Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Theatre at The Hive


A new great show coming on at The Hive – called Every Brilliant Thing – this is a co production by Paines Plough and Pentabus. The play looks at issues of depression in a life affirming way and will involve the audience too! Come along. The show will be performed at The Hive on 20th May at 7pm.



Number 8 Open Call for 2014 Open Exhibition & 2015 Gallery Submissions

Number 8 Community Arts Centre is calling for submissions from artists and photographers interested in exhibiting their work. Number 8 is a mixed arts venue in Pershore, Worcestershire. Alongside a programme of film, theatre, dance and live events Number 8 also hosts a programme of art exhibitions set within a coffee bar/gallery area. It is the aim of the Number 8 gallery to promote high quality semi-professional and professional visual art work from within and beyond the county of Worcestershire.  The gallery space also provides the local amateur visual arts community with an opportunity to exhibit and sell their work. For an idea of the work exhibited at Number 8 see http://www.number8.org/events/categories/gallery/

Number 8 is calling for submissions from artists who would like to exhibit 1 or 2 pieces of work in an Open Exhibition to be held between 25 September - 15 October 2014.  The deadline for Open Exhibition submissions is Monday 9 June 2014.

The centre is also calling for individual artists or groups that would like to exhibit their work in a solo or group exhibition in 2015. Number 8 programmes art exhibitions for blocks of three weeks. The deadline for submissions for 2015 is Thursday 12 June 2014.

If you are an artist or groups of artists interested in exhibiting at Number 8 for further details and a Submission Form please see attached.

If you have any queries please email enquiries@number8.org or contact Emma on 01386 561906



Number 8 Community Arts Centre

8 High Street



WR10 1BG



Monday, 28 April 2014

Policy for the Lottery, the Arts & Community in England

News & notice board1. The PLACE Report: Policy for the Lottery, the Arts & Community in EnglandThe distribution of Lottery funding for the arts in England is a closed system, operating for the benefit of a small number of arts organisations but to the detriment of wider society and the economy, according to a new report by Peter Stark, Christopher Gordon, David Powell and Steve Trow who recently revealed England’s regional arts funding imbalance. PLACE draws a clear distinction between the purposes of tax-derived funding (Arts Council England’s grant-in-aid) and National Lottery revenue distributed by ACE (the Arts Lottery). It takes as read the critical importance of the Arts Council’s role in maintaining the nation’s core, high-quality cultural infrastructure through grant-in-aid, but questions fundamentally the Arts Council’s stewardship of the National Lottery funds, which are provided for different purposes and for far wider public benefit than its Treasury grant.

Nearly 80% of Arts Council England’s (ACE) Lottery funding has gone to less than 20% of local authority areas since the National Lottery was launched, according to a new report by the authors of the RoCC report, which revealed the extent of England’s regional arts funding disparity. The PLACE report – on Policy for the Lottery, the Arts and Community in England – states that directions issued to Lottery distributors by the Secretary of State to prioritise disadvantaged communities have been “followed by the Lottery distributors in England for Sport, Heritage, and voluntary and community action. At best, Arts Council England appears to have accorded the Directions no priority and at worst has ignored them, placing at serious risk of failure the local infrastructure of facilities, organisations and programmes that are the bedrock of our national cultural life.” It concludes that “gross imbalances” in the distribution of arts Lottery funding are hindering efforts to realise the “wider potential that the arts and culture have within society and the economy”, as well as compounding geographic inequalities in grant-in-aid arts funding across England.

The Arts Lottery has disproportionately benefited the most prosperous and ‘arts engaged’ communities in England, which are often also those contributing least to the Lottery. Some of the least arts-engaged and poorest communities, meanwhile, who are contributing most heavily to the ‘arts good cause’, receive the least return.

  • The 33 English local authorities where people are least engaged with the arts (10% of the total and with a combined population of 6 million) have received £288 million Arts Lottery funds since 1995 or £48 per head of population.
  • The 33 areas (population 4.8 million) with the highest levels of arts usage have received £1.327 billion across the same period – over £1 billion more – and at £275 per head of population.
  • The local authority area with the highest net return to its Lottery players is the City of Westminster, whose population has contributed £14.5 million to the Arts Lottery since 1995, while it has received £408 million – a surplus of £393.5 million.
  • The local authority area with the poorest return is County Durham, where its Lottery players have contributed £34 million since 1995, while it has received £12 million – a net deficit (in effect a contribution to the surpluses of others) of £22 million.
  • Taking into account differences in the playing frequency of households and the capital city’s extended cultural catchment, London, the South East & East have a surplus from the Arts Lottery to date of £416 million funded by the net contributions of the North (£216 million), the Midlands (£140 million) and the South West (£60 million).

