A brief overview of how we’re working creatively with people to give ideas legs

 

Lancashire is our home…

 

We’ve been putting our mission into action in the county we live in; by working with volunteers to curate events and increase the cultural offer of Lancashire’s small towns and villages, bringing live literature to pubs, enhancing the cultural events offer of Lancashire libraries, championing the arts through local networks and hubs.

 

Our scope is wider than our county boundary…

 

We work across the North to feed into a wider sector; touring arts programming with regional partners, developing consortium projects – our most recent to offer rural touring mentoring to artists culminating in a northern tour to 7 rural touring schemes.

 

In fact, we’re national….

 

Working digitally allows us to engage with a whole new audience and new partners; delivering our Spot On Stories project for Lancashire Libraries and The Space, undertaking research, evaluation and advocacy for other arts organisations and managing the marketing for a national touring dance initiative.

 

And international…

 

We’re currently working for Erasmus University Rotterdam co-editing a new online book chronicling the experiences of professionals working in Arts And Culture from around the World. We are active members of the newly formed Arts in Rural European Areas, a creative network of venues, producers and artists who work in a rural context across Europe. This is part of our vision to share good practice and collaborate with others to put rural places on the map.
 

ALNPO Research

We were invited by the Artist Led NPO group to undertake some research leading to ways that the group can advocate for themselves as a distinct part of the arts ecosystem. This project was funded by Central School of Speech and Drama and is due for completion in July ‘21

 

Arts in Rural European Areas- make our place a go-to place.

We want to make Lancashire a go-to county, not a go-through one.

We always think the place we are is the centre of everything. Nobody wants to feel isolated, or left out. Lancashire has an immensely beautiful and diverse landscape from the dunes to the wild Pennine hills. Our communities are equally diverse. But it is also close to the national parks of the Dales and Lake District. I remember a Dutch tutor on my masters course, telling me about his family holiday.  We drove to Liverpool from Harwich, he said, because we wanted to see a match at Anfield. Then “we went past Blackpool and on to our holiday cottage in the Lakes”. Went past. Excellent M6!  We want to make Lancashire a go-to county, not a go through one. A place people hear of, and want to talk about and visit for the right reasons, not the wrong ones.  

We are active members of the newly formed Arts in Rural European Areas, a creative network of about 250 small venues, touring networks, producers and artists who work in a rural context right across Europe from Ireland to Croatia, Portugal to northern Norway.  This is part of our passionate vision to share good practice and collaborate with others to put everyone’s rural place on the map. 

We are currently exploring an application to Perform Europe to find new ways of touring artists. The industry has been seriously harmed by Covid rules, and in the UK, Brexit is a huge headache harming incoming and outgoing artists.  Why tour? How can we tour sustainably, affordably and reach remote communities?  AREA are so new, they are still building a website. But the groups meet regularly to share ideas, identify common research and explore new possibilities. This post will be updated when we can add a link.

When you talk to a colleague in southern Italy about their festival or hear of rural touring in Sweden, or of a theatre in rural north Norway, it is instinctive to want to visit. So, our team wants to do the same for Lancashire- make what we do exciting, inspiring and worth visiting.  A place to go to. 

 

At Home Magazine

Recognising the limitations of presenting Arts and Culture in times of COVID we published Spot On At Home in partnership with Lancashire Libraries, Hopeful & Glorious and the NRTF. A newspaper with articles and arts activities to do at home. Named one of the top ten newspapers of the year by Newspaper Club and featured as an example of good practice by the Audience Agency, a second edition is due for distribution in July 2021.

 

Burnley Literary Festival

In October 2019 Culturapedia managed and curated the fourth Burnley Literary Festival. We worked closely with Burnley Borough Council and Burnley Library to bring a whole host of literary activities to the town over a fun filled weekend. Watch our video which sums up the weekend: https://vimeo.com/375089764

We’re currently working on a new project with Burnley BID for 2021-2022.

 

 

Burnley Mechanics – Front Room Project

Working with a team of volunteers from the local community we programme professional arts performances with Burnley Mechanics in their Front Room space.

 
Creative Partnerships Logo

Creative Partnerships

We worked on the Creative Partnerships programme, for a number of years. The Creative Partnerships programme brought creative workers such as artists, architects and scientists into schools to work with teachers to inspire young people and help them learn. Following government cuts the programme came to an end in September 2011 despite proof of its worth. We worked as agents of change with St Mary’s Catholic College, Devonshire Primary School and Christ the King Catholic Primary School in Blackpool and Peel Park Primary School in Accrington. Creative Partnerships in Lancashire was coordinated by Curious Minds. We’ve worked with them on a number of other initiatives too. Our friendship grows as does the potential for future adventures.

 

Creativity Works Awards

Culturapedia co-ordinated and project managed the acclaimed Creativity Works Awards from 2004 to 2009. These prestigious awards recognised the quality and breadth of the Creative Industries in Pennine Lancashire. Our work involved managing a glittering peripatetic awards ceremony, soliciting nominations and coordinating the, often fraught, judging process. We also sourced funding from public bodies and via private sponsorship.

 

Digital Commissioning

Working with a group of young librarians and apprentices within Lancashire Library Service we commissioned two new pieces of digital art for Lancashire. The brief emphasised work which was tourable for Spot On performance venues to host, and which highlighted Lancashire grown artistic talent and lived experience. 

Two artists were commissioned; Matt Wilkinson’s ‘Hit The North’ toured in 2019, and Elliott Flanagan’s ‘Monument’ had a digital tour in 2020. Both pieces are available to view via the Spot On website

 

 

From Stephen to Avenham

Culturapedia collaborated with the wonderful Dutch location theatre company PeerGrouP to produce From Stephen to Avenham. A site specific piece of work commissioned by the Preston Guild for 2012.

Working with young people from the Forest of Bowland and Preston, two pieces of original promenade theatre were created and performed in two different locations, 30 miles apart.

In Gisburn Forest we spent a heady summer learning about local Joseph Hodgson; his unrequited love, and his urge to be remembered, and in Preston we brought Joe’s adventures into the city centre, with a re-enactment of the Slaidburn Silver Band, Preston Guild 1902.

The work was two years in the planning, immense fun and goes forward with a legacy project taking place in Gisburn Forest in the summer of 2013 working with Blaize Theatre. Culturapedia created all the local partnerships, undertook local production and raised funding for the activity from the Arts Council Grants for the Arts programme supported by seed funding investment from Preston City Council.