Arts Council England Launch Digital Culture Network

About the Digital Culture Network

We offer direct 1-2-1 support for organisations in receipt of – or eligible for – Arts Council England funding, as well as a series of training sessions, events and webinars. We’re also building a resource bank which will be available online soon (and have produced a range of resources in response to the current Covid-19 crisis on topics such as Remote Working, Livestreaming and Income Generation).

Support usually consists of an initial diagnostic meeting (30-60mins) with a discussion around your current activity, what you are hoping to achieve, strategy development, prioritisation of areas of work and potential next steps or solutions. Following this the Tech Champion might email you support material, signpost you to relevant resources and/or arrange a follow-up call or support from another Tech Champion. Once the support has been completed, we ask you to fill in a satisfaction survey to help us improve our offer. The support is bespoke to your organisation’s needs, meaning we tailor solutions and advice to be in line with your capacity and resources.

Our nine Tech Champions have specialist backgrounds in:

· Box office, ticketing and CRM

· Data analytics

· Digital content and streaming

· Digital strategy and marketing

· eCommerce and merchandising

· Email marketing

· Search engine optimisation and marketing

· Social media

· Websites

Need more convincing? Read some testimonials we’ve received over the past 12 months:

The [Tech] Champs have come into our meetings to share their advice, delivered webinars and audits for us, sent over reams of helpful information, and sensitively provided expert feedback on our digital profile. They are busy, and so are we – now more than ever – but even occasionally extending our team in this way has been invaluable, and we often refer back to their advice. This service is a great asset to small companies like ours: not only are the Tech Champions very knowledgeable, we know for sure that they’re batting for us.

We really didn’t know where to turn for advice and felt completely isolated and being dictated to by an agency who were ‘blinding us with science’ and not taking the time to explain technical issues to us for a project that was costing us a considerable amount of money.  Our gut feeling was that there was another way and we too were confused by the seeming contradiction re the video/YouTube issue. We now feel we have a better understanding and can challenge with facts and information that we trust.

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about upcoming events and sector support offers!

Marc Burns

Tech Champion, Digital Culture Network

Arts Council England

Tel 0191 2558517

Mobile 07919367867

E-mail marc.burns@artscouncil.org.uk

Digital skills for the arts and cultural sector

Sign up on the website:Digital Culture Network

Highlights Rural Touring comes direct to your homes this September

During lockdown, Highlights Rural Touring Scheme commissioned musician Rob Heron , storyteller Nick Hennessey and the team behind the sell-out theatre show Ladies That Bus to each create a short piece for radio. Created by rural touring artists, specifically for rural audiences, these pieces of work will be broadcast first on BBC Radio Cumbria’s The Arty Show, next Monday 14 September before being made available online.

Musician Rob Heron hails from Penrith, and has played many Highlights venues with his Newcastle based Tea Pad Orchestra. He brings a taste of ‘Newcastle’s finest swing-honkytonk- rockabilly band (fRoots)’ to the broadcast.

South Lakeland based Nick Hennessey forges a bridge between the song and the spoken word, as an internationally acclaimed storyteller, playwright, folk singer, song writer and musician.

In early 2020, Ladies That Bus sold out venues across Cumbria with their comedy drama based on the 555 bus route from Lancaster to Keswick.

BBC Radio Cumbria presenter Helen Millican will also interview the artists, village hall promoters and audience members during the show.

Highlights has partnered with rural touring schemes Arts Out West , Cumbria and Carn to Cove , Cornwall to ensure that offline arts content can be provided to rural communities at this time. With funding from the National Rural Touring Forum .

Listings

 Monday 14 September 7pm – 10pm 
BBC Radio Cumbria The Arty Show 
95.6FM 96.1FM Digital 
www.highlightsnorth.co.uk

Dante or Die presents ‘USER NOT FOUND: A VIDEO PODCAST’

Created by Daphna Attias and Terry O’Donovan 
Written by Chris Goode - Directed by Daphna Attias 
Performed by Terry O’Donovan

Creative Technology Design by Marmelo Digital and Sound Design by Yaniv Fridel
Video Content by Preference Studio.

Experience on demand from Thursday 10 September at 7.30pm and available until 10 March 2021

What happens to your digital life after you die? If there was a magic button, would you delete your online existence?

User Not Found is a new immersive video podcast from acclaimed theatre makers Dante or Die , about what happens to our online identities after we die. Inspired by the company’s hit live show, this new digital theatrical event will be available to experience for free, in partnership with the Guardian Newspaper on Dante or Die’s YouTube channel and The Guardian website.

Terry and Luka were together for nine years until Luka left Terry. Then Luka died leaving Terry as his online legacy executor.

Co-Artistic Director Terry O’Donovan will reprise his celebrated performance for this new digital adaptation of the critically acclaimed 2018/19 live show. With support from digital development agency, The Space and Arts Council England, the company has created a virtual site-specific world which explores the ethics of digital ownership, public and private grief and shifting notions of connection and community.

In a rapidly changing digital age, a story of contemporary grief unfolds through this intimate, funny performance that gently interrogates our need for connection and the fate of our digital afterlives.

Dante or Die have collaborated with digital agency Marmelo Digital, to transform the bespoke app created for the live show into a digital theatrical experience.

Charge your phone, plug in your headphones and find a quiet space for this intimate, meditative and funny story of one man grappling with something deeply private.

Running time: 50 minutes
Age guidance: 14+
Embedded captioning can be turned on/off

User Not Found has been designed for smartphones with headphones; the viewer experience will not be the same on a desktop/ipad. It will work on any smartphone model and with in/over ear headphones. Free streaming is available from 10 September 2020 for six months.

New Podcast Shares Extraordinary Stories from Rural Communities

Stories from the Sticks is a brand new podcast featuring tales from rural communities created by Scratchworks Theatre supported by Arts Council England. Scratchworks has toured theatre shows to isolated communities across the South – West and nationally for many years and the theatre-makers have met many wonderful characters along the way. City-dwellers themselves, Laura, Siân and Alice
have always appreciated being welcomed into remote villages to hear stories of love, history, local myth and community spirit.


‘We’ve heard some amazing tales from people in villages across the UK. Lockdown
has turned everything upside down – we can’t perform in these communities right
now – so instead we’re providing a platform to share their stories with the wider
world.’

Laura Doble, Scratchworks Theatre

The series will consist of 6 episodes, each one interviewing a guest or several guests from a different region. The first episode features Eddie from Dolton, a well-known character who moved to North Devon 37 years ago. A retired plumber, recalls carnivals, jubilee celebrations, motorbikes, stuffed-dog doorstops and the time Charlie Watts from The Rolling Stones made him a cup of tea. As Scratchworks say: ‘Dolton is a no-nonsense ‘get the job done’ kind of place with a cheeky smile
you can’t help but find infectious’.

The interviews are interwoven with original music by Jack Dean plus narration and singing in Scratchworks’ signature style giving a distinctly theatrical feel to the podcast. The company are also keen to receive creative responses from listeners: ‘We’re hoping these podcasts will inspire others to get creative too. We’re asking people to creatively respond to the question ‘If the place where you live was a dessert- what would it be?’ People can send in responses in any format – drawings, photos, music, short films – and we’ll share them on the Scratchworks website.’

Stories from the Sticks can be downloaded from most podcast platforms including Apple, Spotify, Deezer, Pocket Casts, Stitcher and A Cast. A subtitled version is provided on Youtube. All links can be found via www.scratchworkstheatre.com.

Creative responses to the podcast should be sent to
scratchworkstheatre@gmail.com
ENDS

Notes to Editors

The series was created and written by Laura Doble, Alice Higginson-Clarke and Siân
Keen of Scratchworks Theatre. Music for the series was created by Jack Dean. The
series was edited by Andrew Armfield.
The series is supported by Arts Council England.

