Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Monday, 27 March 2017

Watch Out Worceter (WOW).. Saturday 22nd July - a new free arts event for the City from Dancefest

Watch Out Worcester (WOW)   

Saturday 22 July

A new free arts event for the city

Involving quirky, contemporary, fun, theatre, dance, music, spoken word and visual arts, WOW, a free event takes place from noon on Saturday 22 July in outdoor and unusual spaces around the city centre.

We want to involve local performers and artists whose work is creative and original and would welcome applications to take part. For more information follow the link to web page dancefest.co.uk/watch-out-worcester

Take Part

We’re interested to hear about your work and how you see it fitting into Watch Out Worcester.  We can’t pay people to take part, but it is an opportunity to promote your work.

Performances can be walkabout or static, up to 20 minutes long and able to be performed 2-3 times between 12 noon and 4.30pm. They should be self contained as there is no power supply or staging.

We are also keen to hear from visual artists who could show work either in or out of doors – please bear in mind that we can’t be responsible for the security of that work. It would need to be set up and dismantled on the day.

How to Apply

Applications are welcome from professional, excellent community or youth groups (performers should be over 14).

Please send an email describing your work, together with a link to a film of performance, or images of visual arts, to Rose Beeston, Dancefest's Director, at rose@dancefest.co.uk  please include your contact details. This should be received at the very latest by Friday 26 May.

Email or ring Rose on 01905 611199 if you'd like further information or to chat through ideas.

More information

Watch Out Worcester is produced by Dancefest in collaboration with Worcestershire partners including: Jumpstart, The Hive, Three Choirs Festival, University of Worcester, Severn Arts, The Hive, The Ring project, Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, Worcester Arts Workshop, Worcestershire Arts Partnership, Worcestershire Litfest & Fringe
Watch Out Worcester - locations
High Street /                           Between 12.00-4.00                            Walkabouts
Pump Street / Shambles/                                                                    Vamos
Friar Street                                                                                          Dancefest - Quiet Revolution
                                                                                                           InfuseDance - Bodyguards
                                                                                                           Dancefest DFY – benches
                                                                                                            Imagineer costumes
Cornmarket                             1.00                                                     Trash Dollys
                                                                                                            Youth Dance 1
                                                3.00                                                     Trash Dollys
                                                                                                            Youth Dance 2
The Hive                                  12.00                                                   InfuseDance - Bodyguards
                                                                                                             Youth Dance 2
                                                2.00                                                     Youth Dance 1
                                                                                                            University Dance
WAW                                       12.30 and                                           
                                                1.30                                                     Jump Start 2 x 45 mins?
City Art Gallery                       2.00 an d 3.30                                     Imagineer costumes                           
                                                             Activities throughout afternoon
College Green                         12.30-2.00                                          Music – part of Three Choirs
South Quay                              3.30                                                    Dancefest - DFA& C2D groups -  Trace
Or College Green                                                                                Df- Elevate Dance Company – Squid
The Angel Centre – hub, changing, rehearsal space, refreshments                                                                          
Yet to be confirmed and placed
Jigsaw Performance group – dance yurt
EveryBODY Dance aerial rig?
Encompass Dance Collective?
University dance students?
Severn Arts – music
The Ring project?

Friday, 17 March 2017

Worcester Motor Festival - Window Dressing Competition

Worcester Motor Festival – Saturday 20th May 2017

On Saturday 20th May 2017 the 11th Worcester Motor Festival will be taking place throughout the city centre.

This popular event is organised in partnership between the Worcester BID and the Worcester News and features exciting displays of around 150 new and historic cars throughout the pedestrianised city centre. We will be announcing details shortly on new feature areas to keep the event interesting to our visitors. To further animate the event, family street entertainment will be taking place at selected locations, which will include live music, roving stiltwalkers and face painting.

The nature of the event has been found to attract new and repeat visitors, plus potential customers from local and surrounding areas to spend more time and money in our city. The expansion of the event also encourages visitors to explore areas of the city centre they would not have originally visited, thus improving awareness of BID businesses.


The Worcester BID are keen to get as many businesses involved in the Worcester Motor Festival as possible, so that we can promote businesses accordingly. Here are some suggestions how you could get involved:

·         Take part in our window dressing competition – the theme is anything motoring or a yellow and red colour scheme. The competition runs from early May with judging on Saturday 20th May.

·         On the event day, offer in-store motoring-themed activities and competitions.

·         Apply for a free stall pitch to promote/sell your motoring themed products and services, e.g. car insurance or finance, MOT service, motoring themed memorabilia or clothing, etc. (subject to availability).

