Thursday, February 21, 2019
Angela Hall has stepped down as the Director of Rural Arts after more than 26 years. Home to ON Tour, the rural touring scheme for North Yorkshire, East Cleveland and the Tees Valley, Rural Arts delivers a range of participatory and professional arts programmes at its own venue, The Courthouse in Thirsk, and beyond.
Angela established Rural Arts in 1992 with support from Arts Council England and eight North Yorkshire local authorities. ON Tour was launched in 1997 as one of the first formalised rural touring schemes in the country. Over 300 village halls registered on the scheme, and the model of working with local volunteers and seasonal touring is still in place today. Today, the annual programme consists of over 65 live music, dance and theatre performances across 2,500 square miles.
Speaking about her time at Rural Arts, Angela said: “Rural Arts reaches the people other organisations can’t – I’ve run workshops in fields, set up dark rooms in people’s toilets, and worked in army tents with only fairy lights for illumination. I’m immensely proud of what I’ve achieved here and plan to stay involved by volunteering where I can.”
Angela hands over the role to a former colleague, Max May, who re-joins Rural Arts from London-based theatre company Access All Areas. Max started his career as a volunteer and then intern with Rural Arts, before being appointed Communications and Engagement Officer in 2014. He said:
“Rural Arts plays a vital role in bringing high-quality performance to our local rural communities. I’m looking forward to continuing Angela’s work and building on her brilliant legacy to ensure Rural Arts is vibrant, resilient and sector-leading.”
Rural Arts bids a fond farewell to its director and wishes her the best of luck in her future creative endeavours, as she pursues her own creative practice in ceramics and printmaking.