Report on Pilot Rural Touring Show

Reepham & Cherry Willingham Village Hall, 25th September 2020.

[Live & Local – COVID-Secure Pilot Performance Report © Nov 2020]

Introduction


Live & Local supported a professional rural touring show on Friday 25th September 2020 in
partnership with Townsend Theatre Productions and Reepham & Cherry Willingham Village Hall
Committee, Lincolnshire.
This performance of ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ was the first professional performance
in a UK village hall since the beginning of the pandemic and was informed by the then current
guidance and legislation relating to the performing arts, community venues and catering. Socially
distanced seating allowed for 37 audience members at a venue that usually seats 90.
Aims & Objectives
The aim was to inform Live & Local in order to help us advise, provide assurance, and instil
confidence for promoters and their volunteers, audiences, companies. The objectives were to:

  1. Test the viability that under the then COVID-Secure measures that rural touring can safely
    recommence while adhering to relevant legislation and guidance.
  2. Test conclusions from our audience restART survey carried out in May.
  3. Observe and learn from the experience of the audience, promoter and company at the
    event and pre- and post- event.
  4. Use the results of these measures to inform the arts sector, rural touring organisations
    and local authority funders.

Context
This performance was carried out on September 25th, 2020 in Lincolnshire.
The regulations were changing regularly in the four-week run into this event and regulations may
well be different at the time of reading this report and/or due to geographical location. At the
outset and throughout we reminded all partners that whilst this was called a ‘pilot’ the risks were
very real.
The local voluntary promoter group were an experienced group having had five Live & Local events
in the past two years. Their previous events were music, so this theatre show was a change for their
audience.
The event was informed by Live & Local’s audience and promoter restART surveys carried out
during the preceding summer lockdown.


The pilot was supported by funds from Arts Council England, Lincolnshire County Council, West
Lindsey District Council, and the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF).


Approach


Risk Mitigations
Planning for the event considered relevant guidance and legislation which changed multiple times
during the planning process. The following measures were used:
• Comprehensive risk assessments by Company and promoter/Venue
• Advance customer communications
• Digital marketing
• Advance sales only online ticketing
• Advance sales only online drinks pre-ordering
• Enhanced cleaning
• Entrance and wall signage
• Additional staffing
• Test and Trace
• Socially distanced queuing
• Socially distant seating
• Seat labelling
• Hand sanitiser
• One-way system
• Face coverings
• Increased ventilation
• Table service

Risk Assessments
A risk assessment for their show was required from the company by Live & Local in advance of
even being booked for this event. The venue was required by regulation to have completed a risk
assessment to be able to open the venue for any event.
An additional risk assessment was produced in cooperation with Live & Local, the company and
promoter for this specific event incorporating the show and venue assessments and enhanced in
line with the needs of a professional ticketed performance.

Seating Format
The venue, being a village hall with no fixed seating, benefited from flexible seating opportunities.
However, managing the seating plan in line with socially distanced seating was time-consuming.
Capacity depended on the size of groups booking which could not be easily predicted and had to
be managed in an ongoing way by adapting the initial seating plan. This stood out in contrast to
the usually informal unreserved seating arrangements at Live & Local rural touring events.

Audience Communication – before and during pilot
COVID-Secure information was kept concise in the marketing to reassure but not overwhelm,
focussing on areas highlighted by our previous audience research. At the point of booking and in a
reminder email the day before the show, the audience were informed of a range of measures in
place and what was needed from them in order to deliver a safe event.
Staff and volunteers verbally repeated key messages around social distancing, the one-way
systems, face coverings and timings at the entrance. This clear ‘one to one’ guidance was
welcomed by the audience.
Due to the relatively small number involved, this was manageable and worked well. Staggered
entry times were not required due to the audience size and that it was only advance sales.


