The BAME Creative Arts Sector in the North West region consists of a range of diverse practitioners, organisers and venue programmers that deliver a broad spectrum of live performance, from community-focussed programmes for disadvantaged people (Exodus) to Internationally Touring work (Company Fierce). These productions have largely developed through individual endeavour, trial and error, and intermittent programmes of support as available. This current process also involves the creator/performers having to develop the additional production skills necessary to take perform their work more widely within the region, nationally or internationally. We (STUN) feel that this is a ‘big ask’ of our practising artists and seek to develop a tangible programme for producer development accessible across the region. We acknowledge that we have a range of significant, high-quality providers of the arts in the region and aim to harness the resources and expertise they represent into a coherent programme of learning, opportunity and transformation.
STUN requires that a focussed period of research is undertaken to identify, consult and consolidate an effective briefing document to support the aim of the Producers’ Development Programme. The outline for the brief for an individual, company or consortium includes the following:
· Identify regional talent, skills, research and current professional development opportunities
· Identify common needs of the targeted Sector
· Identify a new infrastructure and resources that can best support the continued growth of the Sector’s ambitions for touring theatre
· List previous producers’ development initiatives that have been undertaken, taking into account work and evaluation undertaken by Arts Council England.
· Identify the key outcomes of previous research
· Undertake a feasibility study – aims, priorities and objectives
· Develop strategic partnerships with venues, development agencies and established companies for possible residencies of selected trainee producers
· Develop a producers’ selection process and oversight panel
· Develop a financial strategy for pilot implementation of the scheme and longer-term support
· Prepare funding proposals and applications to support the implementation of the programme
The resulting brief and consultation was awarded to Jenny Williams and Jacqueline Cameron who delivered the comprehensive report which can be viewed here.
‘Say It Loud’, was a very different, Black History programme, conceived from a series of conversations between Manchester activists and artists on aspects on living in the city and its current issues.
We teamed up with member organisation , the Mbari Group to bring together a wealth of amazing material, awesome talent, and enterprising spirit and was supported by Z-Arts, PeaceFM and the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre. The programme both looked back for inspiration and forwards to rebuilding ordinary people’s engagement in their local and global communities, using history, education and art to encourage and support activism.
We raised just over £3k from ACE, Arts Council of England through a successful application to Grants for the Arts to develop our own website and branding and to relaunch the hub as STUN, Sustained Theatre Up North.
Many thanks to all the members who contributed their time and ideas to this project.
Miselo Kunda | Project Manager
Maya Chowdhry | Website Design and Build
Evewright Studios | Brand Consultant and Developer