Stow and Tell

A new theatre-making project giving young people in rural Suffolk a platform to tell their stories.

A new theatre-making project giving young people in rural Suffolk a platform to tell their stories.

Theatre producer and NRTF member Karen Goddard has teamed-up with ‘The Together Project’ at The Mix in Stowmarket to offer 15 – 24-year-olds the opportunity to take part in the new drama project, entitled ‘Stow and Tell’.

Thanks to recent funding from Arts Council England, ‘Stow and Tell’ will invite young people to take part in a series of free weekly theatre-making workshops at The Mix during October, November and December.

Participants will get hand-on experience of every aspect of theatre production from writing, researching, developing and marketing and finally staging a pilot performance of a new play.

The project will provide participants with a ‘behind-the-scenes’ experience of producing a new piece of theatre. It will also offer the young people the chance to tell their stories and learn some important transferable work skills that will help their chances of future employment.

‘Together Project’ Youth Worker Chloe Davis said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for young people to have a platform to voice what really matters to them. It is also an amazing chance for young people to gain important life skills, as well as an insight into theatre production and the vast and varied employment opportunities within the arts industry.”

‘Stow and Tell’ will also provide employment for a group of professional freelance creative practitioners.

Producer Karen Goddard said: “ Freelance actors, writers and theatre directors are having a really hard time at the moment. So, I’m pleased that the grant I’ve been awarded is enabling me to offer not only a great creative learning experience for a group of young people, but also the chance for Ipswich-based playwright Martha Loader to develop a new script and for director Scott Hurran and a fantastic group of actors to bring the ideas to life. All this has only been possible thanks to public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, so I am hugely grateful for that!”

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “We’re really pleased to support ‘Stow and Tell’ thanks to National Lottery funding. It is really important that young people have the opportunity to develop and share their creative voices, but especially those who are vulnerable and might not otherwise have that chance. And that is exactly what this project is all about.”

The ‘Stow and Tell’ project is supported by The Mix and Suffolk County Council, in partnership with the John Peel Centre for the Creative Arts, Eastern Angles, Bury Theatre Royal, and The Garage in Norwich.

The Covid-secure workshops will be held at The Mix in Stowmarket every Thursday from 5 – 7pm from October 29 th onwards. The sessions will be limited to 15 people per group with participants wearing facemasks and observing social distancing rules. For more information on how to sign-up for the weekly workshops contact: Together@themixstowmarket.co.uk

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

Bright, young things wanted as BBC seeks to commission more Northern talent

The BBC and Arts Council England backed programme, New Creatives North, are looking for 16-30-year olds to make films and audio work for broadcast

The two-year project which hopes to diversify the content and programming on the BBC continues its search for unique ideas for broadcast.

Northern artists, creators and makers are invited to apply for the New Creatives North talent development scheme this March. The programme has already commissioned over 70 artists from across the North of England and are now looking for more undiscovered voices. Those selected will be in with a chance of seeing their work broadcast on BBC platforms, including BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds, BBC Taster and beyond.

The programme is for 16-30 year olds and focusses on giving opportunities to young creatives from all backgrounds – to broaden the range of voices and experiences we hear and see on our screens and radio.

Afshan D’Souza-Lodhi from Manchester was selected to make Chop Chop which has now been seen by tens of thousands on the BBC Sounds platform. D’Souza-Lodhi said “To be selected for New Creatives and to have my audio drama showcased on BBC Sounds has been incredible for my career. I have already been approached by producers who have heard the piece on BBC Sounds and want to work with me.”

The team behind the Northern drive are encouraging applications from anyone, even if you’ve never done anything like it before, Creative Director and the award-winning filmmaker leading the project, Ian Fenton says, “Don’t doubt yourself, just apply! If selected you’ll be supported by industry professionals, you’ll be given guidance, training, skills development and money! You don’t have to be established or have made any work before – you just need to have a good idea.”

The organisers are looking for submissions that cover a wide range of artistic practices. Applications are encouraged from creatives who could be writers, sound artists, podcasters, dancers, performers, musicians, filmmakers, comedians, visual artists, illustrators, animators, poets, storytellers or games designers; or they could be something else entirely.

From the serious to the comedic, the soothing to the provocative, the specific to the abstract New Creatives North are looking for ideas that push the boundaries, make people think, and encourage new ways of understanding the world we currently live in.

Applications for film and audio are now open, to find out more and apply visit  www.newcreatives.co.uk

Meanwhile, the latest cohort of northern New Creatives have been selected and includes 10 people who will be supported to make films for BBC iPlayer and 22 who will be supported to make audio work for BBC Sounds.

The youngest creative is Jessica Johnson from Cheshire, who is just 17 and will make a short film exploring a dystopian society inspired by class structures in Britain today.

This newest group of creatives also includes artists who will make the first interactive art pieces with a budget of up to £20,000.

Over the course of the next few months, the artists selected will take part in training and development workshops with experienced professionals to develop their original idea and prepare it for production. They will then be supported by approved production partners to create their work, with input from northern organisations such as Tyneside Cinema, Naked Productions and of course the BBC. The completed work will then have the chance of being selected for a new strand

of programming: BBC Introducing Arts, which will showcase new artistic talent from the UK across BBC platforms, including BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds, BBC Taster and beyond.