·         Support the event by donating a competition prize (data capture for future promotions).

·         Take advantage of special BID advertising rates in the dedicated Worcester News event supplement, sponsorship packages or event programme advertising.


If you are interested in getting involved in the Worcester Motor Festival, please complete and return the attached registration form no later than 24th March 2017. If you have any other great ideas, please contact us on 01905 731612 or email info@worcesterbid.com. We look forward to hearing from you with how you will be getting involved.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Artist Opportunity

We are looking for an artist who can spend up to 2 days working with a group of young people in a special school. We’d like to develop skills of observation working in any 2d/ mixed media/3d. We’d like the final outcome to be based on portraiture or ‘self’.
The piece of art will be displayed at The Cathedral in Worcester as part of the Voices and Visions exhibition.
Our aim is to inspire a group who have an interest in art but not necessarily the skills. We want to develop curiosity and encourage risk taking.
Rebekah Thompson



Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Funding Grants 2017 - 2018

The funding grants will be run similarly to last years with  two grant schemes available. The first is the main grant application form. We are opening this to Arts Council National Portfolio Organisations and organisations who either run a venue or produce and create work that takes place across the county. You would also be expected to demonstrate that you receive external funding on a regular basis from other sources. This fund will be very limited with a maximum of £2000 being awarded. The closing date for applying is Thursday 13th April  at  1pm.


The second form is the partnership support fund. This will be open to applicants on four occasions  throughout the year who are looking for matched funding towards other external grants such as Grants for the Arts. The maximum to apply for is £400. We will need to see a draft of the external  bid with the submission and full confirmation of any successful bid. We will reserve a funding pot for each submission date.


Thursday, 9 March 2017

Emerge Young Artists Commission - Project from Arts Connect

Arts Connect are working in partnership with their Bridge colleagues in the East Midlands, The Mighty Creatives, and UK Young Artists on a 3 year programme with schools and arts/cultural venues working with young people aged 11-25 years. This is funded by Spirit 2012 and involves the young people creating their own Festival to celebrate Shakespeare. The Emerge programme offers a great opportunity for young artists to develop their own skills through an supported training programme. They will work with the school/venue leads to develop to provide the artistic direction for the young people. Please can you circulate this opportunity to any young artists that might be interested. We are particularly keen to encourage young artists who are under-represented (eg BAME; Artists with Disability). Please see this link for more information

Worcester Ways to Wellbeing event at the Guildhall

Wednesday April 19th 10.00-2.00  Worcester Guild Hall

At our next Ways to Wellbeing exhibition and local community wellbeing event we’re aiming to entice in members of the public with a stall on the street market outside and hopefully, with it being in the middle of the Easter holidays, this will mean a good turn-out.  I am currently working on a programme of activities and demonstrations that promote positive wellbeing and would love to hear from anyone who would like to offer a have-a-go workshop or fun activity So that we highlight a variety of organisations and services.

What’s next…….

Wednesday May 3rd 10.00- 12.00 Perdiswell Young People’s Leisure Centre, Worcester

Save the date of our next VCS Wellbeing provider networking meeting, more details of venues and times will follow shortly.

Following on from the Worcester event, we will be focusing on Wyre Forest in the Summer and then Wychavon early Autumn.

Social media

If you didn’t already know Worcestershire Wellbeing Hub is on Facebook and Twitter follow us for up to date news. 

Remember Sharing is Caring!

Facebook -@WorcestershireWellbeingHub  

Twitter - @Well_beinghub

 Sharing Contact Details

A number of people have asked about having a shared contact list for the Wellbeing Network.  As the group includes both private and organisational phone number and email addresses, we don’t want to do this without your permission.  Please let us know if you’re happy to have your contact details shared within this group.

What to do for now:

·         If your organisation would like to take part in the Worcester Guild Hall event on April 19th, please complete the attached booking form and return to wellbeinghub@comfirst.org.uk before March 22nd. Space is limited so it may not be possible to accommodate everyone with a stand or table but there will be an opportunity to display leaflets and flyers and you are welcome to join in as an attender if you don’t wish to exhibit anything.

·         If you have already expressed an interest but haven’t sent a booking form please can you fill one in and send it to the above email address.

·         Promotional materials will follow but please spread the word amongst your contacts and in your newsletters

·         Lets get the social media buzz!!!
Let us know if we can share your contact details amongst the group

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Dancing Club

Thurs 16 March, 4pm & 7pm, Kidderminster College, Market Street, DY10 1AB, no booking required - just turn up! FREE


The Dancing Club 

The Dancing Club is a project celebrating Kidderminster legends Frank & Wynn Freeman. After the war Frank returned to Kidderminster and wanted to set up a dancing club. He inspired a whole town to get dancing and unlocked the creativity inside them. Across decades Frank & Wynn offered a place to go, to be creative, to be safe, to celebrate, and somewhere to access the latest music and dance trends. The Dancing Club became iconic.

