Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Monday, 3 April 2017

WAP Newsletter March 2017


WAP Newsletter March 2017


The Launch




A Big Thank You.


Well, what a great launch we had for 1000 Days. Let’s begin with all the thanks. First to the Hive and especially Laura Worsfold and Caroline Hill for their help in letting us use the venue. The Hive is a venue very close to my heart and it was great to host the event there.

Then a big thanks for Caroline Mitchell Wise for the WAP inspired Cupcakes. They were lovely to eat and went down a treat. Then a final thank you for Martin Humby and his photographs.


On the organisation front a big thanks to my team of Sue Church and Diane Thomson for all their organisation skills and a huge thanks to the wonderful Debbie Birch for her help in making this all happen. It was Debbie who worked with me to organise the programme and without her it would not have happened.


It was also great to have the Nunnery Wood School Brass Band play too. They were brilliant and gave the event a great atmosphere – and so good to hear the Rocky Theme too!


The Delegates


We had over 100 people attend. They came from a wide number of organisations ranging from Visual and Performing Artists to Local Authorities to Local Arts Forums It was also great to see The Elmley Foundation, The Bransford Trust and The University and we had representatives from all over the county.




The Programme


We had a packed programme. We used the theme of journeys and I got dressed as a conductor to give a sense of theatre to the event. Basically it was an excuse to dress up!




The event was opened by Judith Elkin who gave an eloquent introduction about the 1000 Days Strategy and about the progress that has been made with WAP over the last seven years. I then talked about the format of the event and also talked about how WAP has been transformed in that time.


We then had a speech from Charlotte Gregory from Vamos who talked about ambition and the role that WAP has played in supporting the company. It was great to have a local arts company, now working internationally to open the event.


We then went into the Children and Young People strand and had presentations from  Natalie McVey from Worcestershire Libraries and Learning who talked about the role of the Children and Young People's Group, Merie Ergelsfield from Regency School who talked about the support of the WAP network, Katie Hodson who discussed the Moving on Staying On project and we had a brilliant poetry performance from Oakley Flanagan the 6th and latest Young Poet Laureate.


From young people we went to Arts and Health and in the absence of Jan Higgitt I gave an overall context of the work of New Prescriptions before handing over to Debbie Birch and Laura McFall who presented our project with West Mercia Police 'Inspiring Futures Through  the Arts. Both Debbie and Laura spoke with eloquence and clarity.


We then looked at Arts and The Economy and we had presentations from Manda Graham and Cathy Mager from the Ring, an arts project which is taking place over the next two years on the waterways of Worcester and Droitwich. This was followed by Helen Mole from Worcester City who talked about the ambitions of the arts in Worcester to drive the visitor economy.


Our final priority was Artistic Resilience and we heard from Lee Farley and Sally Morgan who gave presentations about Jump Start and Sally's Open Studios. Lee turned his presentation into a performance thanks to Naomi Rule from Ovary Acting.


It was then back to Judith and then to our new Chair, Anne Hannaford to close the event. Every guest speaker spoke with clarity and passion and so a massive thank you from me. It was much appreciated.






Feedback has been so positive. Delegates spoke about the warm atmosphere, the scale of projects and the feeling of positivity. But in many ways I feel the hard work starts here and that there is still so much to do.


Thanks for reading!







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