Medway is part of the Collaborative Touring Network
In April 2016, Medway based organisation, Lyrici Arts were awarded a regional place within the Collaborative Touring Network, enabling them to be a National festival partner until 2019, and help to address diversity and arts inclusion aims within the Medway Towns.
The Collaborative Touring Network is a partnership between Battersea Arts Centre and 8 producing teams based in Darlington, Gloucester, Hull, Medway, Peterborough, Thanet, Torbay and Wigan. This three-year project is supported by Arts Council England Strategic Touring Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation.
The network will work collaboratively to support artists locally and deliver bi-annual festivals of high-quality touring work, homegrown talent, music, workshops, feasts, and develop a model of year round creative activity in areas typically associated with lower levels of cultural engagement.
Battersea Arts Centre tour three signature shows to each partner area, which will be performed as part of locally curated festivals of theatre and performance alongside local talent. The tour and festivals will happen twice a year over a period of three years, showcasing new work each tour and creating a sustained network of cultural engagement in each area. The project aims to develop and empower regional communities of local audiences and artists.
Shows that have toured previously included Christopher Brett Bailey’s 'This is How We Die', Theatre Ad Infinitum’s 'Ballad of the Burning Star', Victoria Melody’s 'Major Tom', 'The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey' and Made in China’s 'Gym Party'.
Founder of Lyrici Arts, Keely Augustus, said ‘I have lived in Medway all of my life and I am aware of all the talented practitioners and beautiful historical sites we have around us. I used to travel into London for my own arts training and to have a larger access to arts. Now I’d like Medway to collaboratively tap into everything and everyone we have around us to become it’s own cultural hub on a wider scale. Being chosen is a wonderful opportunity for us all and now we can focus the work on pulling everyone together, working through support and shared partnerships. We’d like this festival to work with organisations, businesses, individuals and groups. We aim to seek out hidden talent and use the festival as a shared platform to show our work collaboratively. It will be accessible to all and allow more people to be creative where they live. Please do get in touch if you’d like to get involved.’
The new festival is named 'Paint The Town' and the first festival season will occur in Autumn 2016. Please sign up to Lyrici Art’s newsletter to be kept informed about the next steps and to be invited to an open meeting to tell the community more about the festival.
BATTERSEA ARTS CENTRE
Battersea Arts Centre offers opportunities for people of all generations to develop their creativity. Brand new shows are invented and performed here. We invite you in to watch early versions of shows, to hear your feedback - we call this Scratch. Finished shows can use any space in our beautiful old town hall, from the attic to the artists’ bedrooms to the Grand Hall. With over 80 rooms, some of our shows and festivals take over the whole building. Young people come here to develop their creativity, confidence and enterprising ideas, children and adults play together in our imaginative indoor play space, The Bees Knees and we host monthly tea dances, welcoming in local people of all ages.
Open all year round, we make great food every day in the Scratch Bar and prepare huge banquets for all the weddings, parties and conferences we host.
For those who can’t make it to Battersea, we take out our shows and projects to Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. www.bac.org.uk
COLLABORATIVE TOURING NETWORK
The Collaborative Touring Network is a partnership between Battersea Arts Centre and eight different regions across the UK. Aiming to inspire an entirely new generation of theatregoers, three signature shows developed at Battersea Arts Centre will span the country navigating their way to sit alongside homegrown talent for seasons of work in Darlington, Gloucester, Hull, Medway, Peterborough, Thanet, Torbay and Wigan.
ESMÉE FAIRBAIRN FOUNDATION
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. We do this by funding the charitable work of organisations with the ideas and ability to achieve positive change. The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. We make grants of £30 - £35 million annually towards a wide range of work within the arts, education and learning, the environment and social change. We also operate a £21 million Finance Fund which invests in organisations that aim to deliver both a financial return and a social benefit. www.esmeefairbairn.org.uk
GARFIELD WESTON FOUNDATION
Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, grant-making trust which has been supporting charities across the UK for over 50 years. From small community groups to large national institutions, our aim is to support organisations that have effective solutions to helping those most in need. The Foundation supports a broad range of organisations and activities that share a commitment to making a positive impact to the lives of the communities in which they work, and that are driven by a desire to achieve excellence. www.garfieldweston.org
ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we will invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £630 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk
STRATEGIC TOURING PROGRAMME
The Strategic touring programme aims to give people better access to quality work in a range of venues to reach more people across the country, targeting places with low levels of art engagement and those that rely on touring for arts and culture.