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  • Rural Touring Dance Initiative seeks Freelance Marketing Manager

    The Rural Touring Dance Initiaive are looking for an experienced freelance Marketing Manager with a knowledge of Rural Touring to ensure the effective delivery of the Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI) project over the next three years. Are you, or do you know of anybody who may be interested in taking on this role?

    The Marketing Manager will work closely with the RTDI Project Manager to:

    • Help raise awareness of the project and its aims with principally the dance community/industry nationally.
    • Practically assist companies involved in the project to tailor their marketing materials, digital, print and social media to the rural sector
    • Assist in making information companies share with schemes, promoters and audiences as accessible and ‘rural touring friendly’ as possible

    Fee: £6000 – indicative of 40 days @ £150 per day plus travel and subsistence costs as agreed with the Project Manager

    Timescale: The initial contract will be for 12 months from July 2018 and may be renewed for up to three years till the project ends in July 2021

    Application process: Applicants should send a CV and written statement of no more than two sides of A4 detailing their skills and experience and why they would like to apply for this opportunity to Claire Smith, RTDI Project Manager –

    Deadline for applications: 31st May 2018
    Interviews to take place on 19th June 2018 (location and venue tbc).

    Start Date: Ideally to start as soon as possible but no later than 19 July 2018.

    Download the full brief for the role from the box on the right hand side of the screen.


    The Rural Touring Dance Initiative is a partnership project led by The National Rural Touring Forum with The Place, China Plate and Take Art. The project is funded by Arts Council England through its Strategic Touring Fund.


    T 01460 249450

    Twitter; @rural_dance 

    For more information about the project

  • Dance artists sought to create new shows for rural audiences

    • A second three-year Rural Touring Dance Initiative 2018-2021 has now been launched
    • A £10,000 commission on offer for UK based companies to create new work
    • A second £10,000 to be offered to a Wales based artist or company to create a new work
    • Funds up to £5,000 for 6 companies to adapt existing work to tour rural areas

    The second phase of a scheme to improve access to dance in rural communities has been launched this evening with a call out to artists interested in creating or developing work for village halls. Rural Touring Dance Initiative 2 is a partnership between the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF) and The Place, Take Art and China Plate. Dance is underrepresented on the rural touring circuit and the partnership is seeking to increase opportunities for rural audiences to experience the art form.

    Having been granted a second major award from Arts Council England Strategic Touring programme and a new award from Arts Council Wales, the partnership is able to offer offering two commissions of £10,000 to dance companies to make a new show for rural touring, one of which must be based in Wales. There are also a limited number of grants of up to £5,000 for artists with existing shows to adapt them for rural touring.

    Speaking about the call out, Ralph Lister, Director, NRTF’s Rural Touring Dance Initiative, said “The partners are excited about building on the successes of the first 3 years and delighted that there will be a stronger presence in Wales. This development demonstrates that the project is working and a broader base of support will strengthen its sustainability beyond 2021”.

    This is the second phase of a project that has already seen Ben Wright’s bgroup commissioned to create Point of Echoes, and a number of companies to adapt existing works.  Speaking about the experience of rural touring after participating in phase one, Luca Silvestrini, Artistic Director of Luca Silvestrini’s Protein said “We are in a state of bliss. I’ve never experienced dancers and crew being more satisfied and wanting to do more”. 

    Rural Touring Dance Initiative 2 follows an overwhelmingly positive response to the first phase of the project from participating rural touring schemes and promoters, with 93% of promoters reporting an increased interest in promoting dance and 100% of touring schemes reporting that the RTDI increased their interest in programming dance. Rural touring is a growing sector of the UK’s arts industry with NRTF figures indicating that audience numbers attending shows in village halls and at outdoor rural events have increased 26% since 2006/7.
    Companies interested in applying should visit  for further information

  • National Rural Touring Forum launches 2nd Annual Rural Touring Awards

    • New categories and judges unveiled as awards recognizing achievement in rural touring return
    • Winners to be announced at a ceremony on 27th June by poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan

    Following a successful inaugural year which recognised volunteers, staff and artists working in rural touring in the UK, the NRTF today announces the return of the Rural Touring Awards. Nominations open today for awards across six categories, including three new awards; for Music Performance, Young Person and Touring Scheme Collaboration of the Year.

