area.

If you require any further information or have any questions, please contact either Stephen Wilson, swilson@worcestershire.gov.uk, tel 01905 765754 or Jenny Davis, jenny.davis@wychavon.gov.uk , tel 01386 565396.

JAZZ SATURDAY….  An exciting, upbeat jazz workshop led by three professional jazz artists. 

For young musicians & singers aged 13+


Saturday 30 September 2017

Lyttelton Well Rooms, Great Malvern


Funded by Severn Arts in partnership with Best of Young Jazz – Free of charge.


Dear young musicians, parents and teachers


I’m delighted to invite you/your young musician to an exciting, upbeat day of music making on Saturday 30 September 2017.

Whether you're a singer or instrumentalist, on Jazz Saturday, you will receive bespoke support from our three fantastic professional jazz artists (details below) to create a new arrangement of work bringing together these two essential elements of jazz music.


Sometimes, the full ensemble – instrumentalists and vocalists – will work together and learn from one another; and at other times, we will split the group to focus on techniques particular to each element. 


The key objectives for the vocalists will be about singing in harmony, learning different ways of approaching improvisation including 'scatting', how to improvise over chord changes and what to listen for to ensure a good working relationship when working with instrumentalists.


For instrumentalists, the workshop will also explore different improvisation techniques as well as composing from scratch without traditional musical notation, with a focus on learning how to work cooperatively and in harmony with vocals.   


Participants will be invited to work in different ways with their instrument and voice, and be given the opportunity to perform informally to parents and friends at the end of the day. The workshop will be delivered in such a way that students at various levels of experience can be involved, have fun and develop their musical understanding, skill and interest in jazz.


Jazz Saturday will take place on 30 September at the Lyttelton Well Rooms, Great Malvern.

There are accessible toilet facilities as well as a lift to the first floor room suitable for wheelchair access.

The rooms are situated in the grounds of Great Malvern Priory.

Address: The Lyttelton Well, Church Street, Malvern, Worcs, WR14 2AY



Details of directions, drop-off and nearby parking can be found at the end of this document.


The workshop will be led by three professional jazz musicians and can accommodate up to 20 instrumentalists and 15 vocalists on a first come first served basis.


This practical day is part of a series of inspiring jazz programmes being delivered across the county to develop skills and enthusiasm associated with jazz music. Managed by Best of Young Jazz and financially supported by Arts Council England, The Bransford Trust, Severn Arts and The David Morgan Trust; the opportunity is offered free of charge to young jazz musicians across Worcestershire and beyond. 


The day-of-jazz will be led by three professional jazz musicians and educators, all alumni of Birmingham Conservatoire and a tour de force of the jazz scene, locally and much further afield -

Jonathan Silkhttp://jonathansilk.co.uk/  |  Chris Mapphttp://www.chrismapp.co.uk/

Holly Thomas: https://www.hollythomasmusic.co.uk/about

  • Jazz Saturday will run from, 10.00am – 4.00pm, including an informal end-of-day sharing at 3.40pm, which family and friends are invited to attend.  
  • Participants will need to bring their voice and/or instrument, and a packed lunch. Light refreshments will be provided at break time.
  • RSVP to Marie Oldaker, Assistant Project-Manager - Best of Young Jazz, as soon as possible to secure your place: oldaker_m@hotmail.com / 0785 559 5287


Join us:

Twitter: twitter.com/bestofyoungjazz
Instagram: Instagram.com/bestofyoungjazz





. Venue Address: The Lyttelton Well, Church Street, Malvern, Worcs, WR14 2AY



There is room to pull up outside the venue for transferring heavy/bulky instruments. Time there will be limited as this area is shared access for the Lyttleton Rooms and Great Malvern Priory.


. Great Malvern train station (with taxi rank). The Lyttelton Well Rooms are about a 10 minute walk or a couple of minutes by taxi: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Great+Malvern/@52.10921,-2.31827,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xbbb9fb5cbae3c4e8!8m2!3d52.10921!4d-2.31827


. Local car parks:



Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Severn Arts Trustees Wanted

Severn Arts is seeking to appoint its first Board of Trustees for its official launch as a charitable company in 2018.

Currently part of Worcestershire County Council, Severn Arts provides music education to over 18,000 young people annually, and leads Worcestershire’s Music Education Hub. 

