Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

[MARKETING] News from Arts Development UK - Our Cultural Commons: a joint initiative from ADUK & Voluntary Arts

Our Cultural Commons: a joint initiative from ADUK & Voluntary Arts

Working in collaboration with Arts Development UK, Voluntary Arts is seeking a consultant on a freelance basis to undertake some initial mapping and scoping to lay the ground for a major national conversation. At the end of September 2014, the two UK-wide organisations that specifically support and represent local creative cultural activity, Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK, will be launching a major new initiative to:
  • collect evidence of existing innovative local collaborative practice to sustain and develop local cultural infrastructure and then promote best practice
  • provide a space for discussion of potential solutions to the problems facing local cultural infrastructure and organisation and the debate on the nature of the cultural commons that we aspire to in the future
  • empower and support the voice of those 'local' ambitions in debates on future national cultural policies, structures and funding.

Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK will:
  • launch Our Cultural Commons as a UK and Ireland-wide 'debate' at the end of September 2014
  • manage an online debate to collect evidence of existing innovative local collaborative practice to sustain and develop local cultural infrastructure and provide a space for discussion of potential solutions to the immediate problems faced by local cultural infrastructure
  • run a series of roundtable discussions, 'town hall meetings' and other events as part of the UK and Ireland-wide debate
  • organise a major conference in June 2015

The contract
The main task is to undertake an initial mapping and scoping exercise to gather, collate and edit input from Arts Development UK members, as well as Voluntary Arts staff and advisers (across the UK and Republic of Ireland). We want to collect a range of models of innovative local collaborative practice to sustain and develop local cultural infrastructure, including examples from urban, rural, prosperous, disadvantaged and diverse communities – identifying local examples that could be used in influencing national cultural policy, structures and funding. The task will involve a period of research and information-gathering, follow-up by phone, and analysis, to create a summary document detailing the overall findings and identifying potential case studies. Several of these case studies will then be selected by Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK, to be developed by the consultant for online publication. The consultant will work closely with the Chair of Voluntary Arts, Peter Stark OBE, and the Chair of Arts Development UK, Jane Wilson, who are jointly leading the Our Cultural Commons initiative.

The contract will deliver:
  • An initial mapping and scoping of emerging new models of local cultural infrastructure and identification of potential case studies
  • The development of case studies, selected by Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK, in support of innovative and emerging models for local cultural infrastructure, to be published online to support a more visible launch of a national conversation about this in autumn 2014
  • Advice, expertise and information gathering to support Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK’s preparation for the national conversation

The contract will be managed through direct reporting to Robin Simpson, Chief Executive of Voluntary Arts.

Further practical details:
  • Fee and expenses: £4250 (inclusive VAT), with three payments of 30% on commencement, 40% at the midway reporting point with the Chief Executive, and 30% after completion.
  • We anticipate the contract may require approximately 10-12 days' work over a 6-week period.
  • Submission: by email, CV and two page covering letter (deadline: 5pm on Friday 8 August).
  • Appointment: in mid-August 2014.
  • Submission: by end of September 2014.

Applying for this freelance contract
For more information and a full brief on the commission, visit www.artsdevelopmentuk.org. Please submit your application (CV and two page covering letter) by 5pm Friday 8 August at the latest. We prefer electronic submissions, sent to lindsey@voluntaryarts.org. Paper applications should be addressed to Lindsey Jackson, Voluntary Arts, Ground Floor, 121 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9PH.

For an informal, confidential discussion about the contract please contact Robin Simpson,Voluntary Arts Chief Executive, on 01525 288067 or email: robin@voluntaryarts.org. You may also find it useful to visit the Voluntary Arts website at: www.voluntaryarts.org.