Cleaning
Enhanced cleaning procedures were introduced at the venue, with staff/volunteers provided
additional equipment and materials before and after the event.
Enhanced Staffing and Support
As this was a pilot event, two staff, from Live & local were involved on the day in addition to the
usual three volunteers who run events at this venue. A significant amount of extra time was
committed in advance and on the day by the promoter, company, and Live & Local staff.
It was possible for this promoter to engage enough volunteer support to safely deliver a show,
however, duties needed to be very clearly assigned along with appropriate instruction.
For this pilot, there was a substantial additional time investment from the Live & Local professional
team and from the promoter. Although this was a pilot event run by Live & Local in conjunction
with an experienced local promoter and company at a time when the regulations were still new
and changing, this still indicated to us that we would have to augment our support for all other
promoters who elect to take shows in the foreseeable future.


Ventilation
Ventilation was increased by opening internal and some external doors, however in late
September this proved inhospitable. We could not have as much additional ventilation as planned
due to very high winds on the day. We had considered using an outdoor space covered by brought
in gazebos for the audience pre-show and interval, but this was not possible due to the weather.
Increasing ventilation in this manner has to be balanced by the comfort of the audience as well as
creating additional risks.


Face Coverings
The regulations at the time required everyone in the venue to wear face coverings
unless eating
or drinks (or exempt). The audience wore face coverings throughout the performance and when
moving around the building, only taking them off to eat or drink. These regulations had changed
from being only guidelines very recently before the pilot date. As a result, this was not the norm
and had to be regularly emphasised to most of the participants in the pilot, both audience and
volunteers.

Artist/Company Mitigations
The company were a professional organisation with experience of touring to non-theatre spaces
and had also been required to provide a show specific COVID-Secure risk assessment prior to being
booked.
Extra performance space was required to distance the performer from the audience. Artists wore
face coverings while in the hall except for during the performance. The get-in time was increased,
and the artists were allowed sole access to the main hall in advance of the show. No practical
support (carrying gear) was given to the artists for the get in or get out. However, this was difficult
to manage on the day with other practical matters needing to be mutually agreed.
Promoters will need to allow extra time to ensure the setting up of the front of house and bar to
allow artists sole access to the space. All participants on the day found it a substantial change to
maintain social distancing given the usually highly mutually supportive interactions between
artists and local volunteers. The experience indicated to us that we would have to add to our
assurances to artists that all the local volunteers were fully appraised of the relevant risks and
mitigations, not just the main contacts with whom they may have had frequent contact in the run
up to the day.


Catering
The audience pre-ordered and pre-paid for drinks online. These were priced separately to tickets
and then prepared in advance and delivered by table service. There was no opportunity to buy any
further drinks during the evening, resolving issues around people queueing at the bar or needing
to pay in cash (as many community venues cannot currently facilitate contactless payment). This
event used online ticketing to facilitate this process (Ticket Source) and there was no cost to the
promoter.
To test the viability of a catering offer as this is so much part of many rural touring events,
complimentary food was provided by local professional catering company, Salted Orange. This was
prepared nearby in a van and delivered to the audience by table service. They were the regular
professional suppliers for the hall, so it made sense to continue the relationship. Catering can be
safely provided by experienced volunteers in a village hall should they chose to do so themselves,
if have brought themselves thoroughly up to speed with COVID-Secure catering regulations.


Seating and Ticketing
Seating was planned using Ticket Source and people were seated theatre-style in-household
groups/support bubbles only. Establishing the amount of usable space in a community venue is
not as straightforward as in a professional venue. Community venues usually benefit from flexible
seating and offer a good solution for socially distanced seating. However, seating arrangements in
these venues have often been relatively informal in the past and the required higher level of
attention to detail needed to seating for everyone involved (audience, staff, volunteers, company)
is a significant change to what many involved in rural touring are used to.
They will often need enhanced support from Live & Local to maximise seating whilst retaining a
COVID-Secure event. This will be variously challenging in the future dependent on whether the
promoter is IT resistant or not (to using online ticketing) and or whether they can create and
manage a more manual seating planning system. Managing a seating plan dependent on the sizes
of household groups and the order they book in, while trying to maximise the space available, is
time-intensive. This pilot used Ticket Source, however their socially distanced seating planning
function did not at that time avoid orphan seats however manged the situation well in all other
respects.