'The Dancing Club' tells the stories of the communities, families, dancers and the musicians who passed through it. 

Writer / Director Caroline Jester has been collecting stories and memories of Frank & Wynn across her home town, Kidderminster. She has teamed up with Kidderminster's Andy Edwards, long term collaborator of Robert Plant, who is working with acclaimed Double Bassist Tom Clarke-Hill making original music for the project. 

As we build this project we want to know what the people of Kidderminster think. We would want you to come to this rehearsed reading (so expect informal, scripts in hand and fun) and stay for a chat afterwards to tell us what you think. 

Monday, 6 March 2017

The Bromsgrove - world class music competition - starts Tuesday 4th April

Do you enjoy Classical Music?  You will find The Bromsgrove inspiring!


It’s almost upon us – The Bromsgrove!  Come and enjoy this amazing world-class music competition now in its 37th year.  All instruments - except the organ - and voices are eligible so it is a unique competition.  This year over 100 young talented international musicians in their late teens and early twenties from all over the globe have entered for the 54 places available. They all seek to win prestigious prizes totalling over £10,000 including the Sir John Manduell Prize, plus performance opportunities.


The finalists’ concert is on Saturday 8th April 2017 at 7 pm.  The name of our new President will be announced during the awards ceremony.  Why not come and join us for that concert in the Routh Hall already partly refurbished as a major ; park for free, get your souvenir quality programme for free and enjoy the magic of our three finalists as they compete to win the prizes.  Choose your favourite as you enjoy your free glass of wine at the interval and pitch your talents against the international Adjudicators led by Edmond Fivet CBE who have the difficult task of making their final decisions. Leave feeling inspired by what this new generation is achieving!


Tickets are being held this year to a generous £15 each.  They are available now from our website at www.bromsgrovecompetition.com If last year was any guide not surprisingly they went quickly so make sure of yours today.


The Bromsgrove remember is five days of tough competition for those 54 young musicians who are accepted - they are the best of the best! It starts on Tuesday 4th April.  The first four days are free admission; they include the semi-finals on Thursday 6th April afternoon and Friday 7th April.  Sessions start from 9.30 am and continue throughout the day.  Come and listen for a while when you can, morning or afternoon.  It won’t be all violins or voices but a very varied programme full of wonderful music from many centuries; some you may have heard before – some will be new.  Come and join us.  Cheer on the competitors and enjoy the free refreshments while they last! 

Friday, 3 March 2017

WAP Feburary 2017 NEWSLETTER

WAP Newsletter Feb 2017

National Portfolio Funding

 One of the stresses of working in the arts is the constant applying for grants and looking at ways of diversifying income generation. It’s a constant for the sector and one that a lot of us approach with a heavy heart while uttering the odd expletive. I try and keep our County Council arts forms as simple as possible but there is something about the whole that can drive one to distraction. With that in mind its full resect to those organisations who have bid for National Portfolio funding from the Arts Council. I know how hard it is to apply so well done and good luck.

 Jump Start

 A couple of years ago I attended an event at The University of Worcester and gave a talk about my job and my career. There were other guest speakers including those who were just beginning their own business careers. At the end, the organisers summarised it by saying it was great to hear from those at the beginning of their work journey and (looking at me) and those who were at their pinnacle. It made me laugh as I have never thought that my present job is the height of anything but merely something I stumbled into, like someone who has had one to many but has landed in a place where he feels good in.

It also seems wholly desirable and sensible that we look now to nurture and support a whole new group of creatives and try to keep them in the county. Of course keeping talented artists in the 'Shire is not easy but we need to support those that are studying and practicing here and try and to provide as many ways in which these emerging artists can develop and feel important.

This is why providing greater residence and developing artists is part of a 1000 days. When I graduated in 1926 or whenever I had no idea of the opportunities available to me and it can be a lonely and somewhat scary existence. Not every artist can feel confident to make their own mark and so we are trying to find ways in which we can help. WAP, through the Elmley Foundation and The University of Worcester have been running a scheme called Moving on Staying On which has seen five artists been given mentors and support and we were thrilled that one of these BLOK have been given an award by New Art West Midlands for developing their own studio space, while another, Provisional Act have had their first theatre show.