Of the 10% of local authority areas where engagement with the arts is, according to DCMS figures, at its highest, three-quarters are in the “extended cultural catchment” of London. Lottery funding to these areas has totalled more than £1.3bn since the launch of the National Lottery in 1995 – an estimated £1bn more than has been generated for the arts Lottery fund through ticket sales in these areas. Arts Lottery funding to five London organisations alone – the Royal Opera House, the Royal National Theatre, English National Opera, Sadler’s Wells and the South Bank Centre – has amounted to £315m. By contrast, the 10% of local authorities where arts engagement is lowest have received a total of just £288m during the same period – an estimated £107m less than the arts Lottery revenues generated from ticket sales in those areas. The local authority area with the poorest net return to Lottery players is County Durham, where an estimated £34m has been contributed to the arts by Lottery players since 1995, during which time the area has received only £12m for arts activity. The area with the highest net return is the City of Westminster, whose population has contributed an estimated £14.5m while its arts organisations have received £408m.

To begin to correct these manifest imbalances, the PLACE Report makes a simple illustrative proposition of a tripartite framework for the Arts Lottery.

  • Respecting the Directions, it would operate through three programmes focused differentially on the social priority of engagement with areas of disadvantage, the economic priority of dispersed cultural production, and the artistic priority of support for artists’ practice across all disciplines.
  • Decision making would be devolved to appropriate structures operating at regional or multi-authority level, with weighted allocations that recognised advantage and disadvantage in terms of geographical, economic and social factors.

This would see 40% of Lottery funds allocated for developing the arts at local level to promote individual and community wellbeing; a further 40% for wider economic regeneration at regional level to promote creative cultural production; and the final 20% available to individual artists and arts-led projects to encourage new talent, innovation and excellence in work locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

The report is available at: http://www.theplacereport.co.uk/downloads.php
(Source: Place Report & Arts Professional)

Poetry Slam - May 4th - The Boar's Head

Kidderminster Creatives will be running a lively and exciting poetry slam for the Bank Holiday Sunday, May 4th, 7.30 pm, £3 entrance, at The Boar’s Head in Worcester Street. Hosted by local poet Fergus McGonigal, the slam will see a dozen poets battle over three rounds for the title of Kidderminster Creatives Poetry Slam Champion. Further details can be found on the Kidderminster Creatives website: www.kidderminster-creatives.org.uk


Job Opportunity

everyBODY dance seeks a Stage Manager / Handy Person with a range of practical skills to support our aerial dance tour of Lovely Bugs, see more information HERE


Essential requirements:

Full driving license


Strong & healthy body


Desired skills:

A can do attitude

Experience of outdoor performance work

Practical skills working with a range of materials (wood, metal, cloth, rope)



29th May to 2nd June – Herefordshire & Worcestershire

17th to 21st July - Germany

2nd to 3rd August – Telford and Birmingham

23rd to 24th August – Conway and Devises

30th August – London TBC


Fee: £3,000


Applications by email including covering letter, CV, contact details for 2 referees

Deadline 7th May 2014


Longlands Barn
Whitbourne Hall Park

Friday, 25 April 2014

The Art Of Festivals - 8th May 2014



The Art of Festivals


The clocks going forward signifies the beginning of spring and the new season of arts festivals springing up all across our fair county.


Some festivals have been with us for a long time while others are in their infancy.

Some are aligned to a particular place, others to an art form and some both! But

what they all have in common is a need to be sustainable and to be viable.


Come along to the Pump Rooms in Tenbury on Thursday 8th May from 1.30pm for the latest in Worcestershire Arts Partnership's 'Free Range Arts' Events.


The event will look at how arts/cultural festivals, in particular those in rural locations, are developed and made sustainable. You will be hearing from a range of guest speakers as well as having an opportunity to meet up with artists and arts organisations from across the county and beyond.


Our Guest Speakers


Sian Thomas - brief biog:
Sian Thomas worked as a dancer, choreographer (with companies including STOMP and Divas) and teacher of percussive dance theatre before becoming a programmer of outdoor work and as such returning to her family roots in street theatre and festivals. She was the Director of Hat Fair in Winchester for eight years before leaving to return to creating shows. Sian is a Creative producer, dramaturge, director, choreographer and advisor on artistic development specialising in the street/outdoor sector. She is a co-director of Lucid Incident outdoor arts company and sits on the board of the Independent Street Arts Network. In 2013 Sian was processional co-choreographer and finale co-director for the Walk The Plank show ‘ The return of Colmcille as part of Derry – UK City of culture 2013. She is creative editor for Walk The Plank’s anniversary book.


