Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

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.

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