Another way is through networking and showcasing new work and our programme Jump Start aims to do such a thing. There are broadly two groups here. The Performing Arts one has a new showcase at the Hive on the 12th of March. The second is The  Worcestershire Visual Arts Meet up and is being run in conjunction with The Kiln and F8 Creates and The Worcester Arts Workshop. We had a great evening at WAW on 15th February with guest speakers and a really nice vibe. Please follow this on facebook on the Jump Start pages and/or follow WAP on social media. Come along to these events and support what are looking to do, which is to have a sense of an artist collective and to keep making this such a good place to do arts in.

 Greg Smith from the Kiln and F8 Creates who is playing a major part in this work said ''We've setup Worcestershire Visual Arts Meetup for visual artists, designers, painters, and illustrators to listen to inspiring speakers, network and learn from one another, and find out about local art initiatives that they can get involved with.'

This is Emily Malin and Katie Hodson from BLOK telling me to leave the WAW at our last event!


Children and Young People


On Wednesday 8th of February I was fortunate enough to attend a great show at The Artrix produced by Outspoken  who are Artrix’s new resident company of emerging artists making work with and for young people around issues of health and well-being. Over 900 people, 800 young people attended Outspoken’s latest production, Catfish, a new piece of live performance fused with digital technology which explored issues of online grooming and Child Sexual Exploitation, devised and directed by Hannah Phillips. The piece was funded by Birmingham City University Worcestershire County Council arts grant and Divisional Fund and the Arts Council of England. The project was in partnership with C&T who developed the smartphone digital technology for the piece. The following link will take you to a two minute video edit of the piece:



They have had some very positive feedback from young people, schools

‘The vital messages around safe behaviour online for young people is one that is stressed, laboured and refreshed in schools up and down the country each and every day. We are always trying to find new and engaging ways in which to embed the messages of risk and how to keep young people safe. Catfish by Outspoken Theatre Group did this in a super-powerful manner that had all our students focused and connected – way better that any member of staff ever could!’


Adam Smith | Deputy Head teacher

North Bromsgrove High School & Sixth Form


Comments from students at Pedmore TC:


‘The performance was amazing, how it was set up was clever. I would definitely watch it again.’


‘I enjoyed the performance, it was emotional, I cried and laughed, it informed me of grooming, rape, child exploitation and what the consequences are. I would rate it 5*.’



The official launch of 1000 Days takes place on 21st March at 2pm at The Hive. We have lots of great guest speakers planned from the sector and we really hope to sell our message of how the arts is making a real difference to people's lives. If you want to find out more about it or come along please contact us through myself or Diane.



The next Jump Start Performance event takes place on Sunday 12th March at The Hive. We have five new plays for you to see and it should be a great night. The evening starts at 7pm.


Focus on Hannah Philips – Artrix


I caught up with Hannah soon after the show and asked her some questions about WAP


What are you working on at the moment?

Finding funding for Outspoken’s next piece of work which will focus on young mental health.


Who do you work with most in WAP?

Vamos and Dancefest and we have really enjoyed working with C&T, we would definitely like to do that again.


What do you most enjoy in your job?

Making new work at Artrix in collaboration with emerging artists for and with young people and programming great work at Artrix. We had The Best Thing on by Vamo on Thursday 2nd of March, it is a stunning piece of work.


What is your greatest challenge?

Funding and the financial climate


Thanks for reading and look out for our next newsletter after our launch.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Artist Opportunity - Showell Gallery, Pershore Civic Centre


The Showell Gallery, Civic Centre, Pershore


We are looking again for more people to exhibit their 2d work at the Showell Gallery at the Civic Centre, Pershore from June 2017. We have 5 mdf boards of varying sizes to display the work. There is no charge to exhibit but if you sell any work then we take a 15% commission charge. The work will be up for 3 months.

Hanging space

•              The total available hanging space is made up of 5 walls with board dimensions 135cm high by 255cm wide/107cm high by 120cm wide/138cm high by109cm wide/140cm high by 100cm wide/140cm high by 109cm wide

•              The Showell Gallery is sometimes used for other events, e.g. as a reception area for blood donors, so please be aware of this.

•              You will be responsible for the hanging and taking down of the artwork



•              Natural lighting from windows

•              Fluorescent lighting for the room


Applications for exhibitors

Potential exhibitors are expected to fill out an expression of interest form by 3rd April and send three images of your work, either by e-mail or photographs by post. Please make sure photographs are clearly labelled. A decision will be made by 6th April and you will be informed of the outcome just after this.


For more information and to apply contact Jenny Davis on 01386 565396 or email jenny.davis@wychavon.gov.uk