As a charitable company, Severn Arts intends to develop its remit to encompass a broader spectrum of Arts activity for people young and old, across Worcestershire and beyond.  Over recent years the service has grown many partnerships with the wider arts community, and the new charitable company would wish to play a more strategic role in the arts generally, including arts development and brokering arts activity.

We now need to recruit a Board of Trustees with a mix of skills and backgrounds – including business, education, arts, fundraising, inclusion, marketing, legal expertise and more.  This is an exciting time to be joining the Board of Severn Arts, as it embarks on its new journey from a very strong starting position.  As a Trustee, you would have the opportunity to influence the development of Severn Arts’ business plan and strategic objectives.

More information about Severn Arts, and about the skills and experience required to be a Trustee, as well as the application process, can be found here: https://www.severnarts.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Severn-Arts-Trustee-Information-Pack-2017-08.pdf


The closing date for applications is Friday 17th November 2017.  Interviews will be held w/c 4th December 2017.



Sunday, 17 September 2017

News from Forthright Productions

small logo.jpgforthright  small.jpg






FIRST for Worcestershire Theatre Company

Forthright Theatre are  very excited to announce that, as a  pilot at The Artrix , Bromsgrove, the performance of their work-in-progress of Baby Blues will be live streamed at 2.30 pm 24th September.

Obviously we’d love to see you in person but if you can’t make it then please join us digitally at:

just copy and paste the url into your web browser and the show should start automatically.

BB-flyer-A5 (2).jpg



Thursday, 14 September 2017

Bromsgrove Young Musicians

An exciting opportunity for your young musicians to take part in The Bromsgrove Young Musicians' Platform

This is a once a year musical opportunity for talented young musicians still at school to compete and perform. Successful finalists will play before a live audience on Saturday, 24th February 2018 when an experienced panel of adjudicators will select the two most outstanding performances in each of the Junior and Senior sections. Those performances will be rewarded with generous financial awards to help the performers' musical development.

This exciting new classical music platform is only open to young musicians aged 9-17 who play instruments, and singers if aged over 13, who are resident or in full time education in the following areas; The West Midlands (inside a radius of 30 miles of the centre of Bromsgrove) together with the whole of Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. They have to be of a standard that is equivalent to Grade 4 (Junior Section aged 9-13) or Grade 6 (Senior Section aged 14-17).

There is a two-day Audition Round to select the finalists. The young musicians selected from that round go forward to play before a live audience at the Finalists' Concert. Both the Auditions and Finalists' Concert next year will be held in the new Routh Concert Hall at Bromsgrove School. Total bursary monies of £2,550 (£1,000 Senior winner, £750 Junior winner and £400 for each second prize) offer talented young musicians the chance to buy music lessons, sheet music or a new instrument. This opportunity is part of and carries on the traditions of the renowned Bromsgrove International Musicians’ Competition, now in its thirty-eighth year, held at Bromsgrove School annually for musicians worldwide.

Please do not let any of your young musicians miss this valuable opportunity to perform! The deadline to apply is 21st January 2018. Applications can be made online via our website at www.bromsgroveplatform.com or by post.

I enclose a poster for your information (we will mail you some copies too) and look forward to receiving entries from your musicians.

Yours sincerely,

Monica Toso

Chairman - The Bromsgrove Young Musicians' Platform

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Next show at Bishampton


This versatile choir will get any audience foot tapping, smiling, even shedding a tear with their style and delivery of a range of music to suit all tastes.


Tarantara perform the complete concert, with soloists, duets, sextets, barber shop, comedy etc. all from the ranks of the choir.


Date:- Saturday 16th September


Time:- 7.30pm (doors open 7.00pm)

Tickets:- £10 each including complimentary drink and light refreshments

Box office:- 01386462306 or Bishampton Stores.

Licensed Bar, Hot Drinks and Icecreams on sale


 Reserve your tickets now from Sue by email  sandt38@btinternet.com or buy them in person from Zoe at Bishampton Shop


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Museums Against Homlessness

Workers from Worcester City and Worcestershire County Council have come together and are organizing a charity concert “Musicians Against Homelessness” on September 22nd at the Marrs Bar. It will support Crisis (https://www.crisis.org.uk), a national organization fighting to eradicate homelessness from British streets.
This is a national campaign, organized by the legendary Alan McGee, owner of Creation Records and managers of such major acts as Oasis and Primal Scream.