Marketing and Communications
Marketing was carried out digitally and by word of mouth. The show was advertised on social
media, circulated via mailing list and by invitations from the promoter and committee to contacts
in the community. Print is usually an important part of marketing a Live & Local rural touring show,
however none was used for the pilot in order to mitigate risks to promoters and volunteers
distributing leaflets and posters in the community. Given the smaller number of tickets available, it
seems quite possible that print is either unnecessary or only needed in small quantities.


Financial
Tickets were sold rather than complimentary so as to test the sales and box office processes. They
were set at a reduced price of £5 to reflect the one-off nature of this pilot event. Audience
comments suggest that there is no reason to reduce tickets for future standard events.
Socially distanced seating and increased performance space meant the capacity of the hall was
reduced from 90 to 37. Even if tickets had been priced at our usual £10-£12, this would mean a
38% decrease in our average total ticket yield. Capacity and therefore total ticket yield is strongly
influenced by the size of household groups booking, so shows attracting several larger groups
would fare better financially, however based on our previous booking data we can surmise that
the balance of group sizes at this pilot is very much within the normal pattern.
Rural touring events are usually subsidised to some extent. Assuming Live & Local’s usual financial
model, reducing the total ticket yield by 38% would require a 31% increase in the subsidy to cover
just the direct costs (i.e. this does not include additional staff time) Furthermore any income
retained by the local promoter would be substantially reduced, potentially putting another barrier
in place for some (but not all) promoters to book shows.


Audience Analysis
Live & Local used a bespoke survey for feedback sent the day after the show. We received
completed survey forms from 10 of 13 bookers. All responders reported feeling safe and
comfortable throughout the show. The vast majority of responders were aware of safety measures
before attending the show and found the online pre-ordering systems for tickets and drinks easy
to use. The results reflect an overwhelmingly positive experience and audience buy-in to COVID Secure measures in order to make it possible for shows to recommence.

Conclusions
The pilot demonstrated that rural touring performances can safely resume with increased advance
guidance given to promoters and companies by Live & Local along with additional resources at the
event, in terms of time, people and skills. The measures used were effective and the benefits to
the audience far outweighed the inconvenience of socially distanced seating, wearing face
coverings and the other COVID-Secure mitigations.
Live & Local has a responsibility to all participants in its rural touring events; artists, attenders, and
volunteers, and to its own reputation to ensure COVID-Secure events. As there may be a natural
inclination from local Promoters to interpret regulations in a way so as to minimise change for
their regular attenders, Live & Local and the company’s professional role must be to encourage
and support the delivery of legal and COVID-Secure events.
The pilot has shown that with this higher level of professional support, rural touring shows
incorporating socially distanced seating and other COVID-Secure mitigations can be safely
delivered and be very well-received by the audience. However, many promoters are likely to need
additional support in order to maximise their seating capacity and provide catering and other safe
event management protocols.


To ensure a safe event, promoters will also need more volunteer support than usual who are well
briefed and there will need to be an increased level of advanced communication and collaboration
with regards to risk assessments and discussion about Health & Safety Practices.
The partnership between professional and voluntary organisations and the combination of earned
and public funds, is a highly cost-effective market intervention that ensures a high-quality cultural
offer in rural communities and one that delivers more community benefits than only audiences.
These additional benefits are clearly even more vital now in order to support the recovery from
COVID in these rural communities. Whilst in the longer-term the financial model imposed by
socially distanced seating is unsustainable, in the meantime additional funds within the model or
agreed reduced outputs in terms or numbers of events will be necessary.
For all the participants it was more complex and time-consuming than our ‘standard’ rural touring
events and had a substantial learning curve within a constantly shifting set of regulations. This will be
the case going forward, albeit with a diminishing burden.
However, it was also a hugely encouraging and inspiring experience to see that live performance can
happen and there is a demand for it during the crisis and also for it to help the recovery.

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

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.

BCT Receive Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Black Country Touring have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

BCT is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

Frances Land, Black Country Touring, Co-Artistic Director Said: “This is a real boost for us, particularly as we struggle to adapt to lockdown and social distancing, when the community venues we work with are closed. Our incredible team has included 251 volunteers and we are delighted that our work has been recognised. It’s a real tribute to the hard work and commitment our volunteers bring to the community.”