Monday, 28 July 2014

NEWS from Artrix - Goodluck to Andy Woods

The founder Director of Artrix, Andy Woods, has announced that he will step down from his post at the end of August 2014 after almost 10 years. Andy has played a distinguished leadership role in opening and establishing Artrix as a successful jewel in the crown of the cultural life of North Worcestershire.  Andy is moving on to take up a freelance career programming and managing venues and festivals across Gloucestershire and the West Midlands.

Chair of the Board of Artrix, Dorothy Wilson, has paid tribute to the contribution Andy has made to Bromsgrove and the wider region: “Since its opening over 9 years ago Artrix has changed the landscape of artistic provision in Bromsgrove and the surrounding areas.  It is an award-winning arts centre which serves all sections of the community with an eclectic programme of theatre, dance, cinema, live music, comedy and arts skills workshops as well as a highly valued outreach and learning programme. A partnership between Bromsgrove District Council, NEW College and the community of Bromsgrove District, Artrix continues to thrive as one of the Midlands busiest and most diverse arts venues. 

Everyone associated with Artrix has much to appreciate in the leadership Andy has provided in establishing the centre and in making it a venue of choice for many nationally touring artists and companies as well as a place where the arts of the communities of the District continue to flourish. We wish Andy all the very best for an equally exciting and rewarding freelance career.’

Mouth and Music 12th August

Boxer Poet, Scandinavian folk and a clog dancer at Mouth and Music

Who better to headline at Mouth and Music's “War and Peace” evening than boxer poet Matt Windle? Matt is a former Birmingham Young Poet Laureate and four times Birmingham & Midland Boxing Champion. In 2012 he was an Olympic Torchbearer. Headline music act for this Kidderminster Arts Festival special is Scandinavian influenced folk duo, Sirkel who play sax, flute, violin, accordion, guitar & mandola. They will also be bringing a special guest, clog dancer Ayliffe Edwards. Local poets, storytellers and musicians can join in by signing up for a short spot at 7.30 on the night, Tuesday 12th August. It starts at 8.00pm at the Boars Head, Worcester Street. See www.mouthandmusic.co.uk for more information.

Beatfreeks Summer Academies

Beatfreeks Summer Academies are returning this Summer! Come be a part of the festival of fun. Whether you fancy dance, music, poetry or media; indulge in an intensive week to learn, develop skills, create, share, collaborate and make memories. £25 for the whole week - just £1 per hour - plus a few free spaces available.

Professional facilitators, games, mentoring and industry guest speakers - we even give you biscuits. We will be working towards a showcase BLUEPRINT onFriday 29th August at The Hex. Tickets are just £5.

Please pass on (all levels aged 13 - 25 welcome). Flyers are attached.

Book your space here on the Academies here: 



Monday, 21 July 2014

WMPAF Arts Outside Event - Wednesday 30th July 2014

The Treehouse, Birches Valley Forest Centre

Cannock Chase, (Forestry Commission site)

Staffordshire, WS15 2UQ

Wednesday 30th July 2014, 9.30-4pm

A WMPAF event

‘Arts Outside’ is a West Midlands Participatory Arts Forum (WMPAF) event for artists, arts organisations and anyone with an interest in participatory and community arts. The day is an opportunity to share, debate, discuss and promote participatory arts in outdoor settings.


Get Online

An opportunity to share and discuss your practice and to be profiled on the WMPAF blog

Facilitated by We are Frilly

Bring in both physical and digital examples of your work as we explore how digital documentation and reflection through online platforms helps to feed the practical doing to be embedded into your practice.

As we discuss the balance between our digital and physical practices we will be profiling who you are on the WMPAF blog as we open up our debate online.

Open Space

A space to share, network and leave questions on participatory/outdoor arts

Facilitated by Kate Gant and The Cultural Sisters

We will be asking you to write down a problem you want to solve or an issue you want to discuss and peg these on the WMPAF ‘washing line’.

We will also be seeking your feedback and questions on ‘what next for WMPAF’. Questions will be used to shape discussion during the Open Space forum in the afternoon.


