Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Worcestershire Arts Partnership November newsletter



The First 31 Days – 969 to go!

October was a busy month for us at WAP and we were delighted to do our launch event at The Cube which was run in conjunction with an Open Space meeting about collaboration which was then followed by a showing of the beautiful poetic play The Magnetic Dairies, which signalled the opening of the new festival of theatre, Feast.

Feast featured a wide range of shows, workshops as well as great stuff for all the family. I ran a workshop on writing 20 minute plays and I saw a couple of great plays, The Murderer and From Ibiza to The Norfolk Broads.

In October we also featured  the work of Arts in Minds who provide a great service for people who have or are suffering  with mental health issues and who are using creativity as a way of healing. Wap have been working with this organisation for some time now and both Claire Hilton and her predecessor Jayne Gaze have given many presentations at events about this organisation. They are an excellent group who have deservedly   been funded by The   Arts Council on many occasions.


November 2016

For November we are looking ahead to a couple of projects that WAP has taken a lead on. Both are very different in their nature and a key person connected to them is Manda Graham. Manda was the arts officer at Malvern Hills but now has become one of the leading freelancers in the county. Manda is the Project Manager of the Ring which is a project that will place arts on the Worcester Droitwich Canal Ring. The project came about through the work of an ex colleague Simon Tipple who worked for Destination Worcestershire and who was keen for the arts to play a major role in the redevelopment of the Worcester Droitwich Canal Ring. A few years and significant public funding later we are now ready to begin employing artists and to place some fantastic art work of all types on the Waterways. Cathy Major has been employed as Artistic Director and Cathy with the help of Tim Easop from The Canals Rivers Trust has some great ideas on the kind of art interventions that will make The Ring one of the best arts projects in the county.

Manda is also heavily involved in the development of Worcestershire Theatre Club. This project came about through some shows that were run by Fuel at Malvern Theatres and the need to try and get theatre audiences for new writing. The project has now gone county wide and we now have a thriving network of audience members who regularly see new challenging work. Check out Worcestershire Theatre Club on Facebook to see what shows are planned in the autumn.

Last but not least there was the project A Place Free of Judgement


A Place Free of Judgement 'A Place Free of Judgement' is an ACE Funded Regional project in libraries, supported by Arts Connect, ASCEL and The University of Worcester. The project is about a teenage take-over of libraries and a re-imagination of how libraries will look like in the future.

The lead Libraries were:

 Cannock, Staffordshire; Southwater, Shropshire; St. John's, Worcestershire  

 Blast Theory, an internationally renowned group of artists, and acclaimed author Tony White, were the lead artists and we had a wonderful group of students who really enjoyed the whole event.

In October, St John's Library was the site for a live streamed  event which will be  then made into a short film and published into a book with a Blog updating progress on the way.

Looking ahead we will feature the wonderful Tenbury Mistletoe Festival which is taking place in December .

Funding News Funding News Funding News Funding News……

As well as the Arts Council's new funding guidance for their NPO funding we also wanted to point out some of the funding that is available from Paul Hamlyn Foundation. http://www.phf.org.uk/. Paul Hamlyn plays a major role in funding projects working to make real social change especially with young people and its definitely worth a look.

 Who are the WAP PARTNERS

The focus this week is on Natalie McVey

Natalie McVey - Service Lead Young People 13-24, Libraries, Learning and Arts

What are you working on at the moment?

I am currently working on a number of Arts Projects including 'A Place Free of Judgement', 'Young Poet Laureate' and 'Worcestershire Teen Book Award'.

I am also working with colleagues to develop a set of Standards for 'Autism Friendly Libraries', extending our core services to children and young people in the Looked After System, and  incorporating the 'Code Green'  Digital initiatives across the Libraries and Learning Service.

What does the WAP mean to you?

To me, WAP means a broad range of passionate people, from a variety of backgrounds, sectors and places, coming together to champion 'The Arts' in its broadest sense.

It means that collectively, we ensure that The Arts are relevant, accessible, exciting and headline grabbing for all communities and individuals in Worcestershire.

 Who do you work with in the WAP?

I mainly work with Steve Wilson and his team, but WAP has also given me the opportunity to establish productive working relationships with a variety of people, such as WAW, Perfect Circle Theatre Company, Dancefest and Caged Arts.

My virtual door is always open.  

What do you most enjoy in your job

There are too many things to mention.

I have found that the more I engage with The Arts and Artists, the more job satisfaction I get. Recently I have worked with Blast Theory, world leaders in their field of Digital Arts. This opportunity gave me such a sense of achievement as it pushed our boundaries in a huge number of ways.   

I guess that underpinning it all for me is the opportunity to work with young people, some of whom have been marginalised and not been given opportunities that many take for granted.

What is your greatest challenge?

Saying 'No'






Don't forget to follow Worcestershire Arts Partnership on Facebook here:





No comments: