Programme announced for The NRTF Annual Conference 2015

We are delighted to announce the full programme for our annual conference, which will include the launch of a new book charting the purpose and social value of rural touring, ‘A Wider Horizon’ from researcher and writer François Matarasso, as well as Arts Council England’s Head of Touring and North, Michelle Dickson.  Michelle will speak on the topic of ‘The Strategic Touring Programme, Next Steps and Developments,’ and she will also join a series of breakout sessions in the afternoon discussing what ‘strategic’ means for rural touring.

Other speakers at the conference include ACE’s Paul Bristow, Director, Strategic Partnerships, who will discuss the recently published ‘Rural Evidence Review’ with NRTF’s Director of Development, Ralph Lister. There will also be talks by Steve Miller, Head of Arts & Museums for Norfolk County Council, as well as presentations and performances from companies including New Perspectives, Kali Theatre and one on one surgeries with The Audience Agency.   

NRTF will also launch its new Rural Touring Dance Initiative at the conference, supported by £379,560 of Strategic Touring funding.

NRTF is working in partnership with Creative Arts East on the conference whose theme this year is to explore the idea that “Rural Touring is great at audience engagement.”

  • In 2012/13 the rural touring network supported 2,407 rural communities to promote over 3,762 live professional arts performances for a combined audience of 308,976                 
  • Research shows that rural touring reaches many people who never or rarely access the arts and that it makes a valuable contribution to community life.

The three day event comprises of showcases, workshops, debate, discussion and networking and is fully booked for this year, with over 120 delegates attending, including touring scheme workers, promoters, venues, funders, local authority officers and members and artists and performers.

Showcasing is an important part of the conference, allowing touring schemes, venues and voluntary promoters to see work, share experiences and broaden their knowledge of work available.