10:00 – 10:05 WMPAF Welcome

by Sandra Hall - Friction Arts

10:05 – 11:00 Panel Discussion:

What is community/participatory arts in outdoor settings?

What are the barriers to developing new work or taking creative risks?

Identifying challenges and creative ways forward

Starting the day off with some lively debate, a panel drawn from a range of people

involved in Participatory and Outdoor Arts to discuss key issues facing practitioners,

organisations and policy makers. Panel members include representatives from across

the sector.

Facilitated by Sandra Hall (Friction Arts), the panel debate will aim to set up a range of

practice and policy issues that will reverberate throughout the day.

Panel Facilitator:

Sandra Hall - Sandra has been making participatory arts projects in the region since

1992. As director of Friction Arts she has worked with all kinds of communities from offenders to allotment gardeners, from the US to Australia.

Panel Members:

Helga Henry - Creative Shift/Making More of Outdoor Arts

Hayley Skipper - Arts lead for Forestry Commission England

Anne de Charmant - Meadow Arts

Lisa Shephard – Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust


11:00 - 11:20

11:20 - 12:45

Breakout Sessions

Select one option:

Option 1 – *REPEAT OPTION* - Walk & Talk – site visit to Living Symphonies

Facilitated by Sandra Hall

From 26 July – 1 August, Living Symphonies will be bringing an exciting new way of experiencing the forest to Cannock Chase.

Living Symphonies is a musical composition that grows in the same way as a forest ecosystem. Portraying the thriving activity of the forest’s wildlife, plants and atmospheric conditions, it creates an ever-changing symphony heard amongst the forest itself.

Composed and realised by James Bulley and Daniel Jones, Living Symphonies will be taking place across four of England’s forests during summer 2014. It is produced by Forestry Commission England and Sound And Music, with support from Arts Council England.

Option 2 – Round-table discussion: Quality of the Concept

Facilitated by Tim Franklin

Join a challenging discussion and investigate the concept of quality in participatory arts. Does participatory art need to be conceptually rigorous, or is the participants’ experience more important? What’s happening in the sector to bring those goals closer together – or drive them apart? Radical opinions encouraged.

Tim Franklin works for Friction Arts as a fundraiser and operations co-ordinator. He spends a lot of his time articulating the different kinds of value that participatory art work can have.

Option 3 – What has a Residency got to do with a Participatory Artist?

Facilitated by Janet Hetherington – Staffordshire University

Discuss, moan and laugh about the best ways for participatory artists to get training and support.

Staffordshire University is a partner in an EU project involving Artist Residencies in Warsaw and Barcelona. Each country will be hosting a Residency for a Participatory Artist in a community setting, and we are curious in finding out whether a ‘Residency’ is a good way for Artists and Community Organisations to learn how to work together. We can let you know more about potential opportunities within the project, and in exchange we would like to learn more about your experiences of equipping yourself with the right skills and knowledge to do what you do.

Janet Hetherington is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at Staffordshire University. She leads the MA in Community and Participatory Arts and is involved in a range of European projects involving participatory arts.


12:45 - 1:30

Workshop / Making Sessions

Select one option:

Option 1 - *REPEAT OPTION* – Walk & Talk – site visit to Living Symphonies

Facilitated by Sandra Hall

From 26 July – 1 August, Living Symphonies will be bringing an exciting new way of experiencing the forest to Cannock Chase.

Living Symphonies is a musical composition that grows in the same way as a forest ecosystem. Portraying the thriving activity of the forest’s wildlife, plants and atmospheric conditions, it creates an ever-changing symphony heard amongst the forest itself.

Composed and realised by James Bulley and Daniel Jones, Living Symphonies will be taking place across four of England’s forests during summer 2014. It is produced by Forestry Commission England and Sound And Music, with support from Arts Council England.