About Scratchworks Theatre
https://www.scratchworkstheatre.com/
Scratchworks are a physical ensemble of three women who work collaboratively to
create highly visual, playful theatre from scratch. Founded in Exeter in 2013, they
share a passion for creating original stories and use a diverse mix of physical
movement, puppetry and live music to entertain and inspire our audiences.
Recent touring locations include New Diorama Theatre, Greenwich Theatre,
Battersea Arts Centre, PULSE Festival Ipswich, Salisbury Arts Centre, Theatre
Royal Bath and VAULT Festival where we received the ‘Festival Spirit Award’ 2017.
We have also received an NSDF award for ‘Best Overall Body of Creative Work’ at
the Edinburgh Fringe 2013 as well as nominations for the Charlie Hartill award 2016
and the IYAF: Best of Brighton Fringe Theatre Award 2017.

Media Contact
Alice Higginson-Clarke
Co-Artistic Director
alice.scratchworks@gmail.com
07753 129518

The Library Presents In Your House Open Call for Events in Autumn 2020

This is an open call for artists to provide a mix of digital and non-digital content for the second season of ‘In Your House’ from October to December 2020. We hope to receive applications for brilliant small ideas as well as larger scale projects! 

Deadline for expressions of interest 31 July 2020

Artists selected by 21 August 2020


Successful proposals must be ready by 5th October, with project plan and promotional material, and the work ready for release to the public between the 5th October and 18th December 2020. 

“In Your House” a new programme of exciting, fun and interesting arts to enjoy from home! We will programme something for all ages across a range of art forms including; Music, Storytelling, Theatre, Radio Drama, Visual Art, Magic, Animation, Poetry and Craft.

The fee is between £600 and £4,000 per artist (excluding VAT).

Please click here to view further information. 

Arts Alive at Home: The Fairy’s Kiss, Thursday 18th June

The next Arts Alive at Home event will be on Thursday 18th June at 2.30 pm, where you can watch The Fairy’s Kiss performed by Scottish Ballet.

A gorgeous one-act ballet inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale ‘The Ice Maiden’, and composed by Stravinsky. Thanks to an ingenious new design by Gary Harris, Scottish Ballet was able to revive the production in 2017 and capture it for online audiences.

Suitable for all ages. Running time 48 minutes

You will find the link to the performance on the Arts Alive website at: https://www.artsalive.co.uk/show.aspx?id=11188

After the show at 3.30pm, there will be a live post-show conversation via Zoom with Beth Kingsley-Garner who stars in one of the lead roles of this production.

If you would like to join this Zoom conversation please email cerin@artsalive.co.uk

Applause Rural Touring and What’s Coming Out Of The Box release audio adventure for families

What’s Coming Out of the Box Presents

The Quest

The Quest is a story about adventure…

After receiving a mysterious call during lockdown, a librarian and her housemates set out on a quest to discover the meaning of adventure.

Ever wanted to go to the moon, become a spy or an inventor?

Using everyday props, this imaginative and interactive audio play offers you a chance to join in with activities to become part of the story.

There are three 10 minute episodes, each looks at the life of a real character and their adventure. It is a great way to become immersed in a story and experience a sense of travel from home.

My daughter and I loved the idea of being taken on a journey out of our kitchen with some great surprises along the way. Her eyes literally popped when she did the water and glass experiment all by herself!  It was a welcome release from screens to delve into our imaginations through audio.‘ Gillian Farrell, Mum to Maeve aged 5

Perfect for families, particularly for those with children aged 5-10, all 3 episodes of The Quest will be available on the Applause website to enjoy together, for free, from Friday 12th June  https://applause.org.uk/whats-coming-out-of-the-box-the-quest/
This project was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. It was also supported by Applause Rural Touring.

BLUE SKY & BEYOND: BRINGING BLUE SKIES INTO YOUR HOME

POUND ARTS CORSHAM TO HOST DIGITAL ALTERNATIVE TO BLUE SKY FESTIVAL

8-14 JUNE 2020

It is with enormous pleasure that Pound Arts has launched Blue Sky & Beyond – an exclusively online festival featuring an incredible line-up of comedy, music, theatre, spoken word, workshops and visual artists, all of which it is hoped will provide moments of reconnection to the wider communities that we are all missing in these extraordinary times.

Working with the incredible Gobblegook Theatre we are delighted to present CLOUDSCAPES (LIVE) – originally a piece of outdoor theatre, this has been re-developed for a digital audience. On Saturday 13 June, 3pm you are invited to join us, to stop and cloud gaze and consider your place in the world for what will be an enjoyable, uplifting and reflective experience.

Pound Arts Director Russ Tunney says, “In Lockdown, music, books and other forms of storytelling have kept me sane. In short, art has kept me sane. I am sure it is the same for everyone. We can’t bring art in person to our wonderful communities at the moment but with Blue Sky & Beyond we will bring it digitally and give people some memorable escapist moments to savour.”

Pound Arts will welcome back some festival favourites from previous years, as well as a host of new artists:

The critically lauded contemporary folk singer Rachael Dadd returns from her home to yours to deliver an exclusive set. There will also be a music ‘stage’ featuring Pound Arts favourites, Broken Bones Matilda, Chloe Foy, Emily Barker, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, Lo Barnes, Mishra, Nuala Honan, Rosie Hood, The Little Unsaid, Tiny Ruins, Tobias Ben Jacob and many more incredible musicians sharing beautiful songs from their homes.

We are delighted to announce that Lefty Scum will be presenting an evening of music, comedy and revolutionary socialism! Join three of the UK’s most joyfully rabble-rousing acts in Josie Long, Jonny and the Baptists, and acclaimed political folkster Grace Petrie for what will no doubt be a riotous time.

If you are more of a bass-hunter, the world’s original family ravers and now pioneers of virtual kitchen raves Big Fish Little Fish will invite the family in for an afternoon of absolute bangers.

Rounding off the festival, on the Sunday you are invited to come and listen to poets and lose yourself amongst this selection of incredible wordsmiths, thinkers, dreamers and Pound Arts’ friends. John Hegley, John Osborne, Jonny Fluffypunk, Kiesha Thompson, Liv Torc, Luke Wright, Molly Naylor, Rosy Carrick & Toby Thompson will be amongst those that feature.

Other events include: Drag Queen Story Hour UK with Aida H Dee. Rock the Tots (a firm favourite of local pre-schoolers and their families). The Merry Maker (aka Arj Manuelpillai), poet and artist, who will rap a merry rhyme round selected topics with input from the community.

Creative activities include: Cut-out and colour your own paper version of your town in Fold Your Town by Anna Bruder & A Line Art or take part in a virtual community exhibition, Share Your Sky.

Blue Sky & Beyond is supported by Arts Council England, Corsham Town Council, Haine & Smith Opticians and Wiltshire Council. All Blue Sky & Beyond events will be free, however donations – in lieu of tickets – can be made by texting BLUESKYto 70970 to donate £5.

For more information on Blue Sky and Beyond and the full line-up of events please visit blueskyfestival.org.uk.

All enquiries contact: Jonathan Mansfield, marketing@poundarts.org.uk 047980529579
Blue Sky & Beyond: www.blueskyfestival.org.uk
Pound Arts: www.poundarts.org.uk
Socials: twitter/Instagram @poundarts facebook: /poundartscentre

Sponsors:

Arts Council England – www.artscouncil.org.uk
Corsham Town Council – www.corsham.gov.uk
Haine & Smith Opticians – www.hainandsmith.co.uk
Wiltshire Council – www.wiltshire.gov.uk

Arts Alive launches programme of online shows

Arts Alive have curated a programme of online performances for communities in Shropshire and Herefordshire. ArtsAlive@Home will feature a mixture of pre-recorded shows and live-streamed events, most of which are being held exclusively for Arts Alive. The rural touring scheme has had to cancel its normal programme of events, which includes Flicks in the Sticks, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisers have said they are committed to keep bringing arts events to local communities in rural areas. They are asking audiences to tune in on a specific date and time so that viewers can collectively enjoy a post-show chat with one of the performers via group video conferencing.

Cerin Mills, Live Events Programmer at Arts Alive, said, “We think our audience will really enjoy sharing the experience of an online show. They can watch the fabulous events from the comfort of their sofa, organise their own interval drinks, share their response with the other audience members, and speak to the performers after the show. Whilst there is no replacing the atmosphere of a live show, we believe this will be a really unique and enriching community experience, for people of all ages.”

The line up includes ‘The Fairy’s Kiss’ from the Scottish ballet, with a post-show chat with principal dancer, Beth Kingsley-Garner. The award-winning Puppet State Theatre will be sharing a recording of their show ‘The Man who Planted Trees’ which was recorded at The Edinburgh Fringe 2019. Songwriter and performer Louise Jordan will share extracts from ‘Florence’, a one-woman show which is about Florence Nightingale, with a live Q&A with Louise after the show.

Dave Gaydon, Head of Programming for The Cheltenham Jazz Festival has curated a one-hour online special featuring four of the performers who were due to feature at the festival, which was cancelled following the Covid-19 outbreak. Artists will each perform a live 15-minute set from their home. He adds, “We are thrilled to be involved in the ArtsAlive@Home programme. It is a desperate time for the events and festival world, not only for the cancelled events but also for the diminished availability of live cultural experiences for the public. It is a pleasure to provide a mini online festival for the Arts Alive community – they can expect some quality jazz delivered straight to their living room!”

Details of all the events are listed on the website (www.artsalive.co.uk) and details will be released on the ‘Arts Alive & Flicks in the Sticks’ Facebook page as well.

ENDS

Press Enquiries 

Claire Pocock 
Shropshire Festivals 
Claire@ShropshireFestivals.co.uk  
T: 01952 432175 

Note to Editors

Arts Alive is the rural touring scheme for Shropshire and Herefordshire, bringing a full range of professional performances – theatre, music, dance, comedy, and children’s shows – to village halls and other community venues throughout the two counties. www.artsalive.co.uk

Spot On Stories: Short Online Shows with Lancashire Libraries 

Spot On Lancashire, who bring professional performances to rural communities and library spaces all over the county, have launched a brand new digital project. 

In partnership with Lancashire Libraries, Spot On bring great art and stories to your couch, your kitchen, and your back garden – basically wherever you choose!

The first mini-show to be broadcast was for children and families. Theatre Fideri Fidera’s ‘Meet Ugg ‘n’ Ogg’ is an adaptation of their live show which was due to be hosted in Lancashire over Easter. Spot On worked alongside the theatre company to create an exclusive performance for Lancashire audiences which aired at 3pm on Tuesday 21st April via the Spot On Facebook page, website and YouTube channel and the programme of events continues to grow each week. 

Programme Manager, Lyndsey Wilson explains: “Spot On Stories are ten-minute micro shows made just for you by some of the fantastic artists that have, or should have, toured with Spot On. These are bite-sized moments, made for the people of Lancashire, so that for 10 minutes, wherever you are, you can lose yourself in a really good story.”

“Some will be for grown-ups, some will be for children. Some will be spoken, some will be sung. But all of them are made with love and a passion for telling you a story!”

They intend to present two shows per week until July. Tuesday afternoons will be stories for children and families, and Thursdays will be something a little more grown-up. Once the shows are uploaded, they’ll be available to watch on the Spot On website for 30 days so if you miss one or you want to watch on repeat you can. 

For more information including the programme of events and links to each show visit www.spotonlancashire.co.uk/spot-on-stories/

-ENDS-

Notes for editors:

High res images available on request

Spot On Lancashire is a countywide service which enables people living in remote and rural communities to enjoy high quality live arts events on their doorstep. Spot On do this by working in partnership with over 200 volunteers and appear in over 50 different small places each year.

Spot On enables volunteers to choose and host professional performances and our support makes shows which could only otherwise be seen in urban arts centres, available to smaller communities.

Spot On is delivered by Blackburn-based Culturapedia, as part of the Cheshire Lancashire Touring Partnership with Lancashire County Council and Cheshire Rural Touring Arts.

Spot On is part of the national portfolio of the Arts Council England and is also invested in by Lancashire County Council and the districts of Fylde, Ribble Valley, Wyre and the Unitary Authority of Blackburn with Darwen.

Spot On can be contacted at:

c/o Culturapedia

The Barn, 61A Manor Road, Blackburn BB2 6LX

01254 660360

www.spotonlancashire.co.uk