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  • ‘A Teapot As Big As The Moon’ written by Ian McMillan for Village Halls Week

    The NRTF working with ACRE National commission Ian McMillan to write a new poem for Village Halls Week 2018. Ian is always a fantastic supporter of Rural Communities, and will also be reading the poem and discussing art in rural communities on Local BBC Radio Stations across the country today (Jan 24th). To download the poem as a printable graphic click on the link in the 'Downloads' box to the right, or watch Ian reading the poem himself in the video below.

     

     

    Here is the centre and here is the hub
    Here is community held in a room,
    Here’s the big gig and the loud Zumba Club
    And here is a teapot as big as the moon
    Here is a teapot as big as the moon!

    Here is a place at the heart of the map
    Here is a song with a crowd-friendly tune
    Here’s a child’s bonnet, a pensioner’s cap
    And here is a teapot as big as the moon
    Here is a teapot as big as the moon!

    Here is the village: its hopes and its dreams
    Here’s a bright light that pierces the gloom
    Here is a space that’s much more than it seems
    And here is a teapot as big as the moon
    Here is a teapot as big as the moon!

    Here is the future in these tightened times
    Here is a voice that says ‘come back, and soon’
    Here is a noticeboard brimming with signs
    And here is a teapot as big as the moon
    Here is a teapot as big as the moon!

    This is the village hall, open the doors!
    This is the root and the sap and the bloom!
    This is utopia with cutlery drawers!
    And this is the teapot as big as the moon
    This is the teapot as big as the moon!

  • From Art classes to Zumba: Village Halls Week celebrates rural culture

    • 22-26 Jan declared #VillageHallsWeek by Action with Communities in Rural England  
    • Writer and broadcaster Ian McMillan offers support with specially written poem 
    • National Rural Touring Forum partners to highlight cultural events


    The rich variety of activities that take place in village halls and the volunteers that support them are to be celebrated this January in the first ever #VillageHallsWeek. Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and their 38 member organisations will use the week to celebrate the diverse network of 10,000 community buildings at the heart of England’s rural communities and the volunteers who work tirelessly to keep them open for all.


    To mark the occasion, renowned poet, writer and radio presenter Ian McMillan has written a brand-new poem. In his inimitable style, McMillan’s A Teapot as Big as the Moon highlights some of the cultural events that village halls often host, from gigs to dance classes. The poem was commissioned by the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF), the membership organisation for rural touring schemes which work with volunteers in halls across the country to bring professional performance art – from theatre to dance to magic to music – to rural audiences.


    Other activities being staged by NRTF members during the week include performances of wartime drama Think of England in Sixpenny Handley Village Hall in Dorset and a gig by Welsh folk trio Alaw at Bulkington Community Centre in the West Midlands. These events are typical of those staged by NRTF members at halls all over the countryside every week. 


    Richard Quallington, Executive Director of ACRE said “Starting 2018 with a celebration of these wonderful hubs, which offer so much to their local community, is a fantastic way to start the year. Residents in rural communities rely on local availability of services such as childcare, health services, social meetings and entertainment – village halls host all such services. They are flexible, multi-use community spaces which have stood the test of time and saying thank you to the volunteers who keep them going is the least we can do. Please do join in with #VillageHallsWeek on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and celebrate your local hall and show them your appreciation.”


    Speaking about their support for #VillageHallsWeek Tom Speight from NRTF and a village hall chair himself, said “They may sometimes be a bit below the radar but village halls really matter to local communities. They bring people together to share, be it watching a fantastic performance or using the local post office or keeping fit with a Zumba class. NRTF is delighted to support #VillageHallsWeek and fully endorses the ACRE Network messages of celebration and thanks that rural communities can access such versatile community assets locally.”
    #Villagehallsweek (22-26 Jan) is an initiative started by ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), the national voice for the country’s largest rural network, formed of 52,000 grassroots organisations in 11,000 rural communities.


    /ENDS 


    Opportunity for radio stations:
    Ian McMillan will be based at BBC Radio Sheffield, available for interview and to read his poem on Wednesday 24 January. If you would be interested in doing a live broadcast for #VillageHallsWeek, or a pre-record for another show during the week please contact Chris Cowcher at ACRE to arrange a time slot. Ian’s schedule will be limited and interviews will be granted on a first come first served basis.

    Social media accounts:
    #VillageHallsWeek on Twitter via @VillageHalls_Wk  #VillageHallsWeek on Facebook via @ACRE_National  #VillageHallsWeek on Instagram via @acrenational


    Contact details:
    National #VillageHallsWeek Contact: Chris Cowcher, ACRE Community Manager c.cowcher@acre.org.uk or 01285 653477  National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF): Elin Morgan, Mobius PR, elin@mobiusindustries.com or 0203 195 6269

     
    Notes to editors:
    • ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) is the national body for the 38 ACRE Network members. We speak up for rural communities on the national stage and deliver projects that enable our communities to find innovative solutions to the challenges they face http://www.acre.org.uk/  • The National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF) is a member-led organisation that works strategically with partners to develop work and deliver high quality art experiences that strengthen rural and other communities http://www.ruraltouring.org/ The most recent figures available demonstrate that in a 12 month period over 330,000 people watched over 2,750 shows in 1,600 venues across the country, with box office value to the rural economy of just over £1million.

  • Fantastic Fundraising Film from Arts Alive and Highlights

    Highlights and Arts Alive are working together to raise awareness of rural touring and inform audiences of  the different ways in which they can donate to support the fantastic events  happening in village halls.  The work has been made possible by a joint award from the Arts Council Catalyst Evolve programme which matches £1 for £1 every donation we receive.

  • Rural Touring Dance Initiative 2 (RTDI 2) - 3rd Menu announced!

    Following the announcement of a second strategic touring award to develop and support dance in the rural touring sector NRTF and partners  The Place, China Plate and Take Art are delighted to announce that the brand new Menu 3 is now available to schemes and promoters !

    12th January saw the launch of RTDI Menu 3 - the first of 3 Menu's for RTDI 2 featuring some of the most dynamic and charismatic contemporary dance companies in the Uk.

    The majority of these companies have honed their Rural Touring experience over previous tours and we are delighted to see them back as part of  Menu 3.

    They are Lost Dog, bgroup, Phoenix Dance Theatre, James Wilton Dance, Lila Dance, Joan Cleville Dance and Uchenna Dance.

    They are joined by Corali, Shane Shambhu and Tom Dale Dance.

    Rural Touring Schemes now have until 19th February to register their expressions of interest.

    More information and a download of Menu 3 is available in the dance section of "Our Work" - http://www.ruraltouring.org/work/rural-touring-dance