Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Elmley Small Grant Art Fund.. OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS.. closing date 26th June 2017

The Elmley Small Grants Art Fund is open for applications until Monday 26th June. Groups in Herefordshire and Worcestershire can apply for up to £1,000 for arts equipment or arts events/activities.


Friday, 26 May 2017

WAP Newsletter May 2017





WAP is really excited about what is taking place with Meadow Arts, an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation working in our region. They do great inspiring work and we spent some time with them.

Hi – tell us more about who Meadow Arts are and what you are presently doing?


Meadow Arts produces exceptional contemporary art projects in unusual places, curating large-scale exhibitions and commissioning arresting new artworks. We do not have a venue of our own, and instead work in partnership in a variety of host locations. The current project at The Hive, with artists Heather and Ivan Morison, is a case in point.

We put on one main exhibition annually and run a range of Meadow Projects throughout the year across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire, as well as delivering our education programme Meadow Arts Inspires. The exhibition this year is called Synthetic Landscapes: re-viewing the ‘ideal’ landscape. It opens at Weston Park on 4th June and runs until 3rd September, with commissions from major artists such as Pablo Bronstein, together with borrowed work from Edward Chell, Ged Quinn, Ryan Gander, Salvatore Arancio and several others. Running alongside the show at Weston Park, will be another element hosted by Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery (24 June – 3 September), where emerging Midlands artist David Bethell will curate some of the collection as well as exhibit his own work.


Tell us more about the work you are doing at The Hive – it sounds great!


This project came about through the new 1000 Days Arts Strategy for Worcestershire. We are partnering with The Hive to commission two internationally famous, locally-based artists to create a new piece of work that will celebrate The Hive’s 5th anniversary. The artists are duo Heather and Ivan Morison, who began a special residency at The Hive in March 2017.

The artists are fascinated by the venue, which was the first joint university and public library in Europe (opened July 2012), and the intersection between academia and civic life. They have met with staff, University of Worcester (UoW) students and users of The Hive to gain an understanding of what the venue means to its audience. They will use this information as the inspiration to develop a new piece of art that will be installed in the late autumn of this year. It will remain on site, for people to experience for anything from 6-36 months, during which time Meadow Arts will deliver many more activities that involve the Worcestershire community.


The Morisons will work with Fine Art students from UoW in producing the piece of art, allowing the students to gain a unique experience and insight into how an artist works, including special one-to-one sessions with the artists, where students will be able to discuss their own work and ideas.


Images of the Morisons’ work – 'Will You Please Be Quiet, Please'





‘How to survive in the coming bad years' Meadow Arts commission at Attingham Park, 2008


And how can the arts community get involved in this?

Heather has now met with various different groups in and around Worcester, as well as giving a recent Garage Open Lecture Series talk and meeting the arts community at The Garage Studios. For the next few months Heather and Ivan will be busy back in their Weobley workshop creating the final piece. It will be installed at The Hive in October /November-time, when we very much hope the arts community can come along to the opening event (invites will be circulated via WAP) and then get involved with activities associated with the piece, as well as providing Meadow Arts with their feedback, thoughts and ideas on the project.


What does WAP mean to you?


We have been members of WAP for well over seven years now. To us it means a network of great, friendly people who we can talk to about new ideas, current arts issues, examples of best practice and potential future collaborations. It is a human resource of like-minded creatives, who offer mutual support, access to new audiences, opportunities and sometimes funds, as well as laughs along the way.

What excites you most at the moment?

Some of the work that is emerging from graduate shows, such as New Art West Midlands and Moving On, Staying On, excites us the most. It is so stimulating to engage with raw, new talent; to become excited and inspired by the next generation of artists. It’s also very rewarding when we see some of the names of recent graduates we have supported (such as Natalie Ramus from Hereford College of Arts) moving forward in the world of contemporary visual art.

To show our support for young, emerging, local artists, Meadow Arts will extend the Meadow Arts Prize this year to include Worcestershire. For the first time a winning student from the 2017 UoW graduate show will receive a £250 donation towards their studies, and
two mentoring sessions from the Meadow Arts team over the coming year. The winner will be announced at the Graduate Show on 18 May.


We are also excited by the very positive response we get from ‘big name’ artists who continue to find artistic stimulation working out here in the West Midlands. Most of them are quite happy to leave London and other usual hunting grounds to address the amazing venues we work in across this region.


And what is your greatest challenge?


As a small company based in Ludlow, with just 4 part-time staff and covering three counties, our greatest challenge is getting everything done! On the plus side, there’s never a dull moment!

Funding of course is always an unknown. We are very lucky to receive funding from Arts Council England as one of their National Portfolio Organisations (NPO). They have been supportive since the very beginning of Meadow Arts, 15 years ago. Right now, we are on tenter-hooks until 27th June, while we wait to hear the outcome of our latest NPO application.

We cannot rely solely on ACE and funding in the ‘provinces’ is still hard to come by. With WAP and other regional networks we must continue to demonstrate the huge value of the arts: the returns on investment are enormous and the power of art is demonstrable. We must all continue to make the case that arts and culture are vital to society, the economy and our well-being!


 Other News


Arts Council and other funding success


It has been a great month of funding success for WAP partners. First of all The County Arts Service received two awards from the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner to run programmes of activity for adults and young people who have either committed low level crime or are at risk of doing so. The funding is worth £31,000 and we will be starting the process of recruiting artists very soon.

WAP also received £20,000 from the Arts Council to run two years of programmes for our Jump Start initiative to showcase new writing and performances in our county.

Museums Worcestershire

First of all Museums Worcestershire will develop two new exciting, creative projects to re-engage with young audiences aged 11-16 years, attracting them & their families to re-discover The Commandery, exploring its stories in new ways.

CIVIL WAR STORIES will be a show for young people aged 11-16, bringing the stories of the Civil War to life. Led by dramaturges Jonathan Darby & Ruth Richardson, we will create & test a new piece of theatre for Worcester schools.

PAPER REBELLION will work with young people aged 11-16 through workshops led by artist Emily Wilkinson. The project will explore Civil War themes of protest & propaganda using collage, found text, maps & materials from the museum’s collection to create an installation at The Commandery. Total grant award is £3000 the Elmley Foundation,£14950 ACE Grants for the Arts.

The Hive

The Hive and Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service have been awarded an Arts Council Grants for the Arts Award of £45,000 to develop an art installation, workshops and digital touring exhibitions based on the Palaeolithic era. The project will compliment an exhibition funded by the Heritage Lottery fund and will be at the Hive in June 2018. We are delighted to have been successful and look forward to starting the project in the autumn.










The Ring Launch

The Ring!
There is an  Open Call launch event of The Ring on Friday 23rd June 6pm Diglis House Hotel. We'd love to invite all collaborators and artists to join us as part of this event to enjoy a drink and celebrate the very early beginnings of our new website and programme at this lovely waterside location - for details of the event and the Open Call please take a look at the Eventbrite page here:

This will be timed to coincide with a visit from the Floating Museum in Chicago, who will give a guest speech at the event. This will be a useful talk as Faheem and Jeremiah will speak about their work across galleries, arts organisations, universities and community groups to plan water based projects in the US.

We have also created a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheRingWorcs/ ahead of our website and press event next month. 

Thursday, 25 May 2017

New Project at Birmingham REP Theatre – ‘Stadium’ based on Football.. help needed

A French artist is re-creating a project he did in France inspired by his Dad’s love of football – but for Birmingham. He has spent the last few months interviewing Villa, City & Albion fans on camera about a whole range of issues - everything from match day rituals and family rivalries to Brexit and class. The aim is to use these fans and their stories to create a live show at the REP in June (https://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/stadium) to involve and celebrate real people who would never normally have an interest in the theatre.


It’s really important that the local football fan community is engaged – we want as many people as possible to be a part of it – to contribute to their side’s story and to make sure their team is represented in the final production.


Please help us reach out to followers and supporters to encourage them to get involved.


Birmingham REP have just posted their first videos


A different video will be going out every few days – with the next (Birmingham football fans on match-day rituals and superstitions) going out this morning, just before lunch. Then


Birmingham football fans on what made them a support – Saturday 27th, c. Midday

Birmingham football fans on similarities and differences between football and theatre – Monday 29th c. 11am

Birmingham football fans on the importance of football – Wednesday 31st c.2pm



If you need any further info please contact joe@sideburnpanda.co.uk

West Midland Poetry Competition - closing date 1st September

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

FREE Festival Ticket offer

  Festival Firsts: FREE festival ticket offer  

Would you like to find out more about the Festival but don’t know where to start?

If you are a Worcestershire resident who has never been to the Festival before, you can now sample the festival for free. Thanks to the generous donations of our existing audience, we’re able to offer some top price tickets to every single concert in the festival programme.

With almost 40 concerts packed into eight days (22 – 29 July) there’s plenty to choose from. You’ll also be issued with a rehearsal pass giving you access to rehearsals in the cathedral during festival week, so you can get a glimpse behind the scenes of this exciting event.

To sign up, all you have to do is get in touch before Friday 21 July – we’ll add you to our database and one of our friendly box office staff will talk to you about the concerts on offer. Call 01452 768930 between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday, or email robert.convey@3choirs.org for more information You can browse the programme online at 3choirs.org/events/2017-festival-programme

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Ring - May 2017 Newsletter

The Ring is an exciting new arts programme which focuses on 21 miles of natural and historical waterways in Worcestershire.

We're delighted to share our new logo, as well as news of events and opportunities for artists. Read on to find out how you can be part of The Ring.
Droitwich Salt Heritage
Artist: Katy Beinart
Katy Beinart is one of five artists leading art commissions that will form the heart of The Ring's programme. Final artworks will be launched in April 2018 after a year in development.

Since she started her research in March, Katy has been working closely with canal and salt heritage experts in Droitwich, visiting the archives at The Hive in Worcester and experimenting with salt processes.
Vines Park and the Droitwich Canal, at the heart of Katy Beinart's research into the salt heritage of Droitwich.
As a part of this research, Katy is holding a quiz night which is free to attend and open to all.

Brineteaser Pub Quiz
Sunday 28th May at 7.30pm
The Gardeners Arms Pub, Vines Lane, Droitwich 

A quiz on everything salty and Droitwich! Free to enter, come along and pit your wits against the quizmasters.

Artist Information
Website Blog Twitter
Opening the Floodgates:
Arts on the Waterways Open Call Opportunity in Worcestershire
We are proud to launch Opening the Floodgates on Friday 23rd June 2017. We invite any interested artists to attend a special riverside launch event led by Artistic Director Cathy Mager at Diglis House Hotel at 6pm on Friday 23rd June 2017. 
Flood waste collected from the rivers and canals of  the Mid-Worcestershire Ring and the beautiful natural environment of the canals.
Opening the Flood Gates is a new commissioning opportunity open to artists living and working in the West Midlands. Individual artists or artist collectives are invited to submit proposals to re-purpose and recycle flood waste that has been collected from canals and rivers in the Worcestershire area to make a public artwork. We want to see ideas that explore aspects of the biodiversity and wildlife of the area and visualise the future of the waterways of Worcestershire. The budget for the commission is £10,000 inclusive of artist fees and production/installation costs.  Find out more about the Ring by visiting the Canal & River Trust’s Arts on the Waterways website.

The launch will feature special guest speakers Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford and Faheem Majeed of the Floating Museum project in Chicago, USA. There will also be a chance to meet Canal & River Trust experts during a short guided walk to Diglis Island to view the stockpiled flood materials that will be made available to the selected artists.  Networking with local artists and arts organisations will follow the event.

We encourage applications from artists at all stages in their careers. We’re looking for original, exciting and site specific ideas constructed from flood waste that will draw in visitors near and far to discover and explore the waterways of Worcestershire.

How to apply: 
Book your place at the launch event on our Eventbrite page, applications for entry will then open on Saturday 24th June 2017 and close on 31st August 2017. The winning artist/artist collective will be announced in mid September. Open Call Entry Forms will be made available on our new website when it launches in June 2017, in the meantime follow us on Facebook or sign up to our e-news.
Event Sponsor:
Our website is due to launch in mid-June 2017.
Until then, sign up to our e-news and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out about the exciting opportunities we'll be announcing in the next few weeks. 
The Ring is part of the Canal & River Trust's Arts on the Waterways programme.
© Photographs by F8 Creates, Hamish Gill, the Canal & River Trust and Manda Graham
Programme supported by:
Arts Council England, Canal & River Trust, Worcestershire County Council, Worcestershire Arts Partnership, Worcester City Council, Wychavon District Council, Bransford Trust, Elmley Foundation, Rowlands Trust, Meadow Arts, University of Worcester, Visit Worcestershire, For Droitwich Spa, the Worcester, Birmingham & Droitwich Canal Society, Droitwich Arts Network, Sustrans, Museums Worcestershire, Museum of Royal Worcester Porcelain.
Copyright © 2017 Canal & River Trust, All rights reserved.
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Canal & River Trust
Commercial Road
Gloucester, GL1 2EB
United Kingdom

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