We managed to secure really great names -bringing together the most promising new bands and local musical heroes such as Vinny Peculiar (who earned himself a blue plaque for his work on Manchester music scene, but who was born in Worcestershire) or Rita Lynch (founder of first all-female rock band in UK and punk legend, life-long resident of Bristol who loves our county and gigs here regularly).
From the young bands we have nth cave – who just have been debuted on 6 Music on August 4th by Steve Lamacq himself (he even said he will observe the band closely) and Lost Tigers to The Wild – a duo who are currently represented by Talent Agency (one of the most prestigious agencies and PR companies in the country). For more information please check out:


Sunday, 3 September 2017

News from Steve Wilson

Dear all


After 9 years of being County Arts Officer I have decided to leave the post.


There are a number of reasons as to why I am doing this but the main one is that I simply want to do something else with my career and life too!


I am going to do some exciting part time work with Meadow Arts  and  look to do some freelance work.


I want to thank you all for everything you have all done in supporting me in the role. Without your help and friendship  I wouldn't have stayed this long and you have made the job be rewarding and very satisfying. It's been a hell of a ride and now it's time to get off and do something else.


I have always been so proud to be the County Arts Officer and I hope I have done the job with the values I hold dear namely fairness, empathy and humour.


Thank you from my heart. I will be in touch before I leave too!



Friday, 1 September 2017

Jump Start - New Plays Needed!


Jump Start - Malvern Cube Thursday 9th November - part of FEAST festival


Jump Start are looking for submissions for the next showcase performance event at Malvern Cube on 9th November. Jump Start is an initiative run by Worcestershire Arts Partnership to provide opportunities for new theatre works to be performed. 

We are looking for:
  • New theatre work that has not previously been performed 
  • Work that is 10 - 15 minutes long 
  • Work that is low-tech and does not require any get-in or get-out time 
  • Work that is rehearsed and ‘off-script'
  • Ideally, work from Worcestershire-based practitioners 

We can also provide an opportunity for writers to link with directors & actors so don’t worry if you have a text or an idea but no company!
Submissions (either an outline of the work or a script) should be made by email to me by FRIDAY 21st SEPTEMBER 2017. We will then select 4-5 submissions and  invite people to a meeting in late September / early October where writers, practitioners & actors can link up and start rehearsing. The performance night will be THURSDAY 9th NOVEMBER 7pm at Malvern Cube. There may be some rehearsal space available at the Cube, but generally each group will be expected to rehearse independently and to sort out their own space & timings. 


The 4-5 selected submissions will receive £400 towards the production on receipt of a signed contract.
If you’re an actor / director who’s interested in the project, please drop me a line and I’ll keep you up to speed with the meeting date.
PLEASE pass this message onto your networks & anyone who might be interested.


Malvern Cube website www.malverncube.com


The Jump Start Facebook group is here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/248446278623071/ - so please like it & use it to share details, ideas, questions etc.

Thanks everyone, please let me know if you have any questions. We look forward to receiving your submissions!


Lee Farley and Steve Wilson

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Worcester Stands Tall

Exciting Arts Project - Worcester Stands Tall

We are delighted to be supporting Worcester Stands Tall which is one of the largest mass participation projects the city has seen. It will be towering over Worcester for 10 weeks in the summer of 2018. Working across the business, community and arts sectors, this is a far reaching multi-partner project that will generate lots of excitement and exposure in the city and on social media for many months to come. 

There is a call out for all artists whether professional or amateur, individual or community group to get involved and release their creativity on Worcester City. Worcester Stands Tall are looking for artists to submit designs to decorate at least 25 giraffes. These graceful creatures will then create a trail through Worcester City.

The giraffe sculpture is a 3D Canvas and therefore versatile - it will hold every conceivable medium of art from fine art to graffiti, new media to mosaic, embroidery  to metal work.

If commissioned the artist will be paid £800. Artists can get involved by registering their interest on www.worcesterstandstall.co.uk and submission packs will be sent out from 18th September 2017. Please follow the projects social media links and share this exciting opportunity and share this exciting opportunity through your networks.

