News for Villages in Action Rural Touring Promoters, Artists and Rural Audiences in Devon

Following the announcement of Villages in Action withdrawing from organising  rural touring in Devon and the closure of the office in May 2017, Carn to Cove, the rural touring scheme  in Cornwall has, at the invitation of the Board of Trustees of ViA,  stepped in  to run a caretaker season for  the  Autumn of this year and Spring of 2018.  The three Devon district councils which are the current stalwart funders of ViA - Teignbridge, East Devon and West Devon - welcomed this initiative to preserve a vibrant community resource. 

The team at Carn to Cove (Tim Smithies and Claire Marshall) invited all Devon villages to a presentation evening in April and from the 16 Devon village promoters who attended and others who were circulated, events have already been booked for the Autumn.   A full “menu” for the Spring 2018 will be presented to villages in September.

Tim Smithies,  Project Director at Carn to Cove.  said “This is a temporary solution to preserve an important arts network and a volunteer resource developed over many years and we are hoping to explore longer term solutions  which will keep Devon’s villages “in the rural touring loop” in the next few months.    This network provides jobs, rural economic activity, social benefit, artistic excellence and joy for many remote communities – we thank the funders and the volunteers who are sticking with us. ” 

Catherine Devenish, Chair of the ViA Trustees said “We are very grateful that Carn to Cove have stepped in to run this caretaker season and we look forward to working with them. The ViA board believes that this is a great opportunity which will secure the future of rural touring and continue to support rural communities in Devon, as well as being an exciting development for the arts sector in the South West.”

The intention is to produce a distinct programme of events, and maintain the current ViA website to publicise upcoming events. For the 2017/18 season, there will be direct financial support for Devon


villages where the three councils continue to support arts events at local level.  All other villages in ViA that would like to can book artists can do so but for the present without subsidy or risk share.  All

ViA promoters will be invited to a “Menu Party” which will take place on 26th September at Blisland Village Hall in East Cornwall (close to the A30) and on 27th September at 7pm at Stockland Village Hall in East Devon  outlining  the support we can offer.

Performing artists wishing to be considered for inclusion in the September menu (for the January – June 2018 ViA and Carn to Cove season) should contact the Carn to Cove office on 01209 312500.

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