Caroline Palethorpe

Caroline Palethorpe is a specialist project manager and consultant for the education, community and voluntary sectors having spent six years working for Worcestershire County Council as an Extended Services Coordinator across all Malvern Hills schools.  During this time Caroline was instrumental in developing and coordinating a wide range of diverse projects that targeted identified vulnerable groups with the primary aim to raise achievement.  One of the most memorable was Trace & Place, a school and community cohesion project that used art as the medium for understanding more about the young person’s identity growing up in a predominantly white British community.  The final production including dance, drama, music and digital media was performed at The Regal Cinema on Tenbury Mistletoe Festival day in December 2010.  Caroline enjoys using the arts as a vehicle for many of her projects and recent successes include:- Festival manager of Tenbury Mistletoe Festival for 2012 and 13.  Caroline successfully enrolled the UK Poet Laureate -  Carol Ann Duffy to perform on the evening of the Festival in 2013 and commissioned a host of professional artists such as Cat Weatherill, Dancefest and Ben Haggerty




Loz Samuels

Loz is the Artistic Director of Kidderminster Arts Festival and Arts and Play Development Officer for Wyre Forest District Council.

Loz has a background in Theatrical Design, is a costume and prop maker and spent many years as a performer and aerialist with a diverse range of companies at events from festivals, film, corporate, and international contemporary circus. She has been Assistant to the Director, and production assistant on 2 feature films. She also spent a number of years working in Community Regeneration in Westminster, London, playing a key role in consultation, developing community education projects such as First Step.com, a digital media centre in the heart of a large estate with a diverse ethnic population and managing a large community centre and all its events. Her interests lie in the public realm and changing environments through commissioning site specific works, she has directed and produced KAF for the last 9 years.





Date and Time – 8th May at The Pump Rooms Tenbury, from 1.30 (for 2pm start to 5pm)


To book your place – please email Sue Church on schurch@worcestershire.gov.uk


This is a free event brought to you through The Worcestershire Arts Partnership.

Next Jump Start Event - Tuesday 29th April 7.30pm

Our next Jump Start event is taking place on Tuesday 29th April at The Artrix in Bromsgrove at 7.30

Jump Start is an informal opportunity to meet artists (dance, drama, visual, music, literature etc) over a pint or two and to simply talk about whatever is on your mind. We've been having these events over the last year now in Worcester but are now delighted to be going to Artrix. Simply turn up or even better go to our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/1433396316902058/

Many thanks

Stephen Wilson

County Arts Officer

01905 765754

Dancefest - Summer term starts 28 April

Summer starts next week!

We hope you've had a very lovely Easter and are now raring to go, ready to be part of a great summer of dance.
Our new term starts on Monday 28 April and it's promising to be a creative and exciting one. Our weekly classes all start back next week. You can find out more and book online via our website or contact the office at info@dancefest.co.uk or 01905 611199.

We'll be working on many Big Dance projects this summer. Big Dance is the UK’s biggest celebration of all types of dance, for all ages and all levels of ability, and Dancefest is delighted to be leading the West Midlands hub for the first time this year.

There are many ways to get involved:

There's the Big Dance Pledge on Friday 16 May. Sign up for the Pledge and take part with thousands of other people throughout the Commonwealth - or get in touch with Dancefest and you can join us or we can help.

There will also be lots of performances over Big Dance week 5-13 July including Creates and The Sightseers. Our adult choreography group is becoming Be Creative for Big Dance this term (Tuesdays at 8.05pm) and Fusion and Contemporary Technique 14+ will be combining especially to create a Big Dance performance (Wednesdays 6pm), alongside lots of other Dancefest groups.

Get in touch if you'd like to find out more.

Taking part in the Big Dance Pledge 2014?
Would you like to use your Big Dance Pledge experience to raise money in aid of UNICEF UK and the Foundation for Community Dance? It’s simple and there are resources to help you. Visit the Foundation for Community Dance's website to find out more and to register for your free fundraisers pack.

We're looking forward to seeing you all again next week!



Hi again,
Just a friendly reminder that Kaf is raising money for: "Kidderminster Arts Festival"

Will you show your support?
Yes! Take me to this page >>



Kaf says...