Option 2 – Workshop - Route to Health

Facilitated by Anthony Hammond

Contribute towards the creation of a new discovery zone on the Route to Health, community arts and health trail, which is being developed by local artists working in collaboration with various community groups. You will have the opportunity to work alongside Anthony Hammond to create a willow wall structure, as part of its overall design.

Willow weaving with North Staffs based award winning artist, sculptor and craftsman Anthony Hammond who has worked nation-wide as a freelance artist since 1998.

Anthony will be able to talk about how he has to adapt his working process to meet the needs of commissioners whilst artists have a go at willow weaving.

Option 3 – Workshop - Yarn Bombing / Guerrilla Knitting

Facilitated by The Cultural Sisters

Pompom making workshop with Staffordshire based artists The Cultural Sisters who have been working as participatory artists since 1995. Once the pompoms are finished the makers will ‘bomb’ an area of the ‘route to health’ outside. The pompoms can be tagged with messages/titles/names and/or invites to others to move them to another area of the ‘route to health’. Traditionally yarn bombing is a temporary intervention that fits well with the outside arts theme.

Option 4 - Experimental Outdoor Materials

Facilitated by We Are Frilly

Sharing their experiences of using Reggio Emilia early years approaches with young people and adults, We Are Frilly will start you on your journey of material exploration. Combining unexpected materials with different processes you can create a new dialogue between your art and nature. An open experimental, making session with reflective discussions on your own participatory, outdoor, art experiences.

1:30 - 2:30

Open Space Forum

Facilitated by Kate Gant and The Cultural Sisters

An opportunity for WMPAF members to set the agenda for what they want to discuss -

Discussion topics will be identified from the ‘WMPAF washing line’ and there will be four 30 minute discussions that will aim to help solve your problems, discuss issues you want to talk about and what should be next for WMPAF. Each discussion group discussion will be tasked with identifying three things they talked about and three things they are going to do next.

Summing up – What next for WMPAF

Bringing the day to a close by presenting the key priorities of attendees and the outcomes from the day and how WMPAF will take forward your ideas.

2:30 - 3:30

3:30 - 4:00


The event is free - however we ask that you book in advance to secure your

place, and can do so on our Eventbrite page here:


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Elmley Small Grts Information



Grants for the Arts Available……..


Arts Grants in general have been reduced, but Elmley Arts Small Grants Fund continue to support the Arts within Herefordshire & Worcestershire.


Grants of up to £1,000 are available for community-led, community-managed arts-based events and activities and for community-owned arts equipment.

Funded by the Elmley Foundation, the Events and Activities grant can help local groups to organise new arts and cultural activities, particularly in areas where these kinds of events rarely take place. Applicants are expected to show that people from all walks of life will be encouraged to take part, either as participants or as part of the audience.

The Arts Equipment grant enables community groups to purchase equipment which will help to improve access to the arts locally and applicants will need to show that the equipment will make a long-lasting impact and will be used regularly by a range of groups in the community.


The next round for Elmley applications is fast approaching as the deadline for applications is 12th September with the Panel Meeting on 3rd October.


Please apply now by visiting http://www.comfirst.org.uk/elmley_small_grants_arts_fund or contacting Cheryl Cooney 01684 312730







So far in 2013 Elmley has assisted the following groups


Events & Activities Fund

Bewdley PCC - £1000 towards staging a Passion Play on Good Friday in Load Street, Bewdley.


Border Marches Early Music Forum - £500 towards a day’s workshop for singers to develop and improve their skills in reading unfamiliar music.


Malvern Samba Band - £500 towards a day of Afro-Brazilian master classes to develop local skills and increase community involvement in Latin music and dance.


St Andrews Parish Centre Trust - £600 towards an Open Day on St. Andrews Day to launch and extend the murals in the church’s entrance foyer.


Worcestershire Early Music Festival - £500 towards various dance, music and workshop events.


Write on Festival - £500 towards workshops to initiate and develop new writing for the theatre.


Equipment Fund

Droitwich Arts Network - £500 for lighting equipment to better present their art work.