    Anyone working in rural touring from performers, to voluntary promoters at village halls and the staff of rural touring networks are eligible to nominate. Potential nominees include artists, volunteer promoters, venues and touring schemes with nominations remaining open until 26th April, after which a shortlist will be drawn up by industry peers.

    The shortlist will be announced on 7 May and winners will then be chosen from the nominees by a panel of judges, made up of arts industry and rural experts. This year, they are playwright Sayan Kent (My Big Fat Cow Pat Wedding), journalist Natasha Tripney (Reviews Editor and Joint Chief Critic, The Stage) Des George of  Neuadd Dyfi Community Hall, (winner of Rural Touring Award for Best Promoter 2017), and Deborah Clarke of Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE).

    Awards will be made during a ceremony at Worcester University held on 27th June during the NRTF’s New Directions showcase. The presentation will be made by poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan (BBC Radio 3’s The Verb). 

    The 2018 Rural Touring Award categories are as follows:

    • Music Performance of the Year
    • Touring Scheme Collaboration of the Year
    • Stage Performance of the Year
    • Voluntary Promoter or Voluntary Promoting Group of the Year
    • Young Person of the Year
    • The NRTF Special award

    The new Music Performance category recognises the quantity and quality of live music on the rural touring circuit and is distinct from the Stage Performance of the Year Award, which covers achievement in theatre, dance, spoken word or comedy. Touring Scheme Collaboration of the Year will reward outstanding examples of partnership working, whether in commissioning artists, seeking sponsors or audience development.

    The NRTF special award is open to all - from touring schemes and volunteers to artists or touring companies – and seeks to recognise an individual or a group who has made an outstanding contribution to the world of rural touring.

    Speaking about the 2018 awards, NRTF Director Holly Lombardo said “We are really looking forward to reading the nominations and hearing about the amazing people who make Rural Touring such an incredible network”. 
    Rural touring is a growing sector of the UK’s arts industry with NRTF figures indicating that audience numbers attending shows in village halls and at outdoor rural events have increased 26% since 2006/7.

    #RuralTAwards | @ruraltouring | #ruraltouring |

    Rural Touring Awards

    The 2018 awards cover activity which has taken place between Spring 2017-Spring 2018. Further information on award categories and eligibility can be found here:

    Those eligible to submit nominations for the awards can do so here:

    Those shortlisted for awards will be notified during w/c 1 May and the shortlist announced on 7 May. The shortlisted nominees will be invited to attend the award ceremony on 27th June at Worcester University as part of the New Directions showcase. New Directions (26-28 June) is a bi-annual showcase of contemporary performance available for rural touring curated by independent producing studio China Plate.

  • Arts Alive Secure £100,000 funding from Arts Council England for ‘Creative Conversations’

    ​Photo Credit: Florence Fox

    Arts Council England is proud to be investing £100,000 to help older people across Shropshire celebrate creativity socially.

    Arts Alive, the rural touring scheme for Shropshire, is delighted to announce that it has been awarded £100,000 for Creative Conversations,  a new cross sector, rural partnership project working with older people over three years.

    The funding is part of the Celebrating Age programme, jointly funded by the Arts Council through the National Lottery and the Baring Foundation, to tackle issues of social isolation and wellbeing in older people, encouraging them to join in group activities focused around arts and culture.

    Creative Conversations will link experienced agencies for arts -Arts Alive, MediaActive, Qube - and health - Age UK, Shropshire Council, Shropshire Provider's Consortium members to help create a programme of events that reaches and benefits older people.

    Covering areas across Shropshire, it will deliver creative workshops, training, residencies, performances and exhibitions for and with older people in the region. Participants and carers will be able to come together to share and celebrate elders’ stories and creativity.

    Sian Kerry, director of Arts Alive said “This is a tremendous boost for creative work with older people in the county. Through Creative Conversations and in partnership with Wem Based MediaActive we will work in day centres, care homes and community spaces, giving older people a chance to work with artists and participate in creative activities ranging from storytelling, music, singing and digital media.”

    We are thrilled to be awarded one of only 16 grants made across England.

    Arts Alive and Media Active will launch the Creative Conversations programme in the autumn 2018.

    For more information please contact Sian Kerry 01588 620883 option 1 or email