Kidderminster Arts Festival has been running for 10 years, I've been privileged to be leading it for 8 of those. I've watched KAF grow from a tiny event that attracted 2,000 over two weeks to one that last year touched the lives of over 27,000 people.
The festival runs for two weeks in the middle of August each year. It gets a small amount of funding from the District Council, usually around £5,000 and I spend a great deal of time trying to raise money from what ever source I can.
KAF brings a huge amount of pleasure to local people, creates opportunities to show their talents, make new friends and attracts visitors to the town helping it through the down times. KAF has a very local focus, it gives people an opportunity to be proud of what they do and where they live, I have seen their involvement lead to genuinely life changing experiences, building confidence and opening doors to new opportunities.
We run a range of community workshops allowing participants to gain new skills and have a chance to be inolved in performing as with our street band in Birchen Coppice or our knitting workshops in care homes allowing older people to decorate the town by knitting bollard covers. Theres too much to talk about here, but you can find out more by visiting our website which is currently in development. www.kidderminsterartsfestival.org.uk This funding will help us pay expenses to volunteers, provide more workshops in areas of need, buy instruments for our local groups and more, non of it will replace funding already in place. If you have experienced the arts and appreciate the positive changes it can make and you can afford to help us out then please do, your contribution will be grately appreciated.
Thanks for taking an interest in KAF, best wishes Loz Samuels Continue Reading >>



What is GoFundMe?
GoFundMe is a personal fundraising website that has helped thousands of people raise millions of dollars for the things that matter to them most.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Free TV writing and feedback workshop


Playwright, TV screenwriter and Creative Space member Jon Barton will be hosting these open to all sessions for IdeasTap writer members. 

Topics and exercises covered will include pitching, giving and receiving feedback, coping with rejection and discussing TV formats. The session takes place at mac birmingham at 2-4pm or alternatively 4.30-6.30pm on 28 April. Free tickets can be booked at www.ideastap.com/spa


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Job Opportunity

Are you an experienced audience development professional, well known and respected in the West Midlands with strong personal contacts?

We are seeking a West Midlands Regional Manager to shape, promote and deliver a range of The Audience Agency services to clients and stakeholders in the region.

You will know first-hand how to deliver marketing and communications for cultural organisations, and you will have experience of interpreting audience research. An effective communicator, you are skilled at presenting in a variety of situations and you can produce concise, engaging and actionable reports and documents.

This positions is offered on fixed term two year, full time contract with a salary range of £29.8K – £32.2K based on experience, plus home working expenses.

Full details of the Regional Manager role can be found in the downloadable documents on our website: http://www.theaudienceagency.org/regional-manager-west-midlands/

To apply: Please submit an application form and equal opportunities monitoring form.

Deadline for applications: 5pm Monday 14 April 2014
Interviews will be held: Week commencing Monday 21 April



Are you an experienced audience development professional, well known and respected in the East Midlands with strong personal contacts?

We are seeking a East Midlands Regional Manager to shape, promote and deliver a range of The Audience Agency services to clients and stakeholders in the region.

You will know first- hand how to deliver marketing and communications for cultural organisations, and you will have experience of interpreting audience research. An effective communicator, you are skilled at presenting in a variety of situations and you can produce concise, engaging and actionable reports and documents.

This positions is offered on fixed term two year, full time contract with a salary range of £29.8K – £32.2K based on experience, plus home working expenses.

Full details of the Regional Manager role can be found in the downloadable documents on our website: http://www.theaudienceagency.org/regional-manager-east-midlands/

To apply: Please submit an application form and equal opportunities monitoring form.

Deadline for applications: 5pm Monday 14 April 2014
Interviews will be held: Week commencing Monday 21 April


Friday, 11 April 2014

Job Opportunity - Walkwood Middle school


We are looking for an artist to work with small groups of pupils who are entitled to pupil premium on wall murals that will decorate the corridors/ learning areas. In particular they will be in the Humanities department and the Maths department. The budget is unknown at this time, it may be more a case of how long the practitioner feels the workshops will take. We would like the project to happen in the summer term sometime but we are fairly flexible. It needs to be after testing week (week beginning 12th May).


My contact details are as follows:


School number: 01527543361

Mobile number: 07989 846086

Email: ael18@walkwoodms.worcs.sch.uk




Thursday, 10 April 2014

Armonico Consort at Malvern Theatres

St Matthew Passion with Sir Willard White

Malvern Theatres, 13 April 2014, 3.00pm
The St Matthew Passion is a deeply moving and spiritual masterpiece, and we hope you will join us for this very special start to celebrate Easter week. Armonico Consort are joined by our artistic patron, Sir Willard White, who, as one of the best bass singers in the world, has been described as the ‘definitive’ performer of the role of Christus.
To book tickets, please visit www.malvern-theatres.co.uk or call the Malvern Theatres box office on 01684 892277.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

We've got a Worcestershire MP as culture secretary




Job Opportunity



Worcestershire Arts Partnership


Consultants Brief




Worcestershire County Council (WCC) has recently been awarded Arts Council funding for WAP to explore the possible establishment of WAP as an independent organisation. As a result, WCC wishes to commission specialist consultant input to research and advise on the most appropriate model for a new organisation.