Friends of St. Swithun’s Church - £1,000 towards audio visual installation to provide live projection onto a large screen and include a hearing induction loop facility and PA system


Little Hereford Voices Community Choir - £500 towards the purchase a keyboard for use with accompanying the choir.


Weobley Village Hall - £1,000 towards the purchase of a new stage.


If you miss this round of applications, don’t panic as the following deadline is 6th September, with the Panel Meeting being on 27th September.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Job Opportunity

We currently have job vacancies on a casual basis for people to undertake surveys for Meadow Arts at a range of artworks in public spaces. This could be a great way for students to earn a bit of extra money. If you could forward the attached information to your contacts, we would be very grateful.


Please let me know if you have any questions. After today I will be out of the office until Monday 28th July, so please contact Manda Graham during this period on manda@meadowarts.org

Thank you very much for your help.

Kind regards,

Rebecca Farkas


Rebecca Farkas

Marketing & Engagement Manager

Meadow Arts


Please note that my usual working days for Meadow Arts are Monday, Tuesday & Thursday. 

The office is closed on Fridays.


Meadow Arts

Exceptional contemporary art in remarkable places


2014 programmes:


In partnership with National Trust:

Building Site

Hardwick Hall

Meadow Arts Evaluation Assistant Job Description

July – December 2014


Meadow Arts are looking for people to join their team of Evaluation Assistants to gather public feedback about our exhibitions and artworks in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Derbyshire. To limit travel time we will aim to recruit assistants who live near to each of the artwork locations.


Pay: £1 per survey. Normally paid monthly on 25th of month.

Travel: We will refund travel expenses to venue @ 45p per mile or the cost of a bus or train ticket.


Project Details


Meadow Arts has pieces of public art located in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire as a part of its Public Commissions programme and an exhibition in Derbyshire called Building Site. There will be a further exhibition at Croft Castle, Herefordshire from November 2014: In Another Light.


Meadow Arts is funded by Arts Council England and other funding bodies and so needs to gather feedback from visitors to each site to help us to understand what people think of our work and to help us to develop our future projects.


We require the collection of surveys at each location between July and December 2014:


·         Public Commissions, locations in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire –surveys to be collected across 8 locations (see below)

·         Building Site – Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire

·         In Another Light, Croft Castle, Herefordshire


For your own safety we would recommend that you DO NOT gather surveys at remote locations on your own, always gather data with a friend.


We suggest you identify days that are likely to busy at each location to enable you to gather the maximum amount of surveys on that day.


All survey data is checked and collated, and false data is likely to be discounted. Please help us by only gathering authentic data.


To Apply:

Submit a CV and supporting letter briefly explaining why you are interested becoming a Meadow Arts Evaluation Assistant to Rebecca Farkas, Marketing Manager on rebecca@meadowarts.org by Monday 28th July 2014


If you have any queries please contact either Rebecca or Manda on 01584 891659 or by emailing: rebecca@meadowarts.org or manda@meadowarts.org



To find out more about Meadow Arts visit: www.meadowarts.org


Locations of exhibitions and artworks:


Susie MacMurray
Hartlebury Castle
Nr Kidderminster
DY11 7XZ 
John M Robinson
Holofernes Finter
Hereford College of Arts
College Road
Mariele Neudecker
A Thousand Ghosts
King George V Playing Fields
 Off St Martin’s Street
Ruth Claxton
Synthetic Worlds (Skytops)
Edgar Street
Clare Woods
Brick Field
William Brookes School
Farley Road
Much Wenlock
TF13 6NB
Cornford & Cross
It Happened Here
The Commandery
Brass Art
Witness Tree
WR10 3JP
Keith Wilson
Worcester Woods Country Park
Wildwood Drive
Building Site
Hardwick Hall
Doe Lea
S44 5QJ
In Another Light
Croft Castle
Nr Leominster