Worcester Stands Tall is a Wild in Art Event brought to the city by St Richards Hospice. At the end of the trail the giraffes will be auctioned to raise money for St Richard's Hospice.

be supporting Worcester Stands Tall; the largest mass participation art event Worcester has ever seen.  It will be towering over the city for ten weeks during the summer of 2018. Working across the business, community and arts sectors this is a far reaching, multi-partner project that will generate lots of excitement and exposure in the city and on social media for many months to come.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Baby Blues by Forthright Theatre (Jestaminute)

Jestaminute Community Theatre cic, under the banner of Forthright Theatre, present ‘Baby Blues’  -what happens when a precious gift becomes a living nightmare? Inspired by true stories, told with humour and honesty ‘Forthright’ use movement and spoken word, integrated with blues music, to explore how actions can reveal thoughts we would rather keep hidden. This ‘work-in-progress’ funded by Arts Council England, Worcestershire County Council and others   takes the audience on a strange, funny and emotionally powerful journey of two couples embroiled in the world of postnatal depression. Baby Blues  has been written by Andy Higgitt in collaboration with movement director Naomi Said.


‘Baby Blues’  is the second in their trilogy of work on mental health,  the first being ‘The Gary & Robert Blues’  which  was a one man show looking at men’s mental health (“Recommended show” Brighton Fringe, “wonderful tear-jerking & funny show”).

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Job Offer



£31,629 - £36,856 pro rata per annum


Hereford College of Arts is a vibrant, dedicated arts college with a specialist focus on art, media, design, popular music and performing arts. The curriculum includes undergraduate and postgraduate degrees alongside a range of Further Education programmes and a wide ranging short course programme.  Our mission is to empower creativity and enrich our world through transformative arts education.   We are proud of our track record but have ambitious plans to develop and grow.  Hereford city and the wider region are also full of ambition with a new engineering university in development and the Herefordshire Cultural Partnership galvanising arts and collaboration across the region.   We are rooted in an exceptional place and connected to the world.


Short film is one of the most powerful media of the modern world, with ever growing demand in a huge range of contexts.  This is a chance for an ambitious individual  to shape the development of this young course in a dynamic field.   You'll have the professional experience to develop its network of industry partnerships, and a passion to innovate in education so as to inspire and equip students to thrive.  HCA offers a distinctive teaching and learning environment with small tutorial groups and multiple opportunities for collaboration with staff and students across the whole arts focused college.


Candidates will ideally have a relevant teaching qualification, experience of teaching at postgraduate level.


For further information and an application pack please contact jobs@hca.ac.uk or contact reception on 01432 273359.


Closing date for applications: 6th September 2017

Interviews will be held on Monday 18th September 2017

Dancefest - New Chair

Dancefest Chair of the Board

Dancefest is seeking applications for the role of Chair of the Board.

We are looking for someone with the expertise and experience to help consolidate our achievements and mould our strategic future. As an individual, you will be in a position to help us advocate for our work and act as an ambassador for the charity, sharing our commitment to access and inclusion in all aspects of our work.

It is expected that the Chair will work with Dancefest for a minimum term of three years. During this time they will work with the Board and staff to determine the long-term structure and resources for the organisation, will play a key role in diversifying our income and will oversee a number of anticipated changes to the way we deliver the programme.

The deadline to apply is Friday 22 September.

You can find out more at http://www.dancefest.co.uk/about-us/board/

Please contact Rose Beeston (Dancefest's Director) at rose@dancefest.co.uk or Melissa Porter (Business Development Manager) at melissa@dancefest.co.uk for more information.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Suitcase Stories - from Jenny Davis

Suitcase Stories
Hi all finally we have the finished film about Suitcase Stories, we are really proud of this project so I hope you enjoy watching this, please feel free to share with others and put on websites and social media etc. The last 3 stories have also just been finished so will send the link very soon.



Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Watch out Worcester

Watch Out Worcester and Quiet Revolution - Audience and Participant Survey


Thank you so much for taking part or watching the final events of Dancefest’s Big Dance Fortnight - Watch Out Worcester on Saturday 22 July and Quiet Revolution at National Trust Croome on Sunday 23 July.

Message from Rose Beeston from Dancefest

We’d be ever so grateful if you could find the time to complete our survey - as a participant or as audience.


You’ll find the survey here - http://bit.ly/DancefestSurvey It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes and is completely anonymous.


Your feedback helps us greatly with evaluation, planning and with funding for the future.


If you’d like to let us know anything in more detail, you can contact Dancefest at info@dancefest.co.uk

We would be very happy for you to share this with others