1. Objectives


1.1 The objective of this options appraisal is to provide clear guidance on potential management models for the delivery of arts services within Worcestershire.


1.2 The study is being commissioned by Worcestershire County Council with the intention of establishing a medium to long–term approach to partnership.


2. Background


2.1 Worcestershire Arts Partnership was established in 2009 with the intention of providing a more strategic, partnership based approach bringing arts and non arts organisations together to develop and strengthen the sector.


2.2 A consultation was carried out with a diverse range of stakeholders, leading to the development of an Arts Strategy for the county, “The Arts Matter”, published in 2010, outlining the priorities and actions for the newly created, county wide partnership. The consultation was widespread, including both professional and amateur arts sectors but also with non arts sectors such as education, health and tourism, to achieve wider buy in and begin a meaningful and productive dialogue.


2.3 Since then, WAP has gone on to become a functioning and successful network with significant achievements to its credit. WAP currently operates as a non-constituted organisation made up of arts and non arts stakeholders from across the county. It delivers its priorities through a programme of projects, CPD and networking events. Its programme of activity increases participation in and audiences for the arts through projects developed through the work of several sub groups.


2.4 ACE Organisational Development funding has been awarded to increase the capacity of the partnership to carry out the research and functions necessary to explore the possibility of establishing WAP as an independent entity.


2.5 The main aims of the ACE funded activity are to:


-         Build on WAP’s strengths and achievements to deliver a high quality and accessible arts programme for Worcestershire

-         Provide a sustainable, long term vision for how the arts are delivered within the county

-         Develop new partnerships with private, public and voluntary sectors at a time of enormous social and political change

-         Create a model for arts development activity both locally, regionally and nationally


2.6 To achieve these aims, the following key objectives have been set:


-         Carry out an options appraisal to explore the most appropriate structure for a possible independent organisation to deliver WAP’s activities

-         Develop a business plan for the new organisation, including the development of new partnerships and identifying new sources of income

-         Implement an programme of events to support artists and organisations to meet the strategy’s priority areas

-         Evaluation of the new organisation and its impact


3. Requirements of the Options appraisal


3.1 The consultant appointed will be expected to carry out the following tasks:


  • Assist the steering group to refine the project criteria.
  • Consult key arts stakeholders and partners in Worcestershire to identify strengths and weaknesses of potential new models.
  • Consult with other local authorities as identified by the steering group to assess other models of delivery.
  • Identify different options for the future management of WAP.
  • Evaluate the options taking into account the risks, uncertainties, costs and benefits of each.
  • Produce a report recommending option(s) for detailed appraisal and identifying the resource and capacity requirements for the next step.


3.2 The options appraisal should also include a “do nothing” or “do the minimum” option.


4. Timetable and budget


4.1 The consultant would be expected to start work no later than the end of May 2014, with delivery of reports completed by the end of July.


4.2 WAP has identified a budget of no more than £4,000 for an options appraisal.


5. Management process


5.1 You will report to a small management group at stages of the work and then to the WAP Steering Group. These will cover:


  • Preliminary briefing to refine scope of commission and criteria for appraisal
  • Presentation of conclusions
  • Presentation of final draft of report


6. Tender process


6.1 Tenders should be submitted in writing by 4pm on 30th April 2014. Submissions should be addressed as follows:


Steve Wilson

County Arts Officer

Worcestershire County Council

Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP


We would prefer applications by email to swilson@worcestershire.gov.uk


6.2 Each submission should contain:


·          Initial response to the brief to include an outline of working methods and processes of no more than four sides of A4

·          Ability to meet the proposed timetable and any milestones

·          Details of relevant experience and CVs for all consultants taking part in the study.

·          Confirmation of professional indemnity insurance

·          Details of 2 referees


6.3 The date of interviews is Wednesday 14th May 2014.


7. Tender evaluation


7.1 Interviews following receipt of tenders are planned to be held on Wednesday 14th May at County Hall, Worcester.


7.2 The successful candidate is expected to demonstrate the following:


  • Experience of appraising the management and operation of arts services.
  • Knowledge of the operation of local authority cultural services and the context in which they function.
  • Awareness of alternative models for arts service provision and their impact.
  • Knowledge of legal and financial issues in relation to local authority procurement, including the impact of EU directives.
  • Knowledge of the region including Worcestershire.


7.3 Please note that we will not accept tender submissions no more than £4,000.