Black Country Touring’s volunteers range from 7 to 70+ and can be with the organisation from 6 months to many years.

They train and support their volunteers to share the joys of having the arts as part of their lives with others in their community. The team enables local people, of all ages and backgrounds, to see high-quality theatre, dance and film in their local area at an affordable price, often in areas of high deprivation with very few professional theatres and venues.

Their volunteer programme supports and empowers people to be decision makers and create special, shared experiences that would not happen otherwise. When programming professional theatre, dance and cinema events in local venues for their community, the volunteers are supported by Black Country Touring at every step of promoting the event.

Volunteers learn how to select professional touring theatre shows and build a programme of events tailored to the local venue they use. Venues include libraries, schools and community centres.

Many people who attend would have no contact with the performing arts without Black Country Touring and its volunteers. Often these events are the only link with the outside world for people at risk of loneliness and isolation.

BCT could not operate at all without their enthusiastic volunteers. They are the people on the ground in the heart of the community who select, organise and promote the shows their audiences want to see. Black Country Touring support them to develop their skills, confidence and experience of organising events.

A key part of the work is about raising aspirations and improving people’s wellbeing through volunteering, by connecting them with other people in their local community and reducing the risk of isolation. Something that is very important during this time.

Julie Mckirdy B.E.M, Senior supervisor at Smethwick Town Libraries and BCT board member said: “I am over the moon to hear this wonderful news today that Black Country touring have been awarded the prestigious Queens voluntary award. BCT thoroughly deserve this accolade, they work so hard to bring the arts to Sandwell and the rest of the Black country.

All the team have helped with my personal development within the arts and played a massive part in how Thimblemill Library has become known and respected today within the arts cultural scene. So on behalf of all the community of Thimblemill library and beyond I would like to congratulate each and all at BCT and well done you wonderful people.”

Black Country Touring will receive the award from Mr John Crabtree OBE, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands later this summer and two volunteers from Black Country Touring will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England added his congratulations: “Huge congratulations to Black Country Touring and we’re delighted that their work with volunteers has been recognised at the very highest level possible. Black Country Touring is funded by the National Lottery; this is thanks to Lottery players so it’s right that so many people share the benefits.

The Queen’s award pays tribute to the volunteers ongoing commitment, people who offer their own time and experience ensuring that the role of arts and culture touches as many people as possible. Great work to everyone at Black Country Touring”.

Black Country Touring is hugely grateful to Arts Council England, Sandwell Council, Wolverhampton City Council and all their other funders and partners that make their work possible.

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 

Artsreach Marketing Officer

ARTSREACH MARKETING OFFICER Artsreach is a charity that arranges tours of theatre, dance and music to rural communities across Dorset and is part of Arts Council England’s national portfolio.

We are looking for a flexible, creative individual with drive and passion to assist with the promotion and enhancement of the Artsreach brand through maximising the benefits of social media and responding to the needs of our audiences, promoters and investors. It is a role with much room for creative expression in an environment of great changes in the charity sector in general.

You will be working within a small, experienced and highly – motivated team to provide a professional service, working with a network of volunteers, and accessible to the public. Your key role within the team will be to develop and grow the Artsreach brand, devise, implement and report on the agreed strategic marketing plan, drive the charity’s social media networks, lead on database management, lead on preparation and distribution of publicity material, and attend Artsreach events as required.

This is a permanent contract and would ideally suit a recent marketing graduate wanting to gain experience in the not – for – profit sector.

The position is subject to a 6 month probationary period, based on 37.5 hours per week and the starting salary is £ 19,554 How to Apply: Please download/complete the Artsreach Job Application Form found on our website: https://artsreach.co.uk/news/marketing – vacancy This should be returned, with an accompanying letter of application, either by email to info@artsreach.co.uk or by post to Artsreach, The Little Keep, Barrack Rd, Dorchester DT1 1SQ

Closing date for app lications